Jada Pinkett Smith: I gave up my music career for my kids
July 1st, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Jada Pinkett Smith: I gave up my music career for my kids

Celebrities aren't immune to the tough calls of parenthood, and for Jada Pinkett Smith, being a parent has meant giving up her dream of being a rock star.

"I had to make choices," Smith, who is mom to actor Jaden and singer Willow, tells the August issue of Redbook. "Believe me, I would still be on the road with my band, Wicked Wisdom, and making as many movies as I can a year, and doing all sorts of other things if I didn't have the responsibility of a family."

But, she goes on, "I have children with their own talents and dreams, and I know I have to be standing next to them for that journey."

That's not to say that it's been easy putting her music career on hold.

"It was excruciating, completely excruciating," says Smith. "When Jaden was auditioning for 'The Pursuit of Happyness,' my band had just gotten an offer to open for Guns N' Roses in Europe. For me, that was unbelievable. But the choice was: I could be a rock star, or I could be on the set with my son to make sure he was healthy and happy. We all know how that story ended!"

The "HawthoRNe" actress and wife of Will Smith adds that she isn't worried about raising troubled Hollywood kids.

"Let me tell you what I fear most: Them growing up like I did, in a house with drugs in a war zone, where if I walked out my door I could be shot. Hollywood ain't nothing compared to that!" she says. "Growing up in the streets of Baltimore, or the streets of Philly where Will grew up — I'd rather have my kids here. It still makes me nervous that they're part of something that isn't totally real, but it's up to Will and me to teach them what's real and what's not."

Post by:
Filed under: Celebrities • movies • Music

soundoff (93 Responses)


    November 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Trey

    Okay, I'll ask an obvious question: Her husband (and Jaden's dad) was in the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness". Why couldn't he insure his son was "healthy and happy"?

    July 5, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Name

    How can she give up something she never had?

    July 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mick

    Her comments just kinda shows that money and fame don't necessarly make you happy all the time. Though her an Will are in a better place than most. The test for their kids is not now, it's when they hit the late teens when Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan fell apart. Probably no real worries until then. Jada, though, sounds like sounds like she's midlife'ing a bit, though possibly not. Hard to tell from one interview.

    July 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah

    LOL! Is it just me or do all celebrities think their kids are cute and talented, oh wait thats parents in general, well either way if those kids didnt have the parents they did they would not have a shot in hell. Whip my hair and 80s remakes.....yea thats talent

    July 4, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. lola

    How many of you hateful, petty know it alls are lucky enough to be able to stay at home with your children? thought so.

    July 4, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • bb

      huh? Just for the record, Mama Jada does not stay home with the kids, she pimps them out

      July 4, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. PhilG.

    I remember Jada when she used to lighten up the screen with her smile.

    Now she just looks like she wants to smash somone in the face with a brick-ALLTHE TIME..

    July 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Feed Dem Chilren

    Dam Girl, feed dem skinny kids. Dad Wills ears r bigger den both chilren sewd togetter.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kren

    Yep, you are sure teaching them what is real!

    July 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Neal

    It's all about the Benjamins not matter who in the family makes it.

    July 3, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cappy

    Great timing for this article. Many parents are having to sacrifice just so they can put enough food on the table for their children. Not feeling a whole lot of empathy for Jada. Oh, the agony of having to choose between being on a rock tour or a movie set. She seems completely out of touch with reality. So is Redbook magazine if they think their readers are going to be able to relate to her "sacrifices" or whining. Parents make sacrifices every hour of every day, but it's a choice to have children. I temporarily put my career on hold to stay at home with my children. Some days I want to stick my head in the oven, but I know that most families simply can't make ends meet on one income so I shut up and remind myself to be grateful that we can.

    July 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dawn

    WOW! Alot of hating going on here. I'll admit Jada is not the best actress out there, and Yes, marrying Will Smith was the best "meal ticket" she got. However, there are a few actress(s) that are terrible at acting. There is one for example, the pretty lady that won an Academy Award for that movie Monster Ball? Really? But back to Jada Smith, i think she did the right thing by putting her children first. She seems like a well grounded, "real" person and that's what hollywood kids need. Wish them the best!

