Jada Pinkett Smith sobs during star-studded 50th birthday surprise on Red Table Talk where Mariah Carey and George Clooney join celeb tributes
Jada Pinkett Smith was left sobbing at her star-studded surprise 50th birthday bash on her show Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk.
Her co-hosts - her daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris - had pulled out the stops for her special day.
Adrienne joked that 'I hate even saying' that her daughter is 50, and Jada quipped: 'I know, your baby's 50! How crazy is that?'
George vamped in his speech: 'Now they tell me that you're turning 50, which that's not possible because that would mean that I'm 60 and that's not possible. So you're 39 - happy 39th - and I'm 49. I like that a lot better.'
To roars of laughter from the hostesses George asked how Jada stands being married to her movie star husband Will Smith.
In a serious answer to his question Jada stressed the importance of 'friendship' with her husband, noting that 'really how do you put up with anybody?'
She added: 'And once you learn how to put up with yourself you really learn how to put up with all others,' stressing taking 'the time to learn how to love myself.'
Kerry Washington was next to ask her a question: 'So I think of you as such a deeply, deeply courageous person, so my question for you is do you have any fears that you're looking to conquer in this next decade of your being on this planet?'
Jada cited the 'uncertain' position of 'the world' and raised the need to do away with her 'control issues,' adding that the 'greatest gift' of age was letting things go.
Gabrielle Union then asked: 'What is one place that you've traveled in your lifetime that changed your world perspective, that changed you somehow?'
'Vietnam,' said Jada. 'I went there by myself. I got an opportunity to meet one of my mentors which is Thich Nhat Hanh' - a world-famous Buddhist activist monk.
'He was ill, you know, but I got to give him honor and be in his presence. It is a gorgeous place. The spiritual rejuvenation that I got there was - I didn't wanna leave. You can really feel that energy there. It was such a magical experience,' she said.
Angela Bassett shared her hopes for Jada to have 'a happy birthday and a happy forever,' then asked: 'What has been the most difficult thing for you to overcome?'
Her appearance marked the first time Jada found herself in tears as she said how much 'love' she has for Angela.
Willow said one of her 'favorites' of the tough obstacles her mother conquered was 'dealing with' her and her brother Jaden as youngsters.
'We were not easy children,' said Willow but Jada said: 'You actually were,' noting: 'Raising children, I don't care who they are, that's challenging.'
She said: 'Being a mother is challenging, you know, because you sacrifice a lot but I tell you what, sacrificing for you guys was sacred. There's a difference between sacrifices that actually empower your life versus sacrifice that steal life, that pull - that pull breath out of your life - and I had to learn the difference between the two.'
Although the experience of bringing up her children she said that her children had been 'the greatest gift of my life,' and broke down crying as Willow comforted her.
'You and Trey and Jaden, all three of you see me,' she said - notably including Will's son Trey from his first wife Sheree Zampino.
'You really do, through the toughest times. I would say being a mother wasn't easy but it was worth it,' she said through tears.
She also acknowledged: 'I would say another challenge was smoothing out my thoughts around the relationship with Sheree and I. That was a real process.'
Although they sniped at one another in the beginning they now share 'a real sisterhood - but it took 20-some years.'
Mariah Carey materialized onscreen via video-call to wish Jada 'a happy birthday or as I call them happy anniversary!'
Ciara then appeared to gush: 'You are timeless, you are ageless, you are classic, you are the epitome of the ultimate woman.'
Jimmy Kimmel said: 'If there's one thing I've learned over my 53 years on this planet earth it's that when you eat yogurt, you know, the fruit's on the bottom but it really should be on the top. Happy birthday, Jada.'
Bethenny Frankel, who happens to also be 50 years old herself, video-called Jada to in Willow's words 'welcome you to the club.'
'Fifty feels liberating,' said Bethenny. 'You just value time differently. You just want to only really do the things the are important, that mean something to you.'
Jada concurred: 'I wasted too much time. I gots to get it poppin'. I'm just focusing on the relationships that are really important.'
Then her close friend Lauren London delivered a speech calling the birthday girl 'my spiritual, sacred sister' and 'a blessing in human form.'
Lauren asked Jada about her inspirations to which Jada told her daughter and mother about the 'healing' she and her friend underwent together.
She began crying again when discussing her bond with Lauren and then revealed her inspiration: 'The Great Supreme. My journey to find a relationship with the Great Divine has been long, you know.'
She added: 'And now that I've found it and really I found a gate that really works for me, that's where all my inspiration comes from and it's changed my life for the better, and it's just been a beautiful journey, through and through.'
Tia Mowry then asked her 'advice' on 'raising children in the industry,' to which Jada told Willow: 'I really tried to keep you guys in understanding that you're really privileged and that you gotta use your privilege to help people who are not.'
