How Will Smith Changed His Entire Outlook on Life (and Why He's Sorry for Wild Wild West)

Star tells Cannes audience about his quest to live with purpose

Driving relevance means driving growth. Join global brands and industry thought leaders at Brandweek, Sept. 11–14 in Miami, for actionable takeaways to better your marketing. 50% off passes ends April 10.

CANNES, France—Even before achieving stardom at an impressively young age, Will Smith learned a lesson that would end up shaping his career while taking decades to truly sink in.

It happened, he told a packed audience today at the Cannes Lions, when his grandmother found a notebook where the 12-year-old aspiring rapper was writing his first draft of obscenity-laden lyrics. 

"My grandmother found my book that was laced with all my poetic profanity," he said on the conference's main stage.



Subscribe today!

To Read the Full Story Become an Adweek+ Subscriber

View Subscription Options

Already a member? Sign in