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Will Smith steals the show at 2024 BET Awards with stunning comeback after seven years

The Bad Boys star’s new release coincides with his son Jaden’s return

Faye James
Senior Editor
July 1, 2024
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The 2024 BET Awards were given a fresh twist thanks to Will Smith

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum took the stage at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on June 30 to debut his new single, You Can Make It, a powerful anthem about redemption. 

The performance marked a significant moment for Will, being his first solo show since the much-discussed 2022 Oscars incident.

Emerging in a dramatic ring of fire, Will captivated the audience as he rapped alongside The Sunday Service Choir. 

His lyrics spoke volumes about resilience and perseverance. "The darker the hell you gotta endure, the brighter the heaven you get to enjoy," he sang with emotion. "Every storm runs out of rain, hold on."

Will Smith announces new music with an intimate home video

Will's performance was a call to dance through life's toughest moments. "Nobody gets an easy ride. We all have a cross to bear," he rapped. 

"But there is wisdom in that fire." This stirring debut of his new ballad is his first solo release in over six years, showcasing his enduring talent and relevance in the music world.

Will Smith performs onstage at the 2024 BET Awards© Christopher Polk
Will Smith performs onstage at the 2024 BET Awards

But Will hasn't been entirely out of the spotlight. Earlier in 2024, he made a surprise appearance during J Balvin's Coachella performance, delighting fans by recreating his iconic rap and dance moves from the 1997 Men in Black music video. 

Prior to that, in 2017, Will and his long-time collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff released an EDM track titled Get Lit

Will Smith stole the show with his epic comeback© Christopher Polk
Will Smith stole the show with his epic comeback

The duo premiered the song at the Livewire Festival, where Will shared the inspiration behind it. 

"People can say stuff to you and tell you, you can’t do it, and you know you can," he told the crowd, according to NME. "But when they tell you that, it kind of knocks you down a bit, right? So I wanted to make a record that reminded each and every one of y’all to let your light shine."

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: (L-R) Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris attend the Los Angeles Premiere of Columbia Pictures' "Bad Boys: Ride or Die" at TCL Chinese Theatre on May 30, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)© Axelle/Bauer-Griffin
(L-R) Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris

Will's return to music coincides with another exciting comeback within his family. His son, Jaden Smith, recently released his first single in three years, Roses, on June 21. 

The new track has been warmly received by fans and family alike. Jaden's return to the music scene is noteworthy, as he hadn't released any new material since his 2021 single Bye and his 2020 album, CTV3: Cool Tape Vol. 3.

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