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03rd May 2024

Willow Smith says her success is nothing to do with her parents

Ryan Price

The 23-year-old singer and actress is the only daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Willow Smith is the latest celebrity to weigh-in on the current ‘nepo baby’ discourse that is swirling around Hollywood, and insists that her success has nothing to do with who her parents are.

The Wait A Minute singer made her acting debut at 7-years-old, appearing in her father’s blockbuster I Am Legend, and had her first hit single at ten with Whip My Hair.

Since then, Willow has released five studio albums, with her sixth dropping this weekend. During the cover shoot for American women’s magazine Allure, ahead of the release of Empathogen, Willow opened up about how she doesn’t believe she quite fits the description of a nepo baby.

“I definitely think that a little bit of insecurity has driven me harder because people do think that the only reason I’m successful is because of my parents,” she admitted.

“That has driven me to work really hard to try to prove them wrong. But nowadays, I don’t need to prove s**t to anybody.

“I truly believe that my spirit is a strong spirit and that, even if my parents weren’t who they were, I would still be a weirdo and a crazy thinker.”

She added that being a black woman means the term ‘nepo baby’ doesn’t quite apply to her, regardless of who her parents are.

(Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

“Being black in America, even with privilege, which I’m never going to deny that I have, you’re still black,” she said. 

“And I love being Black. People would look at me and [say], ‘Okay, well, her parents are this and this and that, but she still is like me. She still has brown skin’.”

“And we all know that that doesn’t exempt you from anything, and that’s a place of connection.” Smith stated.

Willow isn’t the only product of Will and Jada that has made it as an artist in their own right. Her older brother Jaden rose to fame with his portrayal of Dre Parker in the 2010 Karate Kid remake alongside Jackie Chan. Despite being 11-years-old when making that film, it wasn’t his big screen debut.

Jaden was just eight years old when he played his Dad’s on-screen son in The Pursuit of Happyness, released in 2006.

Since then, he has gone on to forge a successful rap career, as well as running his own clothing line, MSFTSrep.

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