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Though he originally dreamed of having a music career as a child, actor Nick Cannon found Hollywood success through stand-up comedy. An overall entertainer capable of functioning in several different mediums, Cannon quickly rose up the ranks from warm-up comic to featured performer on the teenage sketch comedy show, "All That" (Nickelodeon, 1994-2005). Only on the show for a year, he nonetheless was a steady presence on the cable station geared for kids, serving as the host of numerous incarnations of "Snick," a programming block that often featured performances by musical guests. Not content with life on the small screen, Cannon ventured into feature films and delivered a good performance as the lead in the surprise hit, "Drumline" (2003). But the young actor failed to capitalize on his acclaimed performance, choosing instead to appear in uninspired offerings like "Love Don't Cost a Thing" (2003) and "The Underclassman" (2005). Despite his multitude of projects, including hosting the popular competition series "America's Got Talent" (NBC, 2006- ), Cannon became most famous for marrying pop star Mariah Carey, and for engaging in a war of words with rapper Eminem, proving that true stardom built upon...
Though he originally dreamed of having a music career as a child, actor Nick Cannon found Hollywood success through stand-up comedy. An overall entertainer capable of functioning in several different mediums, Cannon quickly rose up the ranks from warm-up comic to featured performer on the teenage sketch comedy show, "All That" (Nickelodeon, 1994-2005). Only on the show for a year, he nonetheless was a steady presence on the cable station geared for kids, serving as the host of numerous incarnations of "Snick," a programming block that often featured performances by musical guests. Not content with life on the small screen, Cannon ventured into feature films and delivered a good performance as the lead in the surprise hit, "Drumline" (2003). But the young actor failed to capitalize on his acclaimed performance, choosing instead to appear in uninspired offerings like "Love Don't Cost a Thing" (2003) and "The Underclassman" (2005). Despite his multitude of projects, including hosting the popular competition series "America's Got Talent" (NBC, 2006- ), Cannon became most famous for marrying pop star Mariah Carey, and for engaging in a war of words with rapper Eminem, proving that true stardom built upon his own talents still remained elusive.
Born on Oct. 17, 1980 in San Diego, CA, Cannon was raised by his father, James, a televangelist who hosted a public access show in Charlotte, NC, and his mother, Beth, an accountant. With his parents separated when he was young, Cannon split his time living with his mother and grandmother in California with his father in North Carolina. At eight years old, he began performing music after his grandfather gave him several instruments, which eventually led to him getting into rap music. But his budding music career was put on hold for a bit when he began to act, which started by performing stand-up comedy on his father's public access show when he was 11 years old. Just a few years later, a teenage Cannon moved to Los Angeles, where he continued to perform stand-up comedy at some of the industry's most revered clubs, including The Improv, The Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory. Meanwhile, he segued back into music, forming the rap group Da Bomb Squad with an old friend and opening for such acts as Will Smith and 98 Degrees.
Cannon eventually caught the attention of Nickelodeon executives and was hired as an audience warmer for the Nickelodeon series, "All That," a weekly sketch comedy show that also featured musical acts and was geared for older kids. He soon graduated to become a regular during the show's sixth season and later became the co-host of Nickelodeon's "All That Musical Festival and More" tour. After traveling to some 47 cities for the tour, he signed on to co-host Nickelodeon's "Snick House" (1992-2004), a two hour programming block that was revamped from the cable station's original "Snick." Each week, Cannon played host to the station's shows while introducing a new musical act or celebrity that was making an appearance. In 2000, he jumped over to host the more music-based programming block, "TEENick," while making his feature debut with a small role in the romantic comedy, "Whatever It Takes." Following another small role in the hit sequel, "Men in Black II" (2002), Cannon had a breakout role as the star of "The Nick Cannon Show" (Nickelodeon, 2001-03), on which he also served as creator and executive producer.
