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Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman (born December 10, 1985), known professionally as Raven-Symoné or Raven, is an American actress, singer-songwriter, fashion designer, and television producer. She is best known for her television roles as Olivia Kendall on The Cosby Show, Nicole Lee on Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Galleria Garibaldi on The Cheetah Girls and The Cheetah Girls 2, and as Raven Baxter on her own show, That's So Raven. Raven has also lent her voice to the animated series Kim Possible, for the character Monique. Raven-Symoné also owns a "how-to" video website, Raven-Symoné Presents. Raven-Symoné is currently lending her voice as the character Iridessa, from the Disney Tinker Bell film franchise.

Early life

Raven-Symoné was born in Atlanta, Georgiamarker to Lydia (née Gaulden) and Christopher B. Pearman. Raven-Symoné lived in Ossining, New York where she attended Park School.As an infant, she worked for Atlanta's Young Faces Inc. Modeling Agency and was featured in local print advertisements. At age two, she worked with Ford Models in New York City and appeared in ads for Ritz crackers, Jell-O, Fisher-Price, and Cool Whip. At age three, she auditioned for the film Ghost Dad. She was considered too young for the role, but was recommended for a part on The Cosby Show and was eventually cast as Olivia in September 1989. The character was the three-year-old stepdaughter of Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet), the main character's daughter. Raven-Symoné played the part until the series ended in 1992. In Fall 1993, Raven-Symoné joined the cast of ABC's sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper as Nicole, the cousin of Mark Curry's character Mark Cooper. Raven-Symoné went on to have roles in films such as 1998's Dr. Dolittle, 1999's Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, and 2001's Dr. Dolittle 2

Career

1989-2002: Early roles

When she was just two, she was signed by the Ford Modeling Agency to help advance her career. In 1989, Raven-Symoné auditioned for a part in the Bill Cosby movie, Ghost Dad. She was too young for the role, but Bill Cosby liked her so much that he found a part for her on his show, The Cosby Show, as his granddaughter Olivia. Raven-Symoné played the part of Olivia until 1992. She also appeared as the younger version of Halle Berry's title role as a headstrong biracial slave in the acclaimed TV adaptation of Queen: The Story of an American Family, based on the book by Alex Haley. Within a year after The Cosby Show ended, she landed the role of Nicole Lee on the show Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. During her time on the show, she managed to land her first big screen role in the movie The Little Rascals, playing Stymie's girlfriend. She was then cast in the Eddie Murphy comedy Dr. Dolittle and Dr. Dolittle 2 as Charisse Dolittle playing Eddie Murphy's oldest daughter.

2002-2007: That's so Raven and Cheetah Girls

In 2002, Raven-Symoné auditioned for a role on an up-and-coming series for the Disney Channel titled Absolutely Psychic, about a teenager with psychic abilities. Initially, Raven-Symoné was cast as the role of the best friend. But after being reviewed, Disney executives decided to cast her as the lead character Raven Baxter and change the series name to That's So Raven, which débuted on January 17, 2003. It is Disney Channel's highest-rated and longest-running series. It spawned Disney's most successful franchise, including soundtracks, dolls, episode DVDs, and video games. During her time on the show, Raven-Symoné provided the voice of Danielle in Fat Albert and made an appearance in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement both in 2004. In 2005 and 2007, That's So Raven was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program. The show also was the first show in Disney history to have a spin-off, Cory in the House. Raven-Symoné guest-starred on an episode of Cory in the House; that episode brought in 5 million viewers, making it the highest rated one of the series.

In 2003, Raven-Symoné starred as lead singer Galleria Garibaldi in The Cheetah Girls, a Disney Channel Original Movie about four city girls who dream of becoming superstars. The movie was Disney Channel's first musical and spawned a massive franchise, much like That's So Raven, including dolls, video games, platinum-selling soundtracks and more. In 2006, Raven-Symoné reprised her role as Galleria Garibaldi and starred in The Cheetah Girls 2. The film and its soundtrack were huge commercial hits and brought in more than 8 million viewers opening night, making it (at the time) Disney Channel's most-watched movie. Its soundtrack also débuted at number five, on the Billboard Top 200 and went on to become certified for platinum-level sales by the RIAA. Raven-Symoné also served as executive producer of the film.

