Will Smith Performs New Song 'You Can Make It' at 2024 BET Awards

Will Smith took the stage at the 2024 BET Awards for the first performance of his new single, 'You Can Make It.'

Will Smith made his musical return in a big way at Sunday's BET Awards!

The Oscar winner and four-time GRAMMY winner, 55, took the stage alongside collaborators Fridayy and Sunday Service for the first performance of his new single, "You Can Make It," and got the crowd on their feet with the intense new track.

Before Smith hit the stage, his voice rang out through the theater as he introduced his inspiring track with a powerful ethos, "I don't know who needs to hear this right now, but whatever's going on in your life, I'm here to tell you you can make it."

The track feels deeply personal for Smith and shares a message of universal hope aimed at those struggling with hopelessness and distress.

"You are in the smoke and the fire / Tight rope on the wires / I see you're broken and tired / And all your hope is expired," Smith rapped in the opening verse. "So many tests for the flesh / Exhausted, gasping to catch your breath / Walking through the valley of the shadow of death / And when you think you've got nothing left, keep going."

Surrounded by a ring of fire -- and later showered in rain -- Smith rapped his track with a fiery passion that was amplified by Sunday Service and special guest Kirk Franklin, who joined Smith on stage to help deliver the powerful message behind the impactful new song.

Will Smith performs onstage at the the 2024 BET Awards at Peacock Theater on June 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. - Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty Images

After kicking off his solo music career in 1997 with the "Men in Black" theme song, Smith's first two solo albums -- Big Willie Style and Willennium -- both went platinum multiple times over. He later took a step back to focus on acting, with his last major music releases as a lead artist coming when he covered "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" as part of the soundtrack for the live-action Aladdin remake in 2019.

"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," shared Connie Orlando, BET's EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, in a press release announcing the performance. "We look forward to Will adding to yet another defining night for the culture that is not to be missed."

Smith joined a stacked slate of live performers at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, California -- including Lauryn Hill, YG Marley, Ice Spice, Tyla, GloRilla, Latto, Muni Long, Sexyy Red, Shaboozey and Victoria Monét.

Meanwhile, Taraji P. Henson was back to host the annual awards show for the third time.

This year, the BET Awards paid special tribute to Usher, who will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement BET Award. The "Love in this Club" singer, 45, will join a celebrated list of game-changers and industry pioneers who have left a lasting impact on the culture and entertainment. 

The 2024 BET Awards, hosted by Taraji P. Henson, airs live on the BET channel from the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 30, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the complete winners list here.