Algee Smith is an American actor and singer. One of the recent stars to emerge out of the Disney stable, he is proving himself to be equally successful in both acting and singing. A native of Michigan, Smith moved to Atlanta along with his family when he was eight years old. The rich culture of the city deeply influenced him and at nine, he recorded his first rap song. Smith made his acting debut in 2012 in the sitcom ‘How to Rock’. He followed that up with appearances in shows, such as ‘Army Wives’, ‘Earth to Echo’, and ‘Complications’. In 2012, he landed the role of Da Boss in the Disney musical television film ‘Let It Shine’. He portrayed American contemporary R&B singer Ralph Tresvant in the biographical miniseries ‘The New Edition Story’. In June 2017, he put out his debut extended play, ‘Listen EP’, through Access Records. He has also contributed the track ‘Grow’ to the soundtrack of the 2017 film ‘Detroit’.
Algee Smith made his acting debut in 2012 in Nickelodeon's teen sitcom ‘How to Rock’. He played the character Spencer, appearing in the pilot ‘How to Rock Braces and Glasses’. That year, he also guest-starred as Sam in the season six episode ‘Casualties’ of Lifetime’s drama series ‘Army Wives’.
His role in the musical television film ‘Let It Shine’ played a major part in boosting his career. This was his first work with Disney and he was cast as Da Boss, a substantial role in the film. It gave him the opportunity to demonstrate both his acting and musical capabilities.
Smith made his big screen debut in 2014, in the found footage science fiction film ‘Earth to Echo’. He played Marcus Simms, one of the secondary characters. In 2015, he was cast in the recurring role of Theo in USA Network’s drama-thriller ‘Complications’. He was cast as Rae in Mykelti Williamson’s directorial venture ‘Sons 2 the Grave’ and played an uncredited role in Samuel L. Jackson-starrer ‘Barely Lethal’.
In 2016, he appeared in the television film ‘The Infamous’ and guest-starred as Warren in TV One’s ‘Here We Go Again’ and as E.J. in Bounce TV’s soap opera ‘Saints & Sinners’.
He began 2017 with a bang, landing the role of Ralph Tresvant in ‘The New Edition Story’. John Eley, Smith’s stepfather, had worked with Tresvant for years and helped Smith prepare for the role. The miniseries premiered on 24 January on BET Network and aired till 26 January. It garnered both great ratings and positive reviews. Smith, starring in his first major role, did a remarkable job, even matching his vocals to Tresvant’s.
His next project was the 2017 period crime drama ‘Detroit’, in which he was cast as Larry Reed, the lead singer of a professional black R&B group. He also sang the track ‘Grow’ for the soundtrack of the film. ‘Detroit’ accumulated critical praise for its script, direction, and performances.
In early 2018, he guest-starred in an episode of Channel 4’s science fiction anthology series ‘Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams’. He also reprised the role of Ralph Tresvant in the biographical musical drama ‘The Bobby Brown Story’. Smith is set to appear in the upcoming drama film ‘The Hate U Give’.
Smith is working on a parallel career as a musician. He put out his debut single ‘She Say’ in 2013. On June 22, 2017, he released his first extended play ‘Listen EP’ through Access Records.
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Algee Smith was born on November 7, 1994, in Saginaw, Michigan to Algee Smith III and Tanesha Eley. His mother, who is a fashion designer, later married musician John Eley, with whom she raised Smith. However, his biological father is still part of his life. He has a sister named Soteria.
As a child, Smith enrolled at Early Head Start and Kempton Elementary but soon left to be homeschooled. He fell in love with performing quite early in his life. When he was eight years old, he and his family relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. He returned for a brief period in 2001 only to go back to Atlanta in the following year. Smith presently lives in Los Angeles, California.
His life in Atlanta had a profound effect on him. He was already influenced by his stepfather and music was gradually becoming important to him. He has stated that living and working in the city helped him “perfect my craft”. At nine, he recorded his first ever rap song and seven years later, at 16, he received an offer to participate in the Radio Disney's ‘Next Big Thing’ competition. Algee has cited Will Smith as one of his inspirations.