Bow Wow Biography

Not only he would likely rise to be one of the most influential rappers in American music industry, Bow Wow could also strive to be a celebrated screen star as well. Included in the cast of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006), he has made a lavish deal with Warner Bros Network to lead its sitcom, "Bow" (2006), in which he set to portray none other than himself. A successful artist with a list of accomplishment behind him, he really has surpassed the boys of his generation to embrace world's recognition.

Given the name Shad Gregory Moss, Bow Wow never saw his biological father since the day he was born on March 9, 1987 in Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Ohio. Raised by his mother and stepfather, Teresa and Rodney Caldwell, together with his stepsisters, Erica and Jasarah, little Shad had developed a profound interest in melodic tunes, particularly rap music. "I always liked rapping," he admitted. "I rapped every chance I got." Calling himself Kid Gangsta, he then started to join some talent competitions around his hometown at the age of 5.

Shad's course of life encountered its change when he attended Chronic Tour held by celebrated rappers, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, in 1993. As he was among the audience who were called to come to the stage, the enthusiastic boy eagerly displayed his rhyming skills in front of the crowd without any hesitation. Much to Shad's surprise, he was invited to go backstage where Snoop later revealed his intention to make him the opening act for the rest of the tour. Gladly accepted this offer, he afterwards went around U.S. under an alias of "Lil Bow Wow" which Snoop had invented for him.

Not only gave Bow Wow a great experience, Snoop also took him to Jermaine Dupri, a music producer who had previously helped kid rappers such as Kris Kross and Da Brat to reach their popularity. Noticed his potentiality, Dupri immediately signed him under his company, So So Def Recordings. Aided by Dupri himself and Brian Michael Cox, Bow Wow started to collect materials for his debut album. During this process, he managed to contribute his vocal in Will Smith's single, "Wild Wild West," which was a theme song from Smith's 1999 movie with the same title.

Entitled "Beware of Dog," Bow Wow's first piece of work was finally released in 2000. Free from profanity-filled lyrics, it resulted beyond his expectation, gloriously entering the top 10 of The Billboard 200. Four out of its 11 hit tracks, including "Bounce With Me" and "Bow Wow (That's My Name)" featuring Snoop Dogg, made their ways to infiltrate Billboard Hot 100 chart. To people's amazement, the album in the end was certified double Platinum, scoring such an incredible attainment for the new rising rapper who had just turned 13 at that time.

Successfully embraced fame and commercial success, he returned to the recording studio after touring with NSYNC as the group's opening act throughout November-December 2000. Once again collaborated with Dupri, "Doggy Bag" touched the market on December 18, 2001. Although it was unable to exceed the achievement of its predecessor, this sophomore album still scored well as it received Gold status while reached the 11th rank of The Billboard 200. Its tracks, like "Thank You" and "Take Ya Home," also managed to become hit songs of 2002.

Turned 16 by the year 2003, Bow Wow decided to make some changes in his life as he became more mature. He dropped "Lil" from his name and left So So Def to join Columbia Records, therefore cut his attachment from his mentor, Dupri. In the making of his third album, he took the executive producer role while also composed some of the tracks with the help from Atlanta renowned rapper, Clifford Harris, Jr., or known more as T.I.. Altering his musical style to more contemporary sounds, the result was "Unleashed" which came up on August 19, 2003.

To his delight, "Unleashed" soared to the top three of The Billboard 200 and earned Gold while its single, "Let's Get Down," was placed at number 14 on Billboard Hot 100. Setting out to work on his next album, Bow Wow concluded to reunite with Dupri. "Jermaine is like family," he said. "He's like my big brother and working with him is like being home." Taking a major part in the song composition and writing, he poured down his personal experience in this project. "I talk about everything, from going to the mall, to being on '106th and Park' to shopping, my career, my movies, TV shows, my family," he explained.

As "Wanted" was launched on July 12, 2005 under Sony Urban Music/Columbia, the response was tremendous. Its track entitled "Let Me Hold You," in which he collaborated with Omarion, secured the top spot of Billboard Hot Rap Tracks for 7 weeks. The same achievement also happened to another tune, "Like You" featuring his girlfriend Ciara, which reigned the chart for 4 weeks. What was more, these two singles also satisfyingly went to the top 5 of Billboard Hot 100, proving his potential to be a strong force in the rap music industry as well.

Aside from his career in music, Bow Wow has developed another profession as an actor. He first tried his hand at acting through an MTV production of "Carmen: A Hip Hopera" (2001) alongside Beyonce Knowles, Mos Def, Wyclef Jean, and Da Brat. Earning a guest appearance in an episode of Brandy's comedy series, "Moesha" (1996-2001), he also took part in "All About the Benjamins" and "Like Mike" which both came up by 2002. His other movies included "Johnson Family Vacation" (2004), "Roll Bounce" (2005), and "Mr. Prez" (2005).

While his singing and acting career took the star to the galaxy of superstardom, his love life unfortunately met its toll when in early April 2006 it was reported that he had broken up with Ciara, his girlfriend of one-year. This however, hadn't put a stop to his music career. Gaining the recognition from fellow musicians such as Chris Brown, Johnta Austin, R. Kelly and Lil Wayne, Bow Wow was proud to release 5th studio album in December 2006. "The Price of Fame" saw him co-producing his own record with long-time pal Dupri. Unlike his previous records, this one contained mostly B-side tracks, which explained why it received an average review. While enjoying a break from recording any solo effort, he decided to compile his greatest hits in a double disc record titled "Remember/Sincerely" in 2007. In the same year, the singer reunited with his "brother" Omarion once again to do a joint album called 'Face/Off'.

In August 2007, the rapper publicly confirmed that he was dating Angela Simmons, the daughter of the founding member of hip hop group Run DMC, Joseph Simmons.