Nick CANNON – on fatherhood, career and marriage to Mariah Carey
by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud
Cannon’s successful career moves are exploding all over Hollywood. Not only does he host “America’s Got Talent” and his own syndicated radio show “Cannon’s Countdown,” he also serves as chairman of the Nickelodeon subsidiary network TeenNick.
His motivation for assuming these multiple roles? “Keep it cooking while the fire is hot,” he told Black Image. “I have to keep pushing. Obviously, family is my first priority — and now I have mouths to feed. Everything else has to work around my family. But, I don’t really sleep much and I find myself working all through the night.”
Cannon has come a long way since his days as the creative force behind the hit MTV series “Wild ‘N Out,” and starring in movies like “Drumline” (2002), “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” (2003) and “Roll Bounce” (2005). In recent times, he has drawn just as much attention for his marriage to pop superstar Mariah Carey, who recently gave birth to twins — Moroccan (a boy they call Roc, named after their favorite vacation destination) and Monroe (a girl nicknamed Roe, named after legendary actress Marilyn Monroe).
“My children are home and they are beautiful,” gushed the proud father. “They are growing, happy and healthy. Mariah and I are definitely hands-on parents, and we are taking care of the babies, changing diapers, burping them and fixing bottles.”
Asked whether motherhood will put Carey’s career on hold, Cannon chuckles, “No, I doubt it. She is getting back to work mode and you will be seeing a lot from her real soon.”
As chairman of TeenNick, which is available in 7 million households, Cannon oversees day-to-day operations in programing, marketing and development. Developing new projects for television seems to be a passion for Cannon, who is also in talks for a new “Wild ‘N Out” series. “The negotiations will determine the right time and money that is needed to do it,” he said.
Along with new projects in the development stages, Cannon also has established a record label (N’Credible Entertainment) as well as a new cartoon series, “The Dummiez,“ on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. “I would definitely say I am Mr. Showbiz,” he said. “It is to the point where I kind of do everything. I am a showman, I am a businessman and if something needs to be done I will do it.”
Taking it all in stride, Cannon is keeping his eyes on the prizes in his life. “My first priority in life is to be a good father,” he insisted. “I feel that it is a blessing to be able to guide and raise children. Mariah and I take parenting very seriously. I know the keys to being a good father are to keep love first, honesty and know how to have a good time. Mariah and I also reaffirm the love we have for each other every year on our anniversary by renewing our wedding vows. Our children were born April 30 this year — our wedding anniversary — and it was again the most festive. We really try to celebrate the 30th of every month as our ‘Love You Day’ — our special day. Also, we try to have date night every week.”
For those seeking careers in the business of show, Cannon advises, “It is all about being a generator. You can’t sit back and wait around for someone to give you an opportunity. You have to create it for yourself. Be a self-generator and a self-motivator. You have to continually encourage yourself. You have to bring yourself up and create your own opportunities.”