    July 3, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. MAX


    July 3, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. ambie

    you guys kill me lol jada was heading to be one of the highest paid actors in the biz. and will news flash he already is. it dont matter where you live things happen everywhere i am happy we have atleast two stars who got their heads on straight and are spending time with their kids soing what they all enjoy. its better than most the self obsorbed actors whe do just hire a nanny and say hey take care of my kids. no. they're taking them along with them. think you guys are just hating and need to get over yourselves:)

    July 3, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ariesman

    Hummm??!!! Lots of green-eyed jealousy & hate here! Could it be because: "It ain't you." Blythe Danner, not a really great actress, but as a mother: Gwenyth Paltrow, not a bad job there, sacrifice, maybe. Lindsay Lohan's dad, Micheal or whatever, sacrifice, I think not! Billy Ray Cyrus, well, Myiley has done to bad! Drew Barrymore, Tatum O'Neal, Liza Minnelli, lots of kids of former actors and actresses have been successes and failures. All good parents make sacrifices for their children's goals and dreams to come, at different levels. Stop hatin cause you didn't or couldn't be them! All of their kids are very talented and I wish them well. At $20mm a picture, I don't think Will Smith is a wanna be! Stop being jealous and get a life

    July 3, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  16. mike

    I do not care about what jada has given up.... Think that there kids are annoying especially that daughter who has that song whip it... C'mon man that's not talent that's just a bad song with parents with deep pockets who can pay to have that song played on the radio... Any ways just my thought but I do like some of wills work. They just need to keep their kids out of show business until they are older ...

    July 3, 2011 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
  17. funny

    i am really tired of people with children talking about their sacrifices !!!!!! it was your choice to have them why should you be pat on the back for that its past sickening

    July 3, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  18. maggie

    She cannot even use proper English. "It's up to Will and Me to teach them what's real and what's not"...What are you going to teach them? How to speak like a monkey? It should be "Will and I"....go back to college and learn how to think before you speak. Ughhh...celebrities!!!

    July 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • writermama

      Actually, Maggie, Jada's grammar is fine here. You would say; "It is up to me." Therefore "Will and me" is correct.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • mimi_nef

      You're incorrect.

      Take out "Will and..."

      It's up to me to teach them what's real and what's not. You wouldn't say, "It's up to I to teach them what's real and what's not."

      She's a terrible actress. She will never be famous for anything other than marrying Will Smith.

      However, she, unlike you, speaks proper English.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Trice

      English 101...

      Its up to I. Incorrect
      Its up to me. Correct

      Its up to Will. Correct

      combine the two correct sentences to form one complete sentence.

      Its up to Will and me.

      Perhaps you need to visit your local high school English teacher for clarification. I know will and I sounds good but when coupled with the rest of the statement Will and me is the correct phrasing.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  19. jen

    They are a very beautiful family even though she's a little annoying, think about I and I'm quite sure we all can be at times.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Anita K.

    Who is she kidding? I love her but I think she should stop those nonsense. Did she have any music career? Even her acting is a mess, if you think I am lying just watch a few minutes of any episode of Hawthorne, I just hope it is not going to be renewed for another season. Piece of advice: Take care of your kids and Will because he is the one who made you what you are.

    July 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  21. What Ever

    Since the kids were born, she's acted in almost 20 films and TV shows (which take up ALL your time).

    Oh yeah, she's really given up everything for them. Which she shouldn't have to at all – why should a Mother stop working – but I'm just sick of her whole "I gave up everything" for my kids angle. It's annoying and BS!

    Maybe she didn't get bigger roles along the way simply cause she's not that good

    July 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Diana

    Jaden and Willow are never without one or both of their parents. In Hollywood that's saying a lot and you won't see those disgusting pics of them like with Miley Cyrus when her parents left her alone with Annie Leibovitz. But I do challenge having their kids at those horrible music shows because a lot of those people have serious spiritual problems. Look what happened to Chasity Bono after Cher left her alone with one of her freaky friends when she was a little girl.

