Bow Wow (formerly Lil’ Bow Wow) is an American rapper and actor. His birth name is Shad Gregory Moss and he was born on March 9, 1987 in Columbus, Ohio to Teresa Caldwell and Alfonso Moss. He was interested in rap music as a child, and started to rap when he was 6 years old. He was a big fan of the band Niggaz Wit Attitudes (N.W.A) and was heavily influenced by their music. In 1993, at the age of 6, his performance at a concert got him noticed by the rapper Snoop Dogg (Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.) who then gave him the stage name of “Lil’ Bow Wow”. In 1998, at the age of 11, he met a record producer by the name of Jermaine Dupri who was also the producer for many major artists such as Lil’ Kim, Destiny’s Child and Mariah Carey. Dupri helped Bow Wow to launch his career. In 1999, his song “The Stick Up” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie “Wild Wild West”.
His debut album, titled “Beware of Dog” was released in 2000 when he was just 13 years old. His single “Bow Wow (That’s My Name)” featured the rapper Snoop Dogg and was a chart topper. Other singles included “Bounce with Me” (featuring the R&B band Xscape), “Puppy Love”, and “Ghetto Girls”. With sales in excess of 2 million copies, the album was certified double platinum in March 2001 by the Recording Industry Association of America. His second album was titled “Doggy Bag” and it was released in 2002. The album reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The track “Basketball” was featured on the soundtrack of the film “Like Mike” in which he also acted. It reached No. 1 on the R&B charts and No. 25 on the rap charts and was certified platinum by the RIAA. Shortly after the release of this album, he changed his name to “Bow Wow” claiming that he had dropped the “Lil” because he was getting older and that there were already too many “Lil”s in the music industry.
In 2005, his third studio album “Wanted” was released which was also certified platinum. It included the track “Let Me Hold You” featuring the rapper Omarion which reached No. 1 on the rap charts. Another track “Like You” featured the singer Ciara, whom he also began dating. The couple broke up in 2006, which was the same year he released his next album “The Price of Fame”. The lead single from the album was “Shortie Like Mine” which featured the R&B singer Chris Brown and reached No. 1 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts. Another single, titled “Outta My System” was about his break up with the singer Ciara. He soon released another album titled “Face Off” in 2007, after which he signed with a new label called Cash Money Records. Bow Wow has announced that his new album “Underrated” will feature many artists such as Birdman, Boyz II Men, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Nas, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, DMX and several others.
Bow Wow has also ventured into acting, and has appeared in television series and movies such as Moesha, The Steve Harvey Show, Brothers Garcia, Roll Bounce, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and CSI: Cyber. He was chosen as the host of Black Entertainment Television’s music video called “106 & Park”. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his mother who used to run a clothing store.