Nick Cannon has a lot on his plate these days. He and Mariah Carey are raising twin toddlers, he's gearing up for season 9 of America's Got Talent, and this weekend, he's participating in the nation's largest single-day food drive, Stamp Out Hunger.
Raising awareness for hunger in the U.S. is a cause "near and dear" to Cannon's heart. He's the national spokesman for the non-profit Feeding America, which helps the millions of Americans who struggle to put food on the table. This Saturday, he's encouraging Americans to place nonperishable food donations next to their mailboxes as part of Feeding America's Stamp Out Hunger initiative, a nationwide effort that helps provide food for local food banks and pantries.
Does having your own family and kids make you more aware of other families' struggles around the country?
I think it definitely makes me aware. If anything, it makes me want to instill into my own children the importance and the power of giving back, and knowing that it truly is much more rewarding to give than to receive. Especially when you're more well-off or blessed, you appreciate those blessings by showing how much you appreciate them, by giving back.
You recently celebrated the twins' third birthday. Does it seem like they're growing up really quickly?
Yeah, I mean, they're just growing so fast. I want to just freeze them and keep them at this age. But yeah, we had a lot of fun. They got their first bicycles, lots of balloons. They're still amazed by the simple things like bubbles and colored chalk. So it wasn't that hard, too difficult, to make them smile this time around.
You also posted a photo of their new cars.
Oh yeah! They got little radios in them and everything. They're like full little vehicles - you need a license to drive those things.
Mariah said recently that your son Rocky is going through a punching-people phase?
Yeah, I think it's because I have a boxing gym in my gym, and I've been studying martial arts all my life, so he probably sees a lot of that stuff. Now, it's time to get him involved in this thing so he understands the discipline that goes into these activities and the respect for everyone else. It's my job to make sure that I don't let him kind of just run off and start hitting people and fighting people. But he definitely knows how to take care of himself. I don't think his sister's going to have to worry about too much - she's got a built-in bodyguard for the rest of her life.
The twins' birthdays fall on the same day as your wedding anniversary. How did you and Mariah celebrate?
We definitely had a good time. The first part of the day, we threw a birthday for them and their friends at their school, and then after that, once we tired all the kids out, we had a nice romantic rooftop evening and kind of re-enacted some of our wedding and engagement rituals that we do every year. So it was low key. I mean the year before, we kind of went over the top with Disneyland, so we kind of wanted to reel it in this year so everybody doesn't think that we try to do that every single year.
How do you guys deal with the ongoing tabloid rumors about your relationship, like that you're divorcing?
You kind of have to ignore it because every week it's something different, and if you paid attention to it, it actually probably would start really affecting you. There's no merit or truth to it. It's kind of humorous, really. It couldn't be further off from the truth, and it really affects the credibility of the so-called newspapers.
America's Got Talent is starting later this month. Can you give us any sneak peeks into the next season?
Oh man, the judges are having the blast and I'm having a great time. It's the best talent we've seen thus far. Season 9 starts May 27 and I think you'll see everybody having a lot more fun. I mean, a lot of these shows take themselves too seriously; we're the one that gets to have fun! So it's going to be a good time.
Do you ever hang out with the judges off screen?
My wife and I, last summer, got a chance to go hang out with Howard Stern at his summer home. We had a couples' dinner. And then Howie Mandel and I worked on separate projects outside of America's Got Talent where we guest-starred and helped each other out and maybe brainstormed and stuff, so it's kind of cool. And I kind of even knew Heidi Klum before the show started. We do a lot of charitable efforts and events for young people and kids, so we kind of share that passion. So yeah, it's always fun to see the judges outside the workplace.
(excerpt from Parade)
no domestic abuse in this happy family!!