Black History Month 2007


Updated:2006-02-28 14:44:57
BHM Star: Raven-Symoné
By Marcus Vanderberg, AOL Black Voices
Why She Is About to Make History

Raven-Symoné

Raven-SymonéAP

"My fans know I love my cheese grits with shrimp, and I'm not giving them up to be a size 2. They know I wear a weave to make my hair look right and I don't always look glamorous. I don't even worry about that type of stuff that much.You're not going to see me with clothes that just let everything hang out. And it's not because of my size, but because it's just not me" -- Raven-Symoné

    Raven-Symoné is not about to make history.

    She is making history.

    Born on Dec. 10, 1985, the actress/singer has been gracing the television screen since she played Olivia Kendall on 'The Cosby Show.' Raven landed the role of Olivia after going on an audition for Bill Cosby's movie 'Ghost Dad.' Cosby determined she was too young but asked her back to try out for 'Cosby.'

    Since then, anything Symoné has touched has turned to gold. Acting wasn't enough so she turned to music. She’s the youngest artist ever to sign with MCA Records at the age of 8. After a run on 'Hanging With Mr. Cooper' and roles in the 'Dr. Dolittle' movies, Raven got her own television show on the Disney Channel. ‘That’s So Raven’ is finishing up its fourth and final season on the network.

    How successful has the show been?

    It is the first Disney show to air over 100 episodes and is easily the network’s most popular show. So much so that a film is in the works for 2007 and tie-in merchandise has grossed over $400 million. It is a rarity to have an African-American star producing their network show -- let alone a young, black woman with real proportions -- but Raven has managed the unthinkable.

    Most recently Raven stared in the Lifetime movie 'For One Night,' the straight- from-the-headlines story of a Wouthern black girl who fought against segregated proms a few years back. It was the only television show to attract over 100,000 black households and a double-digit rating in the first week of February.

    On The Pulse

    Imitation Is the Best Form of Flattery

    Raven got an earlier start than most as a television-meets-music Tween star. She recorded her first rap album at the age of eight, a rap CD titled 'Here's to New Dreams.' Symoné went on to record two more albums; most recently her 2004 release 'This Is My Time.'

    Hillary Duff, nowadays a mega star, actually followed in Raven's footsteps with the success of a hit Disney show ('Lizzy McGuire') and four recorded albums. Symoné's infamous former roommate, Lindsay Lohan, must have taken notes when they were sitting around the kitchen -- now with two albums under her belt.

    Out of the Mouths of Babes

    "My fans know I love my cheese grits with shrimp, and I'm not giving them up to be a size 2. They know I wear a weave to make my hair look right and I don't always look glamorous all the time. I don't even worry about that type of stuff that much.You're not going to see me with clothes that just let everything hang out. And it's not because of my size, but because it's just not me."

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