Bow Wow

Bow Wow Headshot

Rapper • Actor

Birth Date: March 9, 1987

Age: 36 years old

Birth Place: Columbus, Ohio

A charismatic rapper and actor who began performing while most of his peers were still in diapers, Lil' Bow Wow successfully outgrew his child star roots. While some questioned the ethics of a child entering the controversial and often-offensive rap game, Bow Wow seemed to keep his head on straight, releasing his debut album at the age of 13. A string of hit singles and albums followed, as did big-screen stardom. Bow Wow dropped the "Lil'" and went from strength to strength, with the basketball fantasy "Like Mike" (2002), the road trip comedy "Johnson Family Vacation" (2004), the gearhead's delight "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006), and the comedy "Lottery Ticket" (2010). With a career's worth of experience already behind him at such a young age, Bow Wow seemed poised to reach even greater heights in whatever entertainment industry avenues he chose to pursue.

Born March 9, 1987 in Columbus, OH, Shad Gregory Moss was the son of Teresa Caldwell and Alfonso Moss. The precocious child was interested in music from the age of three, and began performing rap music at age six under the moniker "Kid Gangsta." After meeting rap superstar Snoop Dogg, the youngster quickly impressed the veteran and was christened "Lil' Bow Wow" and given the opening slot on Snoop's tour. Signed to Death Row Record, Bow Wow's ascension was assured when he made a cameo on Snoop's controversial and groundbreaking Doggystyle debut album in 1993 and played the rapper's younger brother in the music video for "Gin and Juice." He came into his own at the age of 11, however, when producer Jermaine Dupri and his So So Def record label took Bow Wow under his professional wing.

His debut album Beware of Dog (2000) sold over two million copies, and his single "Bounce with Me" featuring Xscape appeared on the soundtrack of the hit movie "Big Momma's House" (2000). The song went to No. 1 on the U.S. rap chart and went Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also spawned the hits "Bow Wow (That's My Name)" featuring Snoop Dogg, "Puppy Love" and "Ghetto Girls." The rapper's second album Doggy Bag (2001) was a hit as well, spinning off the No. 1 hits "Take Ya Home" with Jagged Edge and "Thank You." Bow Wow's fame led to cameos in the ambitious Beyoncé/Mekhi Phifer adaptation "Carmen: A Hip Hopera" (MTV, 2001), on Brandy Norwood's sitcom "Moesha" (UPN, 1996-2001), and in the thriller "All About the Benjamins" (2002) with Ice Cube.

Bow Wow earned his first starring film role with the basketball fantasy "Like Mike" (2002), playing an orphan who discovered a pair of magical sneakers that he believes imbue him with the athletic skills of Michael Jordan. The kid-friendly film was a surprise hit, and featured appearances by many NBA stars. The following year, he dropped the "Lil'" from his professional name as well as his collaboration with Jermaine Dupri. His third album, Unleashed (2003) was a disappointment despite the hits "Let's Get Down" featuring Birdman and "My Baby" with Jagged Edge. He nabbed a flashy role as Cedric the Entertainer's feisty son in the successful road trip comedy "Johnson Family Vacation" (2004) with Vanessa L. Williams and Shannon Elizabeth. In his next film, the well-received "Roll Bounce" (2005), Bow Wow played a teenager competing in a roller disco contest in Chicago in 1978. He returned to music - and to producer Jermaine Dupri - with Wanted (2005), which lived up to its title, going platinum and charting a pair of singles, "Let Me Hold You" featuring Omarion and "Like You" featuring Ciara, who was briefly romantically linked to the rapper.

The following year saw Bow Wow staying busy, playing the colorful, street-smart Twinkie in monster hit "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006), guest-starring on the Superman reboot "Smallville" (The WB, 2001-06; The CW, 2006-2011) and releasing his fifth album, The Price of Fame (2006), which included the hits "Shortie Like Mine" featuring Chris Brown, "Outta My System" featuring T-Pain, and "I'm a Flirt" featuring R. Kelly. He slowed down his output in 2007, releasing the collaborative album Face Off with Omarion, which included the minor hit "Girlfriend," but picked up steam again the following year. Bow Wow filmed five episodes as a guest star on the young-bucks-in-Hollywood hit "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011) in 2008 and appeared as himself on an episode of the America Ferrera comedy series "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006-2010).

His next album, New Jack City II (2009) was the rapper's first to receive a parental advisory sticker, but it languished on the charts and failed to make much of an impression. He played a supporting role in the direct-to-DVD sports drama "Hurricane Season" (2010) alongside Forest Whitaker, Taraji P. Henson and Lil Wayne, which told the inspirational story of athletes from five different high schools brought together to compete on the same team after Hurricane Katrina. Bow Wow returned to the multiplexes with a winning "Lottery Ticket" (2010). In the comedy, Bow Wow and his mother (Loretta Devine), win the lottery, but have to survive a holiday weekend - and the comical, colorful and violent schemes of neighbors, friends and family - to claim it. After co-starring in Tyler Perry's "Madea's Big Happy Family" (2011), he costarred in the war drama "Allegiance" (2012) and the broad comedy "Scary Movie 5" (2013). Dropping the Bow Wow name entirely, Moss returned to series television opposite Patricia Arquette and James Van Der Beek in the procedural drama "CSI: Cyber" (CBS 2015-16).