    July 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Kat

    some of the comments here are shocking in their ignorance and tastelessness.

    July 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Dee

    I commend you for having your priorities in order...and doing what a lot of mothers do...put some things on the backburner when it comes to our kids.

    Having said that....I saw one of your videos...and I don't think you leaving your "group" was a bad thing.

    July 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Dante

    Why do people say such mean and nasty things?

    July 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  26. CaliforniaUS

    She was and would have been a NOBODY without marrying Wil Smith. Yes Mrs. Smith you can buy yourself a new music career just like you are financing a acting career for you daughter.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Bob

    She chose to have those kids, so why is she complaining? She chose to give up her career.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Real Talker

    Actually, Hollywood is a drugged out war zone. I like Will and Jada, and I agree it is up to them to teach their kids morals and values. Good luck doing that in Hollywood when everything is make believe and people are phonyer than a $3.00 bill. They aren't pimping their kids their giving them an opportunity to be artists. But to say they' would be in danger more in Baltimore (are you kidding me?) or Philly verses Hollywood then she is sadly mistaken. There's more drugs in Hollywood than either places and just because Hollywood has more White Folk doesn't mean it's safer.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      I think it would be safe to assume that they live in a very nice part of Hollywood, and it's up to parents to keep their kids away from the drugs and other vices rampant in that city. Also, I've been to Baltimore and Philadelphia, and there are very bad, unsafe neighborhoods there. I think the woman is qualified to speak about the place where she herself grew up.

      July 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  29. mejazzbo

    In her own mind she gave up a music career. This is the first I've heard she could sing. Maybe, it's more like she is prepping to start a music career now. The Smith's alway have something going on. Good for her!

    July 2, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  30. madhater

    She was really annoying in Back to Paradise!

    July 2, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  31. Bernadette

    People need to stop hating on this women she is there for her kids unlike a ot of other show business parents.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  32. JehseaLynn

    OMG! She needs anti-psychotic meds NOW because Jada is HALLUCINATIN' if she thinks what she attempted even approached "music" or "rock" in any genre. Sadly, I caught her on the Tonight Show doing her self-proclaimed "goth-rock" and I mean, this woman only has ONE NOTE she can get kinda close to hitting. So, naturally, the song "featured" that note. Heavily. When she hit it the first time, my CAT HID and did not return! Yeah, she gave up her music career – I'm with Apples – like Stevie Wonder gave up TV (sorry, Stevie, but American TV is crap anyway!).

    July 2, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  33. CJ

    All three of Wills' and Jada Smith's children are beautiful and talented.What can you stupid a**ed trollers do besides talk about poop?Not a d***ed thing, geeks.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  34. dee

    oh great more spoiled brats in Hollywood, who'd of thunk it.

    July 2, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  35. Destine

    I wonder how many people on here have abandoned their passions for their children, every real parent How do you compare one parents sacrifices with another? You can't. All of the people on here bashing her and their family especially the kids should be ashamed. So many people saying how the kids are going to end up like lohan and such, who's to say your kids are not already at that point if you even have any. If the Smiths weren't rich would you still be saying these things?

    July 2, 2011 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  36. Ronnie

    I used to here that what Will and Jada have achieved was called the American dream , to come from nothing and become something.I'm proud of that family.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
    • sheikwil

      Why is not a problem when Drew Barrymore, Lindsey Lohan, Macauley Caulkin, the Olsen Twins, the kids from Harry Potter Movies, and many more WHITE kids when they were very young and their parents can go out and make money in Hollywood, and be seen everywhere at the Hollywood functions, but when AA parents and their kids do the same thing, they are snobs, self center, all the hateful things you haters have said, then it's a problem. Jada Smith is not as famous as her husband, but she is worth a little over $20 Million Dollars on her own, I think Will is net worth in around $350 Million, Willow has made 10 Million, and Jaden $12 Million, now it's a problem. Why not be happy that people who can make it in those fields that do well, then God Bless them. I have no envy for people, I simply wish the well. I guess some of us are so miserable in our own lives that we are looking for company.

