‘Bel-Air’: Who is Coco Jones from the ‘Fresh Prince’ Revival Series?

Peacock released the entire cast for the new reboot series Bel-Air, based on the classic 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Coco Jones joined the remaining eight actors in the highly-anticipated revival. She is best known for her breakout role on Disney’s Let It Shine. The singer/songwriter will play Hilary Banks, who Karyn Parsons portrayed in the original show. Here is an inside look into the young actor for some who aren’t familiar with the former Disney star.

Coco Jones wearing a brown topped dress with gold earrings.
Coco Jones | Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Harmony Social Services

Coco Jones got her start on Disney

Trevor Jackson, Coco Jones, and Tyler James Williams singing onstage in Disney's 'Let It Shine.'
Trevor Jackson, Coco Jones, and Tyler James Williams | Matt Petit/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Coco Jones, born Courtney Jones, was born in Columbia, South Carolina. She started singing from a young age. At the age of nine, she met with casting directors at Disney and later competed on Radio Disney. She became known for performing the song “Real You.” She went on to guest star in the Disney Channel television series, So Random! 

Soon after, Jones booked the lead role in the Disney movie, Let It Shine – she starred alongside Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), Trevor Jackson (Grown-ish), Courtney B. Vance (Lovecraft Country), and R&B duo Chloe x Halle. The Disney Channel Original Movie achieved massive success, bringing in approximately 5.7 million viewers.

After Disney, Jones signed a record deal with Hollywood Records. Her debut single titled “Holla at the DJ” premiered on Radio Disney. In 2014, Jones was dropped from the record label and became an independent artist. Since then, she has made song covers on TikTok and Youtube. 

The former Disney star joins ‘Bel-Air’ cast 

Coco Jones announced on Instagram that she joined the cast of Bel-Air. She wrote: “Thank you to my Family + Team. Y’all push me to keep going when I’m discouraged. Y’all see in me what I see in myself (on my good days). Thank you, God, for this opportunity.”

Alongside Jones, Adrian Holmes will play Phillip Banks, Cassandra Freeman will portray Vivian Banks, Olly Sholotan will be Carlton Banks, and Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks. Jimmy Akingbola will play the Banks family butler Geoffrey, Jordan L. Jones portrays Will’s best friend, Jazz, and Simone Joy Jones plays Lisa. Lastly, newcomer Jabari Banks will perform the role of Will in the series.

‘Bel-Air’ gives a modern take on the comedy sitcom

Bel-Air gives a modern, darker take on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Written and directed by Morgan Cooper, the trailer debuted on social media in 2019 and soon went viral – it caught the attention of Will Smith and inspired him to turn the story into a reboot series. The show will follow the same premise as the original series but will delve more into topics the 90s sitcom didn’t cover.

The original sitcom followed Will, an inner-city teenager born and raised in West Philadelphia. After getting in a fight at the local playground, his mother sends him to live with his aunt and uncle in their Bel-Air mansion. The 90s sitcom launched Smith’s career, making him a household name. 

On Aug. 31, Smith told newcomer Jabari Banks over video call that he secured the role of Will. “From the deepest parts of my heart, I want to say congratulations to you. You have the role of Will on Bel-Air,” Smith told Banks.

“I’m ready, I’m so ready to bite down,” Banks told the actor, explaining that his father showed him the Bel-Air trailer and led him to audition. He shared the opportunity was a “dream come true.”

“You have a fantastic road ahead of you, and I’m looking forward to being an asset for you in this process as you build out your life and your career,” Smith reassured the young actor, telling him to “go have some fun.”

Bel-Air is expected to premiere on Peacock in 2022.

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