By Jonathan Riggs

Credits

After Happily Ever After

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Hip Hop Family Christmas WeddingStream

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Celebrity Stash

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F9: The Fast SagaStream

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Twinkie
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Velozes & Furiosos 9 - Extra 1

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Twinkie
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Velozes & Furiosos 9 - Extra 3

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Twinkie
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Celebrity Game FaceStream

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Vibe: Millenium Hip-Hop

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Power, Influence and Hip-Hop: The Remarkable Rise of So So Def

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The Masked SingerStream

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In Broad Daylight

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Droppin' Cash: Los Angeles

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The Trumpet Awards: Extras

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J.D. Classics

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TopDanceTrends

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Bow Wow: Yeaahh

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TRL

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Sister Circle

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STEVE on Watch

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The Hollywood Puppet ShowStream

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Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta

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Desus & MeroStream

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Tracks

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Page Six TV

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The Rap Game

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The Rap Game

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The Late Late Show With James CordenStream

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2015

Fast And Furious Episodic Collection

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CSI: Cyber: Extras

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CSI: CyberStream

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Brody Nelson
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106 & Party

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106 & Park

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106 & Party 2012

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Bethenny

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The Social

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The Real

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Let's Stay Together: Extras

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March Madness

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Bow Wow Feat. T-Pain: Better

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Bow Wow Feat. T-Pain: Better

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Oprah: Where Are They Now?Stream

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Larry King NowStream

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The F Word

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Bow Wow: We in Da Club

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Destiny's Child Feat. Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat & Lil Bow Wow: Jumpin', Jumpin' (So So Def Remix)

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Allegiance

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The Chew

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Dish Nation

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Madea's Big Happy FamilyStream

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Byron
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The Talk

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Access Hollywood Live

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2010

Are We There Yet?

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2010

Lil Twist Feat. Bow Wow: Little Secret

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2010

Cali Swag District Feat. Jermaine Dupri, B.o.B., Bow Wow & Red Cafe: Teach Me How to Dougie (Remix)

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2010

Bow Wow Feat. DJ Khaled, Sean Kingston: Put That On My Hood

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2010

Lottery Ticket

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Kevin Carson
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2010

The Family Tree

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T-Boy
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2010

Lopez Tonight

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2009

ES.TV

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The Dr. Oz Show

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2009

Kids' Inaugural: We Are the Future

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2009

Bow Wow Feat. Mike Jones: Fresh Azimiz (Remix)

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2009

Bow Wow Feat. Johnta Austin: You Can Get It All

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Bow Wow Feat. Johntá Austin: You Can Get It All

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Bow Wow: Roc The Mic

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2009

Bow Wow: You Can Get It All

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2009

Hurricane Season

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Gary
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2009

The Doctors

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2008

The Wendy Williams Show

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The Secret Life of the American TeenagerStream

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2008

Bow Wow: Marco Polo

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2008

The Great Music Caper

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2008

The Morning Show With Mike & Juliet

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Bow Wow & Omarion: Girlfriend

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Bow Wow: Outta My System

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2007

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony Feat. Mariah Carey, Bow Wow: Lil Love

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2007

Bow Wow Feat. Chris Brown and Johntá Austin: Shortie Like Mine

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2006

Ugly BettyStream

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Himself
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2006
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Bow Wow feat. Mike Jones: Fresh Az I'm Iz

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Bow Wow Feat. T-Pain: Outta My System

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Bow Wow: Shortie Like Mine

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Bow Wow Feat. J-Kwon & Jermaine Dupri: Fresh Az I'm Iz

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftStream

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Twinkie
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2006
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Made in Hollywood

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2005

The Tyra Show

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2005

Wild 'N OutStream

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Bow Wow Feat. Chris Brown: Ain't Thinking Bout You

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Bow Wow Feat. Chris Brown: Ain't Thinkin Bout You

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Bow Wow Feat. Ciara: Like You

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Bow Wow Feat. Ciara: Like You

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Bow Wow Feat. Omarion: Let Me Hold You

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2005

Dem Franchize Boyz Feat. Bow Wow, Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat: I Think They Like Me

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Bow

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Roll Bounce

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2005

EntourageStream

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Charlie Williams
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2004
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Jagged Edge Feat. Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, R.O.C., Lil Bow Wow & Tigah: Where the Party At (Remix)

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2004

Lil Bow Wow: Ghetto Girls

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2004

Lil Bow Wow Feat. Jagged Edge: Puppy Love

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Lil Bow Wow Feat. Jagged Edge & Fundisha: Thank You

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Jessica Simpson Feat. Lil' Bow Wow: Irresistible

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2004

JoJo Feat. Bow Wow: Baby It's You

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2004

Johnson Family Vacation

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D.J. Johnson
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2004

Bow Wow Feat. Baby: Let's Get Down

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2003

Bow Wow Feat. Birdman: Let's Get Down

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Bow Wow Feat. Jagged Edge: My Baby

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Like Mike

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Calvin Cambridge
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2002

SmallvilleStream

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2001
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Live With Regis and Kelly

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2001

Lil Bow Wow: Thank You

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2001

Lil' Bow Wow: Take Ya Home

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2001

Carmen: A Hip Hopera

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Jalil
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2001

106 & Park: BET's Top 10 Live

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2000

106 & Park: BET's Top 10 Live

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2000

106 & Park: BET's Top 10 Live

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2000

Lil Bow Wow: Bounce With Me

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2000

Lil Bow Wow Feat. Snoop Dogg: Bow Wow (That's My Name)

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2000

Bow Wow Feat. Snoop Dogg: Bow Wow (That's My Name)

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Bow Wow Feat. Xscape: Bounce With Me

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2000

Bow Wow: Bow Wow (That's My Name)

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2000

The Steve Harvey ShowStream

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1996

MoeshaStream

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1996

Entertainers: With Byron Allen

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1994

Entertainment Tonight

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1981

Canada AM

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1972

News aboutBow Wow