Though already well on his way, Cannon was propelled into stardom with a starring role in the surprise hit feature, "Drumline" (2003). In this coming-of-age tale centered in the world of showstyle marching bands, Cannon played Devon, a drummer from Harlem with a chip on his shoulder, who earns a scholarship to a fictional Atlanta university. Though his brash attitude rubs the band director (Orlando Jones) and drumline captain (Leonard Roberts) the wrong way, Devon is given the chance to display his incredible talent, but must learn how to be part of a team. The "Drumline" was a surprise hit, making over $56 million at the box office against its modest budget, while earning steady kudos from critics. Off the success of "Drumline," Cannon began landing more roles in feature films. In "Love Don't Cost a Thing" (2003), a remake of "Can't Buy Me Love" (1987), he played an egghead teenager dedicated to his studies while building an engine that will get him into college. But when the school's popular girl (Christina Milian) wrecks her mom's Escalade, the übergeek hatches a plan that forces her to be his girlfriend for two weeks while he repairs the damaged vehicle. Despite the charm of the two leads, the flimsy romantic comedy fell flat with audiences and critics alike.
After releasing his first studio album Nick Cannon (2003) and voicing Louis in "Garfield" (2004), Cannon waxed poetic as a Thoreau-quoting assistant to a private investigator (Richard Jenkins) in the dance-themed romantic comedy, "Shall We Dance?" (2004). Cannon then concocted the idea for "The Underclassman" (2005), a by-the-book yawner about a maverick cop (Cannon) whose youthful looks allow him to go undercover at an elite private high school after a student turns up murdered. Back on the small screen, he starred in "Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'N' Out" (MTV, 2005-07), a sketch comedy show in the style of "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" that also gave him the opportunity to direct. He next voiced characters in the animated features "The Adventures of Brer Rabbit" (2006) and "Monster House" (2006), while having a more serious role in "Bobby" (2006), an ensemble drama from Emilio Estevez about the night Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The following year, he starred in and executive produced "Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz" (MTV, 2007), a short-lived sketch comedy show that was canceled after eight episodes due to poor ratings.
Trying hard to boost his credibility as a dramatic actor, Cannon starred as a 19-year-old who tries to tie up the loose ends of his life before being shipped off to the Iraq War in "American Son" (2008), an independent drama that screened at the Sundance Film Festival. While continuing to ingratiate himself to a wider audience, Cannon - who had previously been in romantic entanglements with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Selita Ebanks - made surprising news when it became public that he and singer-diva Mariah Carey, 11 years his senior, had married. With suspicion and rumors flying that they were engaged, the couple were married at Windermere Island in the Bahamas in a small, private and apparently impulsive ceremony on April 30, 2008. Meanwhile, as Cannon continued to remain ubiquitous on screens both big and small, including a return to the newly revamped "TEENick" in 2009 and as host of season four of the hit show "America's Got Talent," he engaged in a battle of words with rapper Eminem. In his song "Bagpipes from Baghdad," Eminem boated that he had been romantically involved with Carey and demanded Cannon to step aside, because he wanted her back. Cannon retaliated in a blog post on his own site, denying such a relationship ever occurred and that Eminem was obsessed with his wife. The callouts and retaliations continued throughout the summer of 2009, with Carey herself joining in the act with lyrics from her own album, all of which did little more than to boost the public profiles of all three involved.
On a far more positive note, Cannon and Carey surprised the public once again in October 2010 when they joyfully announced that Carey was pregnant. After the couple revealed that she had previously suffered a miscarriage shortly after their wedding, fans nervously awaited the child's arrival with cautious optimism. Any fears were relieved when the couple became the proud parents of fraternal twins Moroccan Scott and Monroe Cannon - born on their parents' wedding anniversary, April 30, 2011. Not long after being seen as a recurring character in several episodes of the sitcom "Up All Night" (NBC, 2011- ), Cannon was hospitalized in early January 2012 for what was described as "mild kidney failure." A photo posted by Carey on her website the next day showed the devoted diva comforting a hospital bed-ridden Cannon. In February the list of mysterious ailments grew to include two blood clots in Cannon's lung. Then, after weeks of silence, a healthier looking Cannon reemerged and disclosed the nature of the illness - a random "auto-immune disease," similar to Lupus, a condition no one else in Cannon's family had previously suffered from. Stating that the condition was manageable, Cannon prepared to move forward, with his priorities now set firmly on health and family.
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"I don't want anyone to pigeonhole me. I would love to work with someone like Denzel Washington or Will Smith, but I also want to work alongside people like Tom Hanks and Robin Williams."-Cannon
"Nick has a self-deprecating quality that makes him very attractive to women, and the kind of guy every dude wants to hang out with. In a nutshell, my dawg Nick is the future." -Will Smith People January 20, 2003
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