Will Smith owed almost 3m to the IRS before becoming Prince of Bel-Air

Will Smith set the following goal for himself: becoming “the biggest movie star in the world”, studying box office successes’ common characteristics.

But before becoming an international star thanks to TV and film, he was the MC of hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince; they won the first Grammy awarded in the Rap category in 1988.

Smith spent money freely around 1988 and 1989 and underpaid his income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against Smith, who was nearly bankrupt in 1990.

Like a miracle, the NBC offered him a contract and built a sitcom around him, the famous Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

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