Will Smith’s Career Is Slowing Crawling Back After the “Slap Heard ‘Round the World”: Now He’s Debuting New Music at the Upcoming BET Awards

Will Smith BET
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Will Smith BET
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Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / CC by 3.0

Will Smith will perform at this year’s BET Awards, debuting a new song in his first major solo performance since the infamous Academy Awards incident in which he slapped Chris Rock.

Hot on the heels of his recent “Bad Boys 4” success, actor and artist Will Smith will perform a new original song at this year’s BET Awards, which airs live on the network on Sunday, June 30 at 8 PM ET/PT.

The performance marks Smith’s first since his cameo during Colombian star J Balvin’s set during Coachella back in April, and his first solo performance since the “slap heard ‘round the world,” when he assaulted Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards.

Other performers at the 2024 BET Awards include Ice Spice, Sexyy Red, Latto, Lauryn Hill and YG Marley, Tyla, Shaboozey, GloRilla, Victoria Monét, and Tanner Adell, with appearances from Cardi B, Gunna, Common, Queen Latifah, Davido, The Roots, and the Jungle Brothers. Taraji P. Henson returns to host this year’s ceremony, where Usher will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement award.

“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,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET. “We look forward to Will adding to yet another defining night for the culture that is not to be missed.”

Drake leads this year’s BET Award nominations with seven nods, including Album of the Year (For All the Dogs Scary Hours Edition), Best Male R&B/Pop Artist, Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, Best Collaboration (with Sexyy Red and SZA for “Rich Baby Daddy”), Viewer’s Choice, and two nods for Video of the Year (“First Person Shooter” with J. Cole, and “Rich Baby Daddy” with Sexyy Red and SZA).

Nicki Minaj clocked six noms this year, including Album of the Year (Pink Friday 2), Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, Video of the Year (“Barbie World” with Ice Spice and Aqua), BET Her (with Tasha Cobbs Leonard for “Blessings”), and twice for Best Collaboration (with Lil Uzi Vert for “Everybody,” and Ice Spice and Aqua for “Barbie World”).

The official BET Awards 2024 nominees were selected by a voting academy of music industry insiders, performers, and presenters. Fans can vote now for the BET Awards 2024 Viewer’s Choice Award until June 30 at 6:30 PM PT / 9:30 PM ET.