Jada told Adrienne: 'I would physically take them to the orphanage so they could see: "Not every child lives like you do."'
She added to Willow: 'I wanted you guys to work early and I thought that was a good idea because you guys understood early the value of money and things, you know, and you understood that it didn't just come out the sky.'
Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer fawned over Jada as 'a rare black diamond, strong, beautiful and illuminating.'
Beyonce's mother Tina Lawson called Red Table Talk 'something that was so critical, so badly needed and the most magnificent gift to the world.'
Gloria Estefan, who hosts a spin-off of Red Table Talk with her daughter and niece, joined them for their own musical tribute to Jada.
Samuel L. Jackson sweetly asked the birthday girl: 'How can someone as diminutive as you fill up a room the way you do?'
Trevor Noah put his own inquiry: 'You talk about how you and Will had to learn about inspiring each other's happiness but not being each other's happiness. So how do you know when you're expecting Will to make you happiness and how do you know when Will is adding to your happiness that you've already created?'
Jada replied that 'you know when you're outta pocket when you are looking for someone to bring you a sense of joy. When you have your own happiness within, you have more understanding that A, nobody owes you anything, and B, that anything anyone decides to offer you is a gift.'
Missy Elliott's question for the birthday girl was 'what you gonna leave behind' and stop 'tolerating' after hitting the age of 50.
'I'm just not tolerating nonsense from myself,' said Jada noting that 'I think I spent a lot of my life playing victim, right? And yeah, people do things to you, there's no doubt about that, but you have the power to make the decision on how you're going to move through what is happening to you.'
She went on: 'You wanna sit there and start pointing fingers at everybody all the time and staying victim, well now you're giving your power away.'
Jada 'had to look at every piece of pain' in her life and ask herself: 'What part did you play in that? Because at the end of the day pretty much everything you bring into your life, you invited it - except for people victimized when it comes to physical assault and physical abuse, you know, all that kinda stuff.'
Michael Strahan, who will be 50 in two months, said he was 'right there with ya' and asked what she wished 'you know when you were younger.'
'I'd tell younger Jada to be a little bit more nice,' she replied. 'I was very edgy. I really had a big chip on my shoulder. My attitude was like: "I'm not the one."'
'That edginess kept you safe, 'cause you didn't have people coming at you with the nonsense,' Adrienne insisted to her.
But Jada maintained that she was 'really mean,' remembering that Warren Beatty whom 'I love' once approached her to work with her and said: 'You know, Jada, it wouldn't hurt you just to be a tad more kind.'
Adrienne only recently realized to her astonishment that her daughter never really aspired to stardom in the way her husband did.
Jada revealed that Will was similarly perplexed by her attitude and the fact she did not share his desire to be 'number one.'
Lena Waithe called Jada 'such an amazing spirit' and thanked her for 'making me want to live a happy and joyful life, not just a productive one.'
MC Lyte said: 'We have all been just rooting and waiting for you to get to the 50 club, so welcome, welcome, welcome!'
Duane Martin reflected on 30 birthdays they have spent together and wondered: 'What do get somebody that's got everything?' revealing he eventually decided to gift her a red, white and blue wig 'from the Wonder Woman collection.'
Jada remembered that Duane 'was one of the first people I met when I came to LA, so he met me when I was 18. Yeah, that's my dude.'
Meagan Good asked: 'You said that everything changed when you turned 40, so what advice do you have for this woman who has just turned 40?'
Adrienne and Jada both agreed - having now experienced both birthdays - that 40 was a much more difficult milestone than 50.
'When you're turning 40 don't make any drastic changes,' Jada advised. 'Just sit with it for a minute. I just remember at 40 feeling like: "What the hell?" I hit a wall. I was like: "What do you want?" and I didn't know, I couldn't answer the question. Make sure you can answer the question. That's the first step.'
'Jada, Will jumped out of a helicopter on his 50th,' said Arsenio Hall in his birthday message. 'What's on your bucket list?'
Jada said that 'I absolutely have a bucket list' but it is 'not physical' and it involves 'really understanding what love is.'
Method Man looked dashing as ever as he arrived on the set in person and shared a warm hug with Jada before presenting her with her gift.
Jada opened up the massive gold gift box to reveal a matching gold pair of roller blades that had her squealing with joy: 'You hooked a sister up!'
Method Man revealed that he reached his stunning fitness in his 40s after embarking on a journey of self-improvement and asking what he could 'control,' arriving at the answer that his figure was up to him to fix 'so let's do that.'
He then saw a picture of Adrienne looking chiseled as a result of her own fitness regimen and concluded it was 'never to late' to get an incredible body.
Jada then wound up shrieking with happiness as Jaden and Trey arrived to wish her a happy birthday - accompanied by several cakes.
The birthday girl was shown to her thrown where Jaden gave a speech - following by an appearance from Toni Braxton who serenaded a tearful Jada.