Today in history, Fish Mooney, Lyric, Niobe, and many other characters you love rushed into the world in Baltimore, Maryland, taking the form of Jada Pinkett Smith. The word multi-hyphenate is created for artists like Smith, so today we celebrate some of her best (and sometimes surprising) turns.
Playing Peaches in 'A Low Down Dirty Shame' (1994)
'A Low Down Dirty Shame' is the film Smith considers her breakout role, playing an ex-con-turned-detctive's-assistant Peaches. Her skills are limitless and include wheeling trojan-housekeeping carts into the middle of drug deals, knowing that singing James Brown wards off dog attacks, and a mean right hook. She remains the most badass figure in cinema named after produce.
Her band, Wicked Wisdom (2005- )
As the matriarch of a family known for their penchant for gettin’ jiggy wit it, her foray into music was at the helm of a heavy metal band called Wicked Wisdom. Their 2006 album made it to Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart and peaked at 44 in March of that year. The band was blessed by heavy metal mogul Sharon Osbourne who said Smith’s performance “blew [her] away,” and they played Ozzfest in 2005.
Playing Lisa in 'Girls Trip' (2017)
Despite being believable uttering lines like “automobiles are polluting monstrosities” in True Colors, Smith doesn’t seem like a bummer of a person. Lisa Cooper in Girls Trip makes you question everything you think you know, though, when she shows up to New Orleans for a good time wearing “hand stitched embroidery from Guatemala.” A huge hit with audiences and critics, Girls Trip is a modern classic for the zip-lining-while-urinating scene alone.
Her book, 'Girls Hold Up This World' (2005)
Smith’s first book for young readers contains vibrant photography illustrating the empowering message that “every color, shape, and size, we’re united by beauty inside.” It is the recipient of NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Children’s Literature. You can get copy here.
Her series, 'Red Table Talk' (2018- )
In its second season on Facebook Watch, the show hosted by Smith includes three generations of her family discussing topics where honesty is a must. It has received an Emmy nomination as a reward for the courage displayed by Smith when she makes eye contact with her daughter and asks her what she thinks about monogamy (scream emoji).
Happy birthday, Jada Pinkett Smith!