Nick Cannon Credits Will Smith With Career Success

Nick Cannon says Will Smith has been mentoring him for decades.

(AllHipHop News) Nick Cannon owes his professional victories to Will Smith because the superstar has been a "hands-on" mentor from the very beginning.

The "Drumline" actor first met Will when he was a teenage member of rap group Da G4 Dope Bomb Squad, which used to open concerts for the Summertime hitmaker.

Smith quickly took the young Nick under his wing.

They have remained close ever since, and the 37-year-old entertainer is forever grateful for Will's friendship and guidance.

"The person I've connected with the most, who has taught me the most and established so much for me in this business, was probably Will Smith," Nick told syndicated columnist Allison Kugel.

"I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for that guy. His hands-on approach and being a big brother and a friend early on in my career was everything. He gave me my first record deal, he gave me my first television deal, and it's the way he leads by example. Will is the most successful, nicest, most inspiring person you'd ever want to meet."