The Cheetah Girls: One World began production, but Raven-Symoné did not return to reprise her role as Galleria, allegedly due to problems with the other Cheetah Girls on the set of Cheetah Girls 2. According to an interview in June 2006, she stated that there were "territorial issues" and "catfights", which led to a strained friendship with the other three girls. In a later interview, Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan and Kiely Williams denied the rumors, saying they all get along well.

2008-present: New projects

During summer 2007, Raven-Symoné began filming her first lead film role in College Road Trip, which co-starred Martin Lawrence. In 2008, College Road Trip opened in at #2 in the Box Office, grossing $13,601,419 in its opening weekend. The franchise went on to gross $50,873,923 worldwide.

As part as the Tinker Bell franchise, Raven-Symoné will also be reprising her role as Iridessa in 2009's Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure and 2010's Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue.

Raven-Symoné also is starring in Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair which opened October 2009. She appeared on the Tyra Show to promote the movie on October 8.

Music

1990-1999: Career development

Raven-Symoné began her career when her father had her signed to MCA Records in 1990, age five. She spent that year and the next taking vocal lessons from Melissa Elliott.She then began recording her album and, Here's to New Dreams, was released on June 22, 1993. It spawned two commercially released singles: "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of" and "Raven Is the Flavor". "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of" was Raven-Symoné's most successful single, reaching number sixty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself however was not very successful, and she was dropped from MCA Records. She spent a year away from music, before looking for a new label.

In 1996, Raven-Symoné was signed to Crash Records, and the next year she and her father founded RayBlaize Records. RayBlaize then began recording Raven's sophomore album, which was to be distributed by Crash. Undeniable was released on May 4, 1999. The album only spawned one single With a Child's Heart, a remake of a classic Michael Jackson tune. Although her first album was full of kid-rap, she used this album to display her vocal ability while still holding true to her rap roots.

2002-2005: First commercial success

Raven-Symoné sang some songs on the That's So Raven soundtrack album to the Disney Channel original series of the same name. The album debuted and peaked at #44 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 copies.

In early 2003, she signed a deal with Hollywood Records, a Disney owned label. In January 1, 2004, prior to the release of her first album on Hollywood, she released a five-song EP, This Is My Time Advance EP to promote the album. On September 21, 2004, she released her third album This Is My Time. The album spawned one commercially released single, "Backflip", which received heavy rotation on both Disney Channel, as well on BET and MTV. The album debuted and peaked at number fifty-one on the Billboard 200 selling 19,000 copies in its first week of release and becoming her most successful album. This Is My Time has sold 235,000 copies in the U.S. and 1,235,000 copies worldwide.

In 2005 Raven-Symoné embarked on a mini-concert tour to promote the album. She made guest spots during summer 2005.

To promote her second album, "Undeniable" was bought by TMG Records, who re-released it as, "From Then Until..." in November 2006. She then launched the "This Is My Time Tour", and she also sang some tracks on the That's So Raven Too!, which is the second soundtrack album from the series, That's So Raven, also released in 2006. The soundtrack debuted and peaked at #44, on the Billboard 200, selling 22,600 copies in its first week. Since then, the soundtrack has sold 200,000 copies (as of 2007). During the tour for the album, Raven-Symoné recorded the show on DVD format on June 25, 2006 in the show house Coliseo Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico, and additional recordings on July 22, 2006 in Los Angelesmarker, in High Definition.

2007-2009: Raven-Symoné

Raven-Symoné's fourth studio album Raven-Symoné was released on April 29, 2008. The album features production by Sean Garrett (Beyoncé), The J.A.M. (Leona Lewis), Knightwritaz (singer Mario's production team), and The Clutch (Timbaland, Ciara). The first and only single released was "Double Dutch Bus" a remake of Frankie Smith's 1981 funk track. The single was released to radio on February 9, while the video was released on February 18, 2008. The album debuted at #159 on Billboard's Top 200. Raven-Symoné also planned on headlining her first all arena tour The Pajama Party Tour in Spring 2008, to promote her album but due to what promoters call "unforeseen difficulties" the tour was postponed until further notice.

Also, during the Summer of 2008, Raven-Symoné was the special host of Disney's Block Party Tour. During the middle of Raven-Symoné's 2008 Summer tour, it was officially announced that Raven-Symoné and Hollywood Records had parted ways; after Raven-Symoné had completed her 2 CD deal with the company, she decided not to renew her contract.

