Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman (born December 10, 1985), known professionally as Raven-Symoné or Raven, is an American actress, singer-songwriter, dancer, television producer, and model. She is best known for her television roles as Olivia Kendall on The Cosby Show, Galleria Garibaldi in The Cheetah Girls and The Cheetah Girls 2, and as Raven Baxter in the Emmy Award nominated series, That's So Raven. Raven has also lent her voice to the animated series Kim Possible, for the character Monique and films such as Disney‘s Tinker Bell. Raven-Symoné also owns a "how-to" video website, Raven-Symoné Presents.
Raven-Symoné was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Lydia (née Gaulden) and Christopher B. Pearman. At age three, her family moved to 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.
1989-2002: Early roles
In 1989, Raven-Symoné auditioned for a part in the Bill Cosby movie, Ghost Dad. At three years old she was considered 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 then appeared as the younger version of Halle Berry's starring character, a headstrong biracial slave, in the TV movie 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 had 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 (1998) and then Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001) as Charisse Dolittle, the oldest daughter of Murphy's character. Meanwhile, she also appeared in Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999).
2002-2007: That's So Raven and The Cheetah Girls
In 2002, Raven-Symoné auditioned for a role on an up-coming series for the Disney Channel titled Absolutely Psychic, about a teenager with psychic abilities. Initially, she was cast as the best friend, but her role was changed to the lead character Raven Baxter and the series name changed to That's So Raven. The series debuted on January 17, 2003, becoming the Disney Channel's highest-rated and longest-running series. It spawned a franchise including soundtracks, dolls, episode DVDs, and video games. That’s So Raven was nominated for Outstanding Children's Program during the 2005 and 2007 Emmy Awards. The show also launched the channel's first spin-off series, Cory in the House. 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. In 2003, she 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 the channel's first musical and was the basis for another franchise, including dolls, video games, platinum-selling soundtracks. and more. In 2006, Raven-Symoné reprised the role in The Cheetah Girls 2. Raven-Symoné served as executive producer of the film. The film brought in more than 8 million viewers opening night, making it (at the time) Disney Channel's most-watched movie. The films soundtrack debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified for platinum-level sales by the RIAA. In 2008, The Cheetah Girls: One World began production, however Raven-Symoné did not return for another film, citing "territorial issues" and "catfights" on the set of Cheetah Girls 2, which led to a strained friendship with the other three actors. In a later interview, Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan and Kiely Williams denied the rumors, saying they all get along well.
2008-2010: College Road Trip and Tinker BellIn 2008, Raven-Symoné starred in her first leading role. The comedy College Road Trip surrounds Melanie Porter a 17-year-old college-bound girl who is eagerly looking forward to her first big step towards independence, when she plans a girls only road trip to check out prospective universities. But when her overbearing police chief father (Martin Lawrence) insists on escorting her instead in hopes to sway her decision, soon finds her dream trip has turned into a nightmare adventure full of comical misfortune and turmoil. In its opening weekend, the film grossed approximately $13,601,419 in 2,706 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking as the #2 film at box office. It went on to gross $50,873,923 worldwide. During 2008 and 2009, Raven-Symoné provided her voice for the light-fairy Iridessa in the Disney Fairies direct-to-DVD film series, Tinker Bell, and Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. Raven-Symoné is expected to return to the franchise for the films, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, Tinker Bell: A Winter Story, and Tinker Bell: Race Through the Seasons. Raven also appeared in Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary Good Hair.
2010-Present: Revenge of the Bridesmaids
Raven-Symoné is set to star in ABC Family’s upcoming made-for-tv film, Revenge of The Bridesmaids. Casting is currently underway and filming is set to start on April 12, 2010. It has recently debuted on ABC Family.
1990-1999: Career development
Raven-Symoné began her singing career at the age of five, when she signed with MCA Records. She spent that year and the next taking vocal lessons from Melissa Elliott. Her first album, Here's to New Dreams, was released on June 22, 1993, which spawned two singles: "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of" and "Raven Is the Flavor". "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of" reached #68 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album however was not successful, and due to low sales she was dropped from MCA Records in 1995. In 1996, Raven-Symoné and her father founded RayBlaze Records, in which she signed a distribution deal with Crash Records for her sophomore album Undeniable. Undeniable was released in May 1999. The album yielded one single: "With a Child's Heart", a remake of a classic Michael Jackson tune.
