Symoné appeared in several successful television series, such as The Cosby Show and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 2003, Symone went on to star in the highly successful Disney Channel series, That's So Raven in which Symone starred as Raven Baxter, a psychic teenager who tried her best to keep her psychic powers a secret. Symone starred in the series from 2003 until 2007. Symone's co-stars of That's So Raven went onto appear in the follow up, Cory In the House; however, Symone did not feature permanently, as she only appeared as a guest in one episode. During her time on That's So Raven, Symone released her third studio album, This is My Time (2004) which was Symone's best selling solo album to date, charting at number fifty-one on the Billboard 200. In 2008, she followed up This Is My Time with the release of her fourth album, Raven-Symoné (2008), charting at number #159 on the Billboard 200.
She transitioned to a film career, starring in several films aimed at teenage audiences, including Dr. Dolittle (1998), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), College Road Trip (2008), and successful television movies, including The Cheetah Girls (2003), Cheetah Girls 2 (2006), Revenge of the Bridesmaids (2010). 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.
Life and career
1985–1992: Early life and career beginningsnée 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.
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 step-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.
1993–2001: Here's to New Dreams, Undeniable and film debutRaven-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 Missy Elliott. Her debut 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.
|Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.|
2002–2007: That's So Raven, This Is My Time, and The Cheetah GirlsIn 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. She actually auditioned for the recurring role of Chelsea Daniels, 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 also as Marti in Everyone's Hero. She made an appearance in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (during which she sang a duet with Julie Andrews). 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.
|This Is My Time,|
which received heavy rotation on Disney Channel, and premiered on BET via an Access Granted special. 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. Symoné released a five-track EP with Hollywood Records on January 1, 2004 prior to the release of This Is My Time, containing "Backflip", "Bump", "Overloved", "What Is Love?", and "Mystify". Released to promote the full-length album, the EP was only available in select stores and is now very rare.
Recorded late into the production of the album, "Backflip" was the lead single official from This Is My Time. Four songs from the album were incorporated into soundtracks from Disney films: The Lion King 1½ with "Grazing in the Grass"; The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement with "This Is My Time"; Ice Princess with "Bump"; and Go Figure with "Life Is Beautiful".
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.
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.
2008–2009: College Road Trip, Raven-Symoné, and Tinker Bell
|College Road Trip|
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.
During 2008 and 2009, Raven-Symoné provided her voice for Iridessa the light-fairy in the Disney Fairies direct-to-DVD film series, Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, and Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue. Raven-Symoné is expected to return to the franchise for the films Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods and Tinker Bell: Race Through the Seasons. Raven also appeared in Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary Good Hair.
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 Timbaland 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".
2010–present: Revenge of the Bridesmaids, upcoming fifth studio album and State of Georgia
Raven-Symoné also made a guest appearance on the Disney Channel Original Series Sonny with a Chance. She portrayed the character Amber Algoode, the president of Chad Dylan Cooper's fan club.
She was a guest performer, along with pianist Chau-Giang Thi-Nguyen, and jazz trumpeter and pianist Arturo Sandoval, at the December 9 performance of Debbie Allen's new dance-theater piece, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, at UCLA's Royce Hall. Proceeds from the performance, as well as from its run from December 10–11, benefited the children of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.
In an interview in January 2011, she told to OnTheRedCarpet.com that she has filmed a pilot for ABC Family and was working on her fifth album. The TriGz may be working on the project, with Manny Streetz (from The TriGz) as executive producer. Raven revealed to Billboard that she would like to work with Sean Garrett again and that it will be R&B with an "alternitve base for lyrics".
Raven-Symoné is returning to television as the star of ABC Family's multi-camera comedy pilot State of Georgia. The project, from ABC Studios, centers on Georgia (Symoné), an exuberant and curvy performer from the south who is trying to make it big as an actress in New York City. Also cast in the pilot is Brock Cuchna (Melrose Place) as Georgia's Southern ex-boyfriend who, still madly in love with her, comes to New York to bring her back home. The pilot was written by author Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes) and Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives). The series premiere has been announced to air in June 2011.
|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|
|2008||College Road Trip||Melanie Porter|
|1999||Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century||Nebula Wade||Disney Channel Original Movie|
|2003||The Cheetah Girls||Galleria "Bubbles" Garibaldi|
|Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time||Monique|
|2004||Zenon: Z3||Nebula Wade|
|2005||Kim Possible: So the Drama||Monique|
|2006||For One Night||Brianna McCallister||Lifetime Movie|
|The Cheetah Girls 2||Galleria "Bubbles" Garibaldi||Disney Channel Original Movie|
|2010||Revenge of the Bridesmaids||Abigail "Abi" Scanlon||ABC Family Original Movie|
|2003||Kim Possible: The Secret Files||Monique||Voice|
|2004||That's So Raven: Supernaturally Stylish||Raven Baxter|
|2005||That's So Raven: Disguise The Limit|
|That's So Raven: Raven's House Party|
|2006||That's So Raven: Raven's Makeover Madness|
|Raven Symone: Raven's Postcards From Spain||Herself||Part of The Cheetah Girls 2 "merchandise"|
|2009||Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure|
|2010||Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue|
|2011||Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods|
|1989-1992||The Cosby Show||Olivia Kendall||Main Cast; (Seasons 6–8)|
|1993-1997||Hangin' with Mr. Cooper||Nicole Lee||Main Cast; (Seasons 2–5)|
|2002-2007||Kim Possible||Monique||Voice / Recurring role|
|2003-2007||That's So Raven||Raven Baxter||Main Role|
|Television guest appearances|
|1989||A Different World||Olivia Kendall||"Forever Hold Your Peace" (episode 5, season 3)|
|1990||ABC TGIF||Nicole||Unknown episodes|
|The Muppets At Walt Disney World||Young Girl|
|1992||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Claudia||"Vying for Attention" (episode 21, season 2)|
|1993||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||"Piledriver" (episode 18, season 4)|
|2001||My Wife and Kids||Charmaine||"Mom's Away (Part 1 & Part 2)" (episode 1 & 2, season 2)|
|The Proud Family||Stephanie||"Seven Days of Kwanzaa" (episode 11, season 1)|
|2004||Fillmore!||Maryanne Greene (voice)|
Alexandria Quarry (voice)
|"Code Name: Electric Haircut" (episode 9, season 2)|
|2004 & 2005||Disney 411||Herself||6 Episodes|
|2005||Higglytown Heroes||Playground Monitor (voice)||"Wayne's Ripping Adventure" (episode 14, season 1)|
|2006||The Suite Life of Zack and Cody||Raven Baxter||"That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" (episode 20, season 2)|
|2007||Cory in the House||"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 Algoode||season 2, episode 15: "That's So Sonny"|
|That's So Raven||Season 4 Producer|
|The Cheetah Girls 2||Co-Executive Producer|
|College Road Trip||Executive Producer|
- 2006: This Is My Time Tour
- 2008-2009: Raven-Symoné: Live Tour
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