The teen duo would go on to produce two platinum albums - with such megahits as Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble, Summertime, Parents Just Don't Understand, and Gettin' Jiggy Wit It.
They also happened to distinguish themseles as the first recipients ever to win a Grammy Award for rap.
Intelligent and charismatic, Smith caught the attention of television producers who cast him in a starring role in the sitcom series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in 1990, an instant hit that ran for six years.
Meanwhile, Smith was also expanding his acting career in film, with his first screen appearance in Where the Day Takes You in 1992, followed by Made in America in 1993. That same year, it was his starring role in Six Degrees Of Separation that secured his reputation as a serious actor.
Two years later, Smith first major commercial success was in the action movie, Bad Boys and the following year he achieved superstar status in the sci-fi hit, Independence Day.
Smith's career continued to skyrocket with appearances opposite Tommy Lee Jones in the Men in Black sci-fi comedy films, and alongside Gene Hackman in the thriller, Enemy of the State.
He later won an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in the title role in Ali, a much-anticipated biopic about boxing great Muhammad Ali.
In 2005, Smith could be seen in another big budget sci-fi role in I, Robot and that same year was the voice of "Oscar", the little fish who dreams big in the animated Shark Tale.
In 2006, the actor won for Favorite Male Action Movie Star at the 2005 People's Choice Awards for his performance in the sci-fi thriller I, Robot.
In 2007, He was nominated Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards for his serious acting turn in "The Pursuit of Happyness" and, for the same performance, won a nod at the Oscars. In 2007, another serious performance came in the futuristic thriller, I Am Legend, followed by an offbeat comedy in which Smith plays a down-on-his-luck super hero in Hancock.
Late in 2008, the actor performed to less- than-glowing reviews in the Hollywood drama, "Seven Pounds."
Off-screen, Smith is married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Together they have a son, Jaden (his co-star in "The Pursuit of Happyness") and daughter, Willow. Smith also has a son, Willard "Trey" Smith III, from a previous marriage to actress Sharee Zampino.