Cannon was born on October 8, 1980 in San Diego, California. Cannon was largely raised by his paternal grandfather, whom both he and his biological father called "dad". As a child, Cannon grew up in Lincoln Park's Bay Vista Housing Projects, which is a gang-ridden section of Southeast San Diego. While in his teenage years, he was affiliated with the "Lincoln Park Bloods" street gang, but stated that he left behind his affiliations after losing a close friend. In 1998, he graduated from Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, where he was president of the African Student Coalition and participated in track and field. Cannon received his first break doing stand-up comedy on his father's local cable access program.
Nicholas Scott Cannon (born October 8, 1980) is an American comedian, rapper, and television presenter, and actor. On television, Cannon began as a teenager on All That before going on to host The Nick Cannon Show, Wild 'n Out, America's Got Talent, Lip Sync Battle Shorties and The Masked Singer. He acted in the films Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing and Roll Bounce.
After signing with Jive Records in 2001, he was featured alongside Romeo Miller and 3LW on the Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius soundtrack with a cover of the 1988 hit song "Parents Just Don't Understand". His debut self titled album was released in 2003 and included the single "Your Pops Don't Like Me (I Really Don't Like This Dude)".
As a rapper he released his debut self-titled album in 2003 with the single "Gigolo", a collaboration with singer R. Kelly. In 2007 he played the role of the fictional footballer TJ Harper in the film Goal II: Living the Dream. In 2006, Cannon recorded the singles "Dime Piece" and "My Wife" for the planned album Stages, which was never released.
In 2005, Cannon created, produced, and hosted the MTV improv comedy series Wild 'N Out. That same year he hosted the so-called slime stunt on Nickelodeon's 2005 Kids' Choice Awards in which a human cannonball was shot into slime. In addition, he was the DJ on Ellen DeGeneres's Bigger, Longer, And Wider show. On December 11, 2009, Cannon hosted the Nickelodeon HALO Awards along with Justin Timberlake, Hayden Panettiere, LeBron James, Kelly Rowland and Alicia Keys.
In 2005, Cannon formed his own record label, Can-I-Ball Records, with plans to release his second studio album, entitled Stages, later that year. The album's first single, "Can I Live?", an anti-abortion song, was released in July 2005 followed by the second single "Dime Piece" in March 2006. It was never released because of Nick Cannon's acting career.
Cannon married American singer Mariah Carey in 2008. The couple separated and filed for divorce in December 2014. The divorce was finalized in 2016, and they co-parent their children.
Cannon married singer-songwriter Mariah Carey on April 30, 2008, at her private estate on Windermere Island in the Bahamas. On April 30, 2011, Carey gave birth to fraternal twins: daughter Monroe and son Moroccan Scott. After six years of marriage, the pair separated and filed for divorce in 2014, but reunited briefly in 2015. Their divorce was finalized in 2016.
Following his role as host of the TEENick block, Nick Cannon was the chairman of the TeenNick channel for Nickelodeon in 2009, as well as its development and creative consultant. In 2012, Nick Cannon created a sketch-comedy series, Incredible Crew, starring six teenagers as Cannon wrote and produced the theme song. The show was produced by Cartoon Network Studios, in association with Ncredible Entertainment. The series aired 13 episodes before being canceled.
In 2009, Nick Cannon formed a new label after cancelling his old label Can-I-Ball Records entitled N'Credible Entertainment. In 2010, Cannon created a parody of hip hop pioneer Slick Rick entitled "Slick Nick". He released two songs by the character such as "I'm a Slick Rick", a freestyle of Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How to Dougie" in which he attempted to diss hip hop mega-star Eminem, and "Nick's Story", a freestyle rap version of Slick Rick's "Children's Story". On December 6, 2011, Nick Cannon released his debut mixtape entitled Child of the Corn.
In 2010, Cannon created and co-hosted the short-lived TeenNick original series The Nightlife.
On January 19, 2010, Cannon hosted the morning show (6-10AM) with co-hosts Nikki and Southern Sarah Lee at 92.3 NOW FM (WXRK-FM) in New York.
On July 13, 2010, Cannon announced that he was going on a comedy tour in fall 2010, beginning at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.
In 2011, Cannon filmed a public service announcement for Do Something encouraging teens to find a cause about which they are passionate and take action in their communities. Since 2011, Cannon has served as the celebrity spokesperson for the National Association of Letter Carriers' annual national food drive, which is held throughout the United States on the second Saturday in May.
In early 2011, Cannon recorded his first stand-up comedy special titled Mr. Showbiz at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The special premiered on Showtime on May 14, 2011. A digital release of Mr. Showbiz became available on iTunes beginning May 16, 2011, with a physical release of the album on May 31, 2011.
On July 4, 2011, Cannon hosted the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, an annual American competitive eating competition.
