Will Smith Accepts Generation Award at MTV Movie Awards: Watch

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV
Will Smith accepts the MTV Generation award from actresses Halle Berry and Queen Latifah onstage during the 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, Calif. 

"When MTV first gave me this Generation Award, I thought it was code for the old-ass dude award."

Will Smith was first introduced to the MTV audience in the late '80s with his rap career as the Fresh Prince. Then he made his way into America's living rooms on his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air TV show. But for the past 21 years -- since his breakout role in 1995, as Mike Lowery in Bad Boys -- Smith has been best-known as an A-list movie star, and this weekend, he was honored with the Generation Award at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards.

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"When MTV first gave me this Generation Award, I thought it was code for the 'old-ass dude award,'" Smith joked Saturday night at the pre-taped show, which aired Sunday night (April 10) on MTV. "I released my first record when I was 17, and this June marks 30 years in this business for me."

Before Smith hit the stage, The Lonely Island performed a medley of his biggest rap hits, including "Parents Just Don't Understand," "Summertime" and "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It." Queen Latifah then paid tribute to her friend and one-time Fresh Prince co-star. "He is the first rapper to break into movies and become an international superstar and the king of huge blockbuster movies, and we all have to thank him for opening up that door," Latifah said. Finally, Halle Berry hit the stage to announce a highlight reel of Smith's many huge roles. "With every performance, you see his soul," she said.

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Smith clearly took his Golden Popcorn to heart. "I'm dedicated to being a light in this world," he said. "There's so much suffering in this world ... I just want you to know I am dedicated till I die to light and to love."

 

The Generation Award was first given to Tom Cruise back in 2005; last year, Robert Downey Jr. took it home.