2002-2006: First commercial success
In early 2003, she signed a deal with Hollywood Records, a Disney-owned label. On September 21, 2004, she released her third studio album This Is My Time, which included the single "Backflip", which received heavy rotation on both Disney Channel, as well on BET and MTV. The album debuted and peaked at #51 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. During 2004, Raven-Symoné also recorded music for That‘s So Raven’s first original television soundtrack. The soundtrack debuted and peaked at #44 on the Billboard 200 and is now certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of 500,000. copies. In support of her third studio album and That's So Raven Too! soundtrack, which was the second soundtrack album from the series. Raven-Symoné embarked on her first headlining tour. The "This Is My Time Tour" kicked off on May 19, 2006 in Richmond, VA and concluded on October 21, 2006 in Columbia, SC.
Her 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, and The Clutch (Timbaland, Ciara). The 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. To promote the album she planned to headline her first all-arena tour "The Pajama Party Tour" in Spring 2008, but due to what promoters call "unforeseen difficulties" the tour was postponed until further notice. Later on, Raven-Symoné confirmed that the tour would be re-scheduled and would kick off in the Summer of 2008. The tour now dubbed the “Raven-Symoné: Live Tour" kicked off in July 2008, and continued through 2009. During her 2008 Summer tour, it was officially announced that after completing her 2 CD deal with Hollywood Records, she would not renew her contract with the label.
In an interview with Teenmag.com, she announced that in late 2009, she would return to the studio to record her next album. She said that the album will be "R&B, most definitely.....with an alternative base for the lyrics". She said, "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". The TriGz are currently working on the new Raven-Symoné project. Manny Streetz (from The TriGz) is a producer/songwriter and he is currently executive producing Raven-Symoné's next album.
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 This Is My Time and That's So Raven Too!. Her musical influences include Janet Jackson, Brandy, Beyoncé and Madonna. She 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.
|1994||The Little Rascals||Stymie's Girlfriend|
|1998||Dr. Dolittle||Charisse Dolittle|
|2001||Dr. Dolittle 2|
|2004||The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement||Princess Asana|
|2006||Everyone's Hero||Marti Brewster||Voice|
|2008||College Road Trip||Melanie Porter|
|2003||Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time||Monique||Voice|
|2005||Kim Possible: So the Drama|
|2009||Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure|
|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|
|2010||Revenge of the Bridesmaids||Abigail aka Abi||ABC Family|
|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|
|Television guest appearances|
|1989||A Different World||Olivia Kendall||"Forever Hold Your Peace" (episode 5, season 3)|
|1990||The Muppets at Walt Disney World||Young girl||Television special|
|1992||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Claudia||"Vying for Attention" (episode 21, season 2)|
|Queen: The Story of an American Family||5-year-old Queen||uncredited|
|1995||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Princess/Olive (voice)
|"The Princess and the Pauper" (episode 8, season 2)
"Goldilocks and the Three Bears" (Episode 8, Season 3)
|1996||Bill Nye the Science Guy||Herself||"Human Transportation" (episode 56, season 3)|
|1997||Space Ghost Coast to Coast||Herself||"Piledriver" (episode 18, season 4)|
|2001||My Wife and Kids||Charmaine||"Mom's Away (Part 1 & Part 2)" (episode 1, 2, season 2)|
|Proud Family||Stephanie (voice)||"Seven Days of Kwanzaa" (episode 11, season 1)|
|2004||Fillmore!||Maryanne Greene (voice)
Alexandria Quarry (voice)
|"Code Name: Electric Haircut" (episode 9, season 2)|
|2005||Higglytown Heroes||Playground Monitor (voice)||"Wayne's Ripping Adventure" (episode 14, season 1)|
|2006||The Suite Life of Zack & Cody||Raven Baxter||"That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" (episode 20, season 2)|
|2007||Cory in the House||Raven Baxter||"That's So in the House" (episode 16, season 1)|
|"Office Spaceman" (episode 14, season 3)
"Stanny Slickers II" (episode 15, season 3)
|2010||Sonny With a Chance||Amber|