2009-present

In a recent interview with Teenmag.com Raven-Symoné announced that in late 2009, she would return to the studio to record her next album. She also stated that this would be her most mature album yet. This will be Raven-Symoné's first studio album that she's released since she has left Disney's Hollywood Records. Symoné said that the album will be "R&B, most definitely.....with an alternative base for the lyrics". Symone said the following about who she would like to collaborate with: "It's good to go out there and spread your wings and find new talent and work with people you haven't worked with before. I'd love to find the next Pharrell or the next someone who's coming up and no one really knows yet, At the same time, I'd love to work with the Clutch and the J.A.M. again".

Musical style, records and sellers

Raven-Symoné's music is predominantly R&B and Hip Hop and has included ballads and pop. She co-wrote several songs on her third studio albums and Soundtrack That's So Raven Too!. Her musical influences include Janet Jackson, Brandy, Madonna. Raven-Symoné has her third contract with a major label, MCA Records - the first and only youngest artist who signed with MCA, and Hollywood Records. She has sold more than 6 million records worldwide and is the fourth Disney Channel artist to achieve best-selling albums during the 2000s.

Filmography

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1994 The Little Rascals Stymie's Girlfriend
1998 Dr. Dolittle Charisse Dolittle
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Charisse Dolittle
2003 Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time Monique Voice
2004 The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Princess Asana
Fat Albert Danielle Voice
2005 Kim Possible: So the Drama Monique Voice
2006 Everyone's Hero Marti Brewster Voice
For One Night Briana McCallister
2008 College Road Trip Melanie Porter
Tinker Bell Iridessa Voice
2009 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Voice
Good Hair Herself
2010 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue Iridessa In production
Little Fockers Tamira
2011 Tinker Bell: A Winter Story Iridessa In production
TV Films
Year Title Role Channel
1999 Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century Nebula Wade Disney Channel
2003 The Cheetah Girls Galleria "Bubbles" Garibaldi Disney Channel
2004 Zenon: Z3 Nebula Wade Disney Channel
2006 For One Night Brianna McCallister Lifetime Movie
The Cheetah Girls 2 Galleria "Bubbles" Garibaldi Disney Channel
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1989—1992 The Cosby Show Olivia Kendall Seasons 6–8
1993—1997 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Nicole Lee Seasons 2–5
2002—2007 Kim Possible Monique Voice / Recurring role
2003—2007 That's So Raven Raven Baxter Main Character
2007-2008 Total Drama Island Leshawna Voice
Television guest appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1989 Different WorldA Different World Olivia Kendall "Forever Hold Your Peace" (episode 5, season 3)
1990 Muppets at Walt Disney WorldThe Muppets at Walt Disney World Young girl Television special
1992 Fresh Prince of Bel-AirThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Claudia "Vying for Attention" (episode 21, season 2)
1993 Blindsided Singer
Queen: The Story of an American Family 5-year-old Queen uncredited
1995 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Olivia/Zoe (voice) "The Princess and the Pauper"
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Goldilocks (voice) "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"
1996 Bill Nye the Science Guy Herself "Human Transportation" (episode 56, season 3)
1997 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Herself "Piledriver" (episode 51)
2001 My Wife and Kids Charmaine
  • "Mom's Away (Part 1)" (episode 1, season 2)
  • "Mom's Away (Part 2)" (episode 2, season 2)
Proud FamilyThe Proud Family Stephanie (voice) "Seven Days of Kwanzaa" (episode 11, season 1)
2002 The Weakest Link Herself (contestant) "NBC All-Stars Editon", Fifth one voted off
2004 Fillmore! Maryanne Greene (voice)
Alexandria Quarry (voice)
  • "Code Name: Electric Haircut" (episode 9, season 2)
2005 Higglytown Heroes Playground Monitor Hero (voice)
  • "Wayne's Ripping Adventure/Meet Eubie's Cousin" (episode 14, season 1)
50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up Herself Listed as cutest child star, #17
2006 Suite Life of Zack and CodyThe Suite Life of Zack and Cody Raven Baxter "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" (episode 20, season 2)
Good Morning America Herself Performing “The Party’s Just Begun” with The Cheetah Girls
2007 Cory in the House Raven Baxter Guest star in "That's So in the House" episode
Live with Regis and Kelly Herself Performing "Friends" with Anneliese Van Der Pol
2008 WrestleMania XXIV Herself Guest announcer
American Dad! Katie
Wife
"Office Spaceman" (Episode 14, Season 3)
"Stanny Slickers II" (Episode 15, Season 3)
Celebrity Family Feud Herself Was the team captain of Team Symoné and competed alongside her mother, brother and her on-screen mother and father from That's So Raven.
Chelsea Lately Herself Talk Show Guest
The Ellen DeGeneres Show Herself Talk Show Guest
The Bonnie Hunt Show Herself Talk Show Guest
2009 The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet Herself Talk Show Guest
Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular Herself Performing "What Are You Gonna Do?", "In Your Skin", "Keep a Friend", "Some Call It Magic"
An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Patti LaBelle Herself Talk Show Guest
The Today Show Herself Talk Show Guest
The Tyra Show Herself Talk Show Guest


