Will Smith Did "Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" Because He Owed The IRS Millions!
Will Smith owes a lot to his role on the famous '90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." It is what catapulted him to superstardom, and set him up to becoming one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. But, if it was up to Smith at the time, he wouldn't have gone into acting at all. The then 22-year-old rapper was more interested in making music in 1990, but when the IRS came after him for underpaid income taxes, Smith frantically signed on with NBC for his first ever acting job.
Before "Fresh Prince," Smith had already found some fame as half of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Thanks to hits like "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "Summertime," Smith began spending like the young superstar he was, but forgot to pay his income taxes. By 1990, he owed the IRS $2.8 million. Luckily, NBC was interested in developing a pilot centered around Smith, and he signed on out of desperation. Although most of the money he made from "Fresh Prince" went straight to the government, it was also his vehicle to the next level of fame and fortune.