Jada Pinkett Smith (born Jada Koren Pinkett on September 18, 1971) is an American actress and singer. She was born to Robson Pinkett Jr. and Adrienne Banfield in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father was a contractor and her mother was a nurse. They divorced after only a few months of marriage. She majored in dance and choreography at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where she met fellow classmate Tupac Shakur. She then spent a year at the North Carolina School of the Arts before dropping out to pursue her career in acting. Smith is a prominent member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the oldest historically black collegiate sorority.
Her big break came in 1991 when she was cast in the part of a college freshman on the NBC television sitcom A Different World (1987), a spin-off of The Cosby Show. She made her feature film debut two years later in Menace II Society (1993). She did not gain widespread recognition, however, until her role opposite Eddie Murphy in the remake of The Nutty Professor (1996). In addition to being in front of the camera, she has spent time behind it, directing music videos. She has also created "Maja," a line of women's T-shirts and dresses that are mostly sold through small catalogs.
Pinkett-Smith married actor Will Smith on December 31, 1997, and together they have a son, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born July 8, 1998); and a daughter, Willow Camille Reign Smith (born October 31, 2000). She is also stepmother to Smith's son from a previous marriage, Willard "Trey" Smith III (born 1992). Jada has publicly referred to Trey as her bonus son.
Jada is also currently involved as the vocalist in a Nu-Metal / Rapcore band called Wicked Wisdom, which released a self-titled debut album on February 21, 2006. The band also toured Ozzfest in the summer of 2005 as part of the second stage lineup.