Multi-talented teen star Nick Cannon was born in San Diego, CA, in 1980. He was introduced to the entertainment industry as a dancer on Soul Train and as a standup comedian in Los Angeles. Like many of his teen-star brethren, Cannon quickly found a home on the Nickelodeon cable channel. During the 1998 season, he joined the cast of the teen sketch comedy show All That. During this time, he could be seen all over the channel, from Snick show host to series writer on Cousin Skeeter and Kenan & Kel. Also a songwriter and rapper, Cannon's cover of "Parents Just Don't Understand" (originally recorded by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince) appeared on the soundtrack to the Nickelodeon animated feature Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. After a few bit parts in the feature films Whatever It Takes and Men in Black II, he got ready to make his media breakthrough in film, television, and music.
Cannon's first starring role came in the 2002 musical drama Drumline. He played Devon, a percussionist from Harlem who joins the competitive show-style marching band at Atlanta A & T University. His song "I'm Scared of You" appeared on the soundtrack. The same year, he created The Nick Cannon Show (along the same lines as The Amanda Show for his All That co-star Amanda Bynes). He then gained a lot of exposure with the romantic comedy Love Don't Cost a Thing (with a story borrowed from the '80s romantic comedy Can't Buy Me Love). On the soundtrack, he performs with Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, and Chingy for the song "Shorty (Put It on the Floor)." In December of 2003, he released his self-titled debut album on Jive Records. He collaborated with several big names, including R. Kelly on the hit single "Gigolo." Film projects for 2004 include the feature films Shall We Dance? and The Underclassman. In 2006 Cannon would strap on his rollerskates for the retro-minded comedy drama Roll Bounce, and after appearing alongside an impressive cast of players that included Forest Whitaker, Kelsey Grammer, and Danny DeVito in the gambling drama Even Money, the fast-maturing actor would earn his first voice credit as the titular hopper in The Adventures of Brer Rabbit. His voice well-suited to the world of animation, Cannon would step back into the recording booth to provide the voice for trigger-happy Office Lister in the computer animated family comedy Monster House.
Next, Cannon took direction from Emilio Estevez with a role in the actor turn director's Robert F. Kennedy biopic Bobby, before doing a turn in the zombie horror flick Day of the Dead in 2008. Cannon's star would rise considerably the next year, as he not only took on hosting duties of the competitive reality show America's Got Talent, but also married pop star Mariah Carey. The very public couple soon became very public parents to a pair of twins, and soon Cannon's professional life was reflecting his personal life, as he took on a recurring role in the parenthood themed sitcom Up All Night in 2011. After the series ended, Cannon continued to work as a producer, host and occasional actor.