(Photo courtesy of Romeo)
Born in New Orleans on August 19, 1989, Percy Romeo Miller Jr., aka Romeo, is an entertainer, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. The son of businessman and music mogul Percy Miller, aka Master P, he has sold more than 10 million records as a multi-platinum music artist.
According to a detailed bio on ABC’s website, Romeo is the CEO of the multi-million dollar record company No Limit Forever, and became the youngest entertainer to top the Billboard charts at the age of 10. ABC says that Romeo has dedicated his life to giving back to the communities and helping at-risk youth with his foundation Urban Born.
His acting credits include his acclaimed television show “Romeo!” on Nickelodeon, “The Defenders,” “The Cape” and a starring role in the movie “Honey” with Jessica Alba. ABC states Romeo is not only a Hollywood superstar but is also majoring in business and film at the University of Southern California (USC).
As a freshman, he helped the school’s basketball team make USC history by winning their first PAC 10 Championship. According to ABC, Romeo says he appreciates the importance of education, which is why he remains at USC while pursuing his entertainment and business career opportunities.
What interested you in doing “Dancing with the Stars,” especially after your father fared so poorly on the program during the second season?
I wanted to do this show to show our future generation not to be afraid to fail. More and more kids are dropping out of high school and letting their dreams slip away because of failure. I felt that this show was the perfect opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and take an unknown journey with my fans. I did “Dancing with the Stars” for the kids and my charity “URBANBORN” [UrbanBorn.org]. And FYI, my dad taught me all of my dance moves. [Laughs]
Tell me a little about the charity you played for.
People may not know that I’ve gone to regular school through my whole career. Education has always been the rock in my life, and I think that every kid should have the proper education and that experience. School for me has been like the real world in a bubble. Everything about school and education has built me to be the man that I am today, and I wanted to share that with our future. With UrbanBorn.org I do a lot of “Read to Achieve” events and I go to a lot of underprivileged schools to express the importance of education.
Speaking of school, how have you enjoyed USC?
College is some of the best times a kid can have. You’re able to make mistakes and learn from them without being babied by your parents. USC was the perfect school for me because I was able to be a regular student on campus.
What’s more fun, making movies or being a contestant on a reality show?
I would definitely have to say making movies! [Laughs] Although I loved the “Dancing with the Stars” journey, I must admit I have never been so nervous in my life. When I’m making movies, I’m a lot more comfortable and relaxed.
I feel reality is more fun for the viewers because you get to see the celebrity in a different light. But for me, learning a new dance in a few days to perform in front of 20 million people equals nervous breakdown. [Laughs]
What message do you have for young people who believe in instantaneous success without hard work or sacrifice?
That’s a myth. Anybody who you see that’s successful has a story. You just may not know it. The key to success is hard work. And when it’s your time, you have to make the best of it.
Do you think the current chaos in the music industry creates more or less opportunity for artists just starting out?
Honestly, I feel that in this day and age of music it’s a lot better for new artists to become known and have more opportunity because everything’s digital. With YouTube, Myspace, Twitter, etc., anyone with talent has a chance to show it to the world.
How does it feel to be part of a dynasty with your father as the head? Does he guide your career?
I truly feel like me and my dad should have been born in a different century. We belong in the 1600s or something because our relationship has always been like one of a king and a prince. Every day, every step of my life, my father has been preparing me to one day take over his dynasty and we’re not just father and son but best friends. He guides me and I guide him.
Are you ever afraid?
There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try themselves and those who are afraid that you will succeed. I always say, “Do what you are afraid to do.” See, my dictionary must be messed up because the definition of “afraid” in my book is: “Go out and do it!” Oh well. [Laughs]
What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was “Things Fall Apart.” It is a 1958 English language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. I actually read this book back in high school but I reread it again as a much more mature person now and it really struck home this go-round. This is an amazing story and it’s one of the best books of all time for a reason. Everybody can relate to living in a shadow and wanting to be recognized for just being themselves.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
I see endless opportunities. I see no limits. I see the future.
If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
World peace. I just want everyone to feel happiness and love. That’s the reason we have male and female, Adam and Eve, Romeo and Juliet …
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
Losing my two first cousins at a young age and seeing death with my own eyes. I’ve learned that to live you must not be afraid to die. Everybody’s put on this earth for a reason and you must take advantage of your time here and try to help the world to your best being. Life doesn’t revolve around us; we revolve around life. And I think once you figure that out you’ll appreciate and live a much better life.
Who’s at the top of your hero list?
My father and Martin Luther King Jr. These two men have shown me that if you dream big, anything is possible.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Be prepared for the ups and downs, and remember that God will never give you anything you can’t handle. Always stay true to your self and surround yourself with positive people. It’s very simple: Hard work pays off and patience is a virtue. Also, get your education because no one can ever take that away from you.
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