Nick Cannon Biography

Television Actor, Film Actor, Actor, Game Show Host, Comedian, Musician(1980–)
Nick Cannon, known for his longtime hosting role on 'America's Got Talent' and his marriage to Mariah Carey, acts in, directs and produces various television, film and music projects.

Who Is Nick Cannon?

Born on October 8, 1980, in San Diego, California, Nick Cannon has taken on almost every facet of show business. He's acted, done stand-up, hosted television and radio programs, made music and has written, directed and produced entertainment projects. Cannon served as host of the TV reality competition America's Got Talent from 2009 to 2017, and was married to singer Mariah Carey during that period.

Early Life

Nicholas Scott Cannon was born on October 8, 1980, in San Diego, California, to parents James Cannon, a televangelist, and Beth Hackett, an accountant. His parents separated when he was young, so he grew up shuttling between California and North Carolina. 

At the age of 8, Nick Cannon got the performance bug after his grandfather gave him several musical instruments. Soon after, he switched from music to stand-up comedy when he was invited to perform on his father's public access show. It wasn't long before a teenage Cannon was working well-known comedy clubs.

TV and Film Career

The rising star's big break came when warming up audiences on Nickelodeon's All That. The producers, recognizing Cannon's talent and appeal, put him on camera as a cast regular and a writer. At age 17, he became the youngest staff writer in television history for his work on the young sketch comedy series. Before he knew it, he was directing, producing and starring in Nickelodeon's The Nick Cannon Show, before moving onto MTV's improv series, Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'N Out. The latter series, running from 2005 to '07, was one of MTV's most successful, later returning to the small screen in 2013 on MTV2. Cannon also joined America's Got Talent in 2009, serving as its host until 2017.

The actor transitioned into movies, earning a small appearance in Men in Black II in 2002. That same year, Cannon got his first lead role in a film, starring as Devon Miles in Drumline. Other flicks followed, including Shall We Dance (2004), Roll Bounce (2005) and Bobby (2006). His role in Bobby garnered a nod from the Screen Actors Guild in 2007, and made Cannon the first African American to be honored with the Breakthrough Actor of the Year Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cannon later earned a recurring role in the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and starred in Spike Lee's Chi-Raq (2015). In 2017, he announced he would produce, direct and star in She Ball, about a group of women's basketball players who band together to save a community center.

Music Career

While establishing his acting career, Cannon released a self-titled album in 2003. He's also collaborated with other big names on various music projects, including Kanye West, P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige and R. Kelly. Because of his strong musical ties, he was a natural as host of the nationally syndicated radio show Cannon's Countdown. After the radio show's premiere in 2011, Cannon decided to leave the Top 40 countdown two years down the line.

In recent years, Cannon has released a pair of mixtapes, as well as his second studio album, White People Party Music (2014).

Business and Charity

On top of entertaining, Cannon is involved in several entrepreneurial and charitable endeavors. He runs the multimedia company NCcredible Entertainment, which launches TV, film, music and merchandising projects. Cannon also serves as CEO of the teen magazine Celebrity High and chairman of the TeenNick network. Despite juggling so much, Cannon still donates much of his time to charitable organizations in addition to running his own charity, the Nicholas Scott Cannon Foundation.

Personal Life

On April 30, 2008, Cannon—27 years old at the time—married singer Mariah Carey, 11 years his senior. Three years later, the couple welcomed fraternal twins Moroccan Scott and Monroe Cannon. As a family man, funny man and business man, Cannon still had to keep an eye on his health, especially after having a scare in 2012 with mild kidney failure caused by a rare form of lupus. Cannon said his wife was the best medicine during this crisis. "She's so great and so nurturing," he told Good Morning America. "I call her Dr. Carey."

In August 2014, after six years of marriage, Cannon and Carey called it quits. Cannon issued a statement saying the couple had been living apart for several months.

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