Production

The Cheetah Girls (as Executive Producer)

That's So Raven (as Producer of Season 4)

The Cheetah Girls 2 (as Co-Executive Producer)

College Road Trip (as Executive Producer)


Discography

Studio albums
DVDs
  • 2008: Raven-Symoné Presents


Other Albums
Soundtracks


Concert tours
  • 2006: This Is My Time Tour
  • 2008/2009: Raven-Symoné: Live in Concert Tour


Awards and nominations

Year Result Award Category Nominated Work
1990 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Performance by an Actress Under Nine Years of Age Cosby ShowThe Cosby Show
1991 Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Cosby ShowThe Cosby Show
1993 Outstanding Actress Under Ten in a Television Series Cosby ShowThe Cosby Show
1994 Best Youth Comedian Hangin' With Mr. Cooper
1996 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress Hangin' With Mr. Cooper
1999 Young Star Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Mini-Series/Made for TV Film Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century
2004 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress That's So Raven
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series/Special That's So Raven
Black Reel Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Cheetah GirlsThe Cheetah Girls
BET Comedy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series That's So Raven
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress — Comedy That's So Raven
2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress That's So Raven
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series/Special That's So Raven
Radio Disney Music Awards Best Actor/Actress-Turned-Singer
BET Comedy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series That's So Raven
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress — Comedy That's So Raven
BET Comedy Awards Best Performance in an Animated Theatrical Film Kim Possible: So the Drama
2006 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series/Special That's So Raven
Junior Achievement Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series/Special That's So Raven
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress — Comedy That's So Raven
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress That's So Raven
2007 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series/Special That's So Raven
NAMIC Vision Awards 2007 North Star Award (top award)
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series That's So Raven
Radio Disney Music Awards Favorite TV Star Who Sings
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress That's So Raven
2008 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program — Series or Special That's So Raven
Outstanding Performance Program That's So Raven
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress That's So Raven
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Comedy Movie/Performance College Road Trip
Summer Fort Myers Beach Film Festival "Fav Summer Teen Flick Comedy" College Road Trip
2009 Trumpet Awards Trumpet Awards Honorees - Pinnacle Award
Black Girls Rock Awards '09 "Young, Talented and Black" Raven-Symoné


References

  1. RavenSymonePresents.com
  2. Charlotte Moore (January 25, 2004). Raven takes flight PE.com.
  3. http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/la/winn/bios/sym1569.txt
  4. Raven-Symone: 'I'm not a little kid anymore'
  5. http://www.nationalledger.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=1&num=6127
  6. http://www.vividseats.com/concerts/the-cheetah-girls-tickets/articles/275.html
  7. That's So Raven Soundtrack: Gold by RIAA
  8. Raven~Symoné
  9. Raven~Symoné Tour
  10. http://www.teenmag.com/seen-in-teen/raven-symone-interview-2 New Album
  11. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003841425
  12. IMDB: Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
  13. [1]
  14. IMDB: Tinker Bell: A Midsummer Storm
  15. Raven-Symoné Live Tour to be contuined in 2009
  16. Teen Choice Awards
  17. http://www.trumpetfoundation.org/trumpet2009.htm


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