      July 2, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  37. dave nelson

    Gee, i have never heard of a has been actor making the kind of bank will does with nearly every movie he does. Let us not forget the numbers at the box office. Neither will nor his wife pushed their kids into the biz. Has everyone forgotten when will said he would rather his kids stayed out of the hollywood machine? As i recall, that was just after he and his oldest son trey did the video for just the two of us, and will was asked if this was the beginning of a career for trey. Will and jada did, however, let their children choose. And will did not get the role in the movie for his son. He made him audition because that way the boy would learn how difficult it could be to get a job. The casting director and director made the final decision. Learn the facts before you flex your fingers.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  38. Joy

    Since when did helping your kids succeed and achieve their dreams become 'pimping' them out? Has Jaden or Willow ever looked unhappy to you while they're singing and acting? What a bunch of nasty haters! Plenty of parents DON'T sacrifice their own dreams for those of their kids. Kudos to Jada and Will...who as one of the highest paid AND highest grossing actors in Hollywood, is HARDLY a 'wanna be actor'. For the record, it also didn't sound like she was whining or complaining–just stating a fact. Shame on the lot of you.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  39. tiffanni

    ronnie you are the troll i think

    July 1, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Ronnie

    You are all jealous,mean,low self astem trolling azzes STFU.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Blah

    "Let me tell you what I fear most: Them growing up like I did, in a house with drugs in a war zone, where if I walked out my door I could be shot. Hollywood ain't nothing compared to that!"

    That is a double negative. So Hollywood is a drugged out war zone?

    July 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peacemaker

      Actually, Hollywood is a drugged out war zone. I like Will and Jada, and I agree it is up to them to teach their kids morals and values. Good luck doing that in Hollywood when everything is make believe and people are phonyer than a $3.00 bill. They aren't pimping their kids their giving them an opportunity to be artists. But to say they' would in danger more in Baltimore (are you kidding me?) or Philly verses Hollywood then she is mistaken. There's more drugs in Hollywood than either places and just because Hollywood has more White Folk doesn't mean it's safer.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah

      they're their there
      She is acting like she gave up a big sacrfice by not singing. She is living very well so I don't feel bad about her giving up her passion to raise their kids. Why did she need to be on set of Pursuit of Happyness when Will was there too? Did she not trust Will to make sure everything was okay with Jaden? Will was in every scene with Jaden. It could have been a nice bonding experience for father and son with out mom. Of course they are pimping out their kids. Might as well make some money though, nothing wrong with that.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Norvy

    Jada, I think you are adorable, but you had no music career prior to having children. In addition, if you had not married Will Smith, you likely would not be as well known as you are, even though you were part of A Different World's cast. Again, I truly like you, but please be realistic...

    July 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  43. oranges

    I liked Will on "Fresh Prince". He's still a great actor. HOWEVER, he and his family come off like they are American Royalty, and that sickens me.

    July 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  44. ginny

    Sorry but he is a has been which is why they are pushing the kids on us to keep living the way they live and build a school to teach Scientology. Just read that the other day and that he gave the crew on some show or video or something (I guess the star usually gives gifts on a wrap) he gave them a free audit at the Church of Scientology. Wonder how many of them used it ROFLMAO

    July 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Steph

    She can't sing. Her kids aren't cute or talented....I wish all of them but Will went would go away

    July 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Fiona

    Now if only Willow would give up her singing career...
    And LMAO! @ Jaden AUDITIONING for "Pursuit"! Give me a break!

    July 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  47. metalhead

    She gave up on her music career because metalheads didn't buy into her faux metal poser music.
    They did ozzfest, and everybody hated them. After that, nothing. Coincidence? I think not!

