Early life and career beginnings
Jeffrey Allen Townes was born on January 22, 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Early on, he developed a reputation and a following as a school and Block party DJ.
He was ten years old when he first became interested in being a DJ. He told author Paul Stenning, "At summer time block parties I wouldn't be the one dancing, I was sat where the DJ was set up, watching him. Even when I would go to other block parties in other neighborhoods I was still infatuated with the DJ. He was the guy that played music that everyone in the neighborhood loved. You might not have known his face, you might not have known his name but he was the guy that made everyone move."
He took the stage name DJ Jazzy Jeff and was one half of the duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince along with Will Smith. The group received the first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989 for "Parents Just Don't Understand", though their most successful single was "Summertime" which earned the group their second Grammy and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.