Cannon was hospitalized on January 4, 2012, for treatment of "mild kidney failure", and again on February 17, 2012 after a pulmonary embolism. On March 5, 2012 he announced that his kidney problems were due to lupus nephritis.
On February 17, 2012, Cannon stepped down from 92.3 NOW citing health issues.
On November 12, 2012, MTV2 announced that the revival of Wild 'N Out. The revived show was produced by Cannon's Ncredible Entertainment, the series premiered in 2013 with a few returning faces joined by a roster of fresh talents. When asked about the show coming back, Cannon said, "With our show's original cast, everyone from Kevin Hart to Katt Williams, Affion Crockett and Taran Killam becoming household names, I am looking forward to working with MTV2 as we work to introduce the biggest comedic stars of tomorrow with the return of Wild 'N Out." Rapper Big Boi of Outkast has confirmed in a tweet on Twitter he was shooting an episode on January 29, 2013 in NYC and for people to join in the audience.
On November 30, 2012, a picture of Cannon was posted on the Ncredible Entertainment website, which reported that Nick signed a deal with NBCUniversal to produce scripted and unscripted material for the network.
Season 5 of the show premiered on July 9, 2013, to the highest ratings in MTV2 history. It was renewed for season 6 and 7, which aired in two blocks.
On July 26, 2013, Nick Cannon premiered his new single "Me Sexy" and announced over seven years after the shelving of his album Stages that he was working on a new second studio album entitled White People Party Music featuring collaborations with Afrojack, Pitbull, Future and Polow da Don.
On November 4, 2013, Cannon was the master of ceremonies as well as an honoree at the annual Ebony Magazine Power 100 Awards. In 2014, he began hosting Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon on NBC.
The album's second single "Looking for a Dream" was released on February 11, 2014. The song features Afrojack. The music video was released on VEVO on February 13.
In December 2015, Cannon was named "Chief Creative Officer" of RadioShack in hopes of catering to a younger crowd. According to the company this role involved "creating RadioShack-exclusive products and curating the in-store experience." They launched the NCredible line of consumer audio electronics the following February, starting with the Ncredible1 Wireless Headphones.
Cannon enrolled at Howard University in 2016 and graduated in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Criminology/Administration of Justice and a minor in Africana Studies.
On August 4, 2016, Wild 'N Out returned for its 8th season after three record-breaking seasons.
On November 16, 2016, Cannon released his second mixtape The Gospel of Ike Turn Up: My Side of the Story. Prior to the release of the mixtape, a music video for the single "If I Was Your Man" was released on November 7, 2016.
On December 2, 2016, Cannon released a single called "Hold On" on iTunes.
Cannon's son with model Brittany Bell, Golden "Sagon" Cannon, was born on February 21, 2017. Their daughter, Powerful Queen Cannon, was born in December 2020.
In 2019, it was announced that Cannon would be debuting his own syndicated daytime talk show in 2020 via Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury and Cannon's own production company, NCredible Entertainment.
Cannon released "The Invitation", an Eminem diss track, on December 9, 2019, as a response to Eminem's feature on Fat Joe and Dre's "Family Ties" dissing Cannon. The track featured former record producer and convicted felon Suge Knight, as well as rappers Hitman Holla, Charlie Clips and Prince Eazy, whom Cannon referred to as "The Black Squad". After Eminem responded to Cannon with two tweets, Cannon released a second diss track the next day featuring the same rappers as well as Conceited titled "Pray For Him".
On July 14, 2020, Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS after making racist and anti-Semitic remarks during an episode of his podcast Cannon's Class with Professor Griff. Cannon endorsed conspiracies about Jewish control of finance, claimed that Jews had stolen the identity of "black people as the 'true Hebrews'", and cited Louis Farrakhan, who is labeled as an anti-semite by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League. Cannon also made black supremacist statements, calling white people "savages" who were "closer to animals", claiming the "only way that they can act is evil", citing the pseudoscientific melanin theory. A statement from ViacomCBS noted that the company's relationship with Cannon was terminated due to his promotion of "hateful speech and ... anti-Semitic conspiracy theories". Two days later, Cannon released an apology only for his remarks regarding anti-Semitism, saying, "I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education." He also demanded for complete ownership for Wild 'n Out, and an apology from ViacomCBS for his termination. When Fox was aware of his podcast, the network immediately consulted him and accepted his public apology, allowing him to remain host of The Masked Singer. He donated his first paycheck to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in light of the incident. On February 5, 2021, ViacomCBS announced that Wild 'N Out would resume production with Cannon as host, saying that Cannon has "taken responsibility for his comments" and "worked to educate himself" through conversations with Jewish leaders.
On February 3, 2021, it was announced that Cannon tested positive for COVID-19, and that Niecy Nash would temporarily fill in for him during his quarantine during the fifth season of The Masked Singer. He returned after competing as the wildcard contestant "Bulldog" in the fifth episode and was eliminated by Nash's choice. In addition, Nick unmasked without the panelists having to make their final guesses.