Will Smith Joined by Kirk Franklin, Sunday Service Choir and More as He Debuts New Song at BET Awards 2024

Will Smith has gone back to his roots! On Sunday, June 30, the Academy Award-winning actor, 55, hit the stage to debut his new song "You Can Make It" live at the 2024 BET Awards in Los Angeles

Published Time: 01.07.2024 - 05:31:17 Modified Time: 01.07.2024 - 05:31:17

Will Smith has gone back to his roots!

On Sunday, June 30, the Academy Award-winning actor, 55, hit the stage to debut his new song "You Can Make It" live at the 2024 BET Awards in Los Angeles.

He started off his performance in the center of a burning fire pit as he kicked off with lyrics like, "You are in the smoke and the fire / Tight rope on the wires / I see you’re broken and tired / And all your hope is expired / You’re just done with the change and the games and the shame / And the world is insane all the pain from the flames that you walk through."

The actor/rapper was then joined by Kirk Franklin, Chandler Moore and the Sunday Service choir as he performed his uplifting track through a rainstorm onstage.

Smith concluded his performance with an encouraging message for audiences, saying, "Nobody gets an easy ride. We all have a cross to bear, but there is wisdom in that fire. And every single moment of your life is a brand new opportunity."

"We are not being punished; we are being forged," he added. "Dance in your darkest moments."

Last week, BET announced Smith as a special performer ahead of the release of his new single, which dropped on Friday, June 28.

"From his start as a rapper to The Fresh Prince to being a box office king as one of the Bad Boys, Will Smith is truly a global icon, and we are honored to welcome him back to grace the BET Awards stage,” Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET, said in a press statement ahead of Sunday’s show.

Before reaching box office heights, in 1989, Smith made history as the first rapper to win a Grammy. Under his moniker, the Fresh Prince, he and DJ Jazzy Jeff took home the award for best rap pe -

rformance for their 1988 hit single, "Parents Just Don't Understand."

Days before his 2024 BET Awards performance, the artist-turned-actor shared a video of himself on Instagram showcasing a little-known talent of his.

“Through some of my darkest moments, music has always been there for me - to lift me and help me grow,” Smith captioned a clip of himself playing the piano. “It’s my humble wish that it can do the same for you and bring you all the joy and light you deserve.”

The tune was from his new single, “You Can Make It,” which he said he was “excited” to perform at the 2024 BET Awards.

Smith last released music with his 2017 EDM track “Get Lit,” which came over a decade after his last studio album, 2005’s Lost and Found

The King Richard actor was initially scheduled to make his musical comeback at the 2023 Grammy Awards, however, the annual ceremony coincided with filming for his newly released film Bad Boys 4.His performance would have been part of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop tribute.

"I'll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was a part of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting Bad Boys 4 this week," Questlove told Variety on the Grammys red carpet in 2023. "There were a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will."

Bad Boys 4 went on to earn $56 million domestically in its opening weekend, Variety reported. According to Deadline, the film, which costars Martin Lawrence, brought in $105 million globally opening weekend.

The 2024 BET Awards are airing live on June 30 at 8 p.m. ET/ PT live from the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles.

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