    July 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  48. fernace

    I used to love KiKi Dee the singer, who did "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" with sir Elton. But the KeeKeeDee on this blog couldn't have sang that tune, because it appears, mam, that you have no heart! I'm curious what Jada has done to you to foster such anger, or are you just angry in general? Btw, Will was thoroughly divorced, & had to bring Jada some serious woo before she decided to date him. If you're gonna hate, atleast have you're facts straight!!

    July 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  49. fernace

    Wow, so much envy! I say kudos to Jada for putting her kids first. Wicked Wisdom was a rockin' band & every 1 knows rockers don't sing. They scream, howl, burble, screech, growl, & emote with their vocal cords. Mariah Carey sings! Also, I don't understand the premise that celebrities aren't real people with real problems & feelings. The thing I read with all this negativity, is jealous, envious, green eyed monsters bubbling to the surface!!

    July 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • bb

      Maria carey sings???

      July 4, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      Any decent parent is willing to make sacrifices for their children. It is not envy that makes people dislike celebrities that make themselves out to be so special because they do what non celebrities do naturally.

      July 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  50. mary

    Go have an audit at the Scientology center and get over it weirdo and take the family they may send you all to the planet the Thetans come from. Take your pals Jenny Lopez and Marc Antony too.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  51. JJsMom

    Jada, you really didn't give up anything cuz' you n' Will and making LOTS of money with those kids, singing and acting, so nothing really to complain about.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  52. hollywood

    When I saw Will & Jada on Oprah,all they said in the interview...basically"We are the best parents, people, actors,human beings"...etc. I used to like them, I am not a hater, let others judge you, give you a compliment...you all are soooo full of yourselves...until you all get real...you are not good role models...

    July 1, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Confused

    Ummm...did I miss the part where she said something so terrible? lol I mean let me know. Not sure where all the animosity is coming from, maybe somebody can clue me in. Wow...

    July 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • KeeKeeDee

      Have you ever heard the expression, Pride disproportionate to accomlishments? It's offputting. Oh, and pimping out the kids only reaffirmed bad feelings stemming from adulterous affair with Will.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  54. jimmy


    July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  55. LoopsFroot

    Oh Jada....sucks to be you, for real 🙁

    July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  56. KeeKeeDee

    Please go away forever, and kindly take your kids and husband with you. Seriously, pack your bags - all y'all - get in your car, drive until you haven't see humans in like 10 or 12 hours. Thank you. It'll be a good experience, for us. Possibly you, too.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  57. banana

    she had a music career?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Josh

    No she's not like most of us, but I can understand what she's saying.She and husband Will are doing their best to raise good kids in Hollywood.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Snarky

    This woman barely had an acting career to give up, let alone a music career.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Louise

    She married a very wealthy man and had his babies. This was her best move because she can't sing and rock stars are becoming a dime a dozen.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  61. The Måd Ræp3r

    Guns n Roses is a complete joke at this point, why in the name of god anyone would be stoked about opening for them is beyond me.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  62. emjay0325

    BOO HOO. Get over yourself. "Real" parents sacrifice EVERYDAY....you don't wanna sacrifice? Don't have kids. Just sayin'.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Deb

    Funny kids die in LA all the time the difference is Jada in LA YOU'RE RICH in a gated community I bet.......

    July 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  64. apples

    wow what a huge sacrifice she had to make. thats like stevie wonder giving up his television

    July 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Minnie

    Didn't even know she HAD a music career. Seems she is still ++busy, what with TV, movies, PR appearances, parties,etc. etc. and must travel a lot anyways with a herd of nannies and PAs, so what is she trying to say here??

    July 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Måd Ræp3r

      Back in my day trolling meant something...

      July 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lw

      @Takin a Deuce, you have to be living under a rock to think that Will Smith is a "wanna be actor". You are such a hater.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike lowry

      like to see ya'll talkin all that sh!t to Will's face

      July 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arlee

      I hear a huge loud alarm going off here.......I don't know what it is but an alarm is ringing and someone wants us to hear them....what the F is NEVER more appropriate......no kidding, you had kids and gave up something? Holy moly, do you have ANY idea what you are saying? I mean, good lord, please tell me this was misquoted?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.