On Tuesday night, bloggers and writers from various media outlets were invited as special guests for an intimate dinner with author, Melvin Childs, at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in Grand Central Station in New York City. Who is Melvin Childs? Well, according to him, he is the man who discovered Tyler Perry. Yes, the multi-millionaire, and media tycoon of the television and film franchises House of Payne, Meet The Browns, and his breakout Madea character movies. Oh, yeah, we can’t forget Tyler Perry Studios based out of Atlanta, GA.
Melvin Childs gathered the media because he wanted to set the story straight. A producer from Oklahoma City, OK, Melvin wanted to let the world know that had it not been for him there probably would not be a Tyler Perry. There probably would not be a Madea, and there probably would not be a black media tycoon taking Hollywood by storm.
In Melvin Childs’s new book, Never Would Have Made It – The Rise of Tyler Perry, the Most Powerful Entertainer in Black America (And What It Really Took To Get Him There), he shares his personal story of how he discovered Tyler Perry and how their relationship eventually ended. But, Melvin Childs admitted that he wrote this book because he wanted to help other young aspiring artists, and those interested in a career in entertainment.
Dining over steaks in the bustling and illuminating Grand Central Station, Melvin Childs, an unassuming man, stood and addressed all of us in attendance. With a broad smile, Melvin shared how he was introduced to Tyler Perry many years ago in Atlanta. He was invited to Tyler Perry’s first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” and said he was hooked on the content of the play. “There wasn’t a Madea character in the play,” Melvin said. “The play was very spiritual and uplifting. It was a gospel play, but the story was similar to Tyler’s own upbringing of molestation and abuse.”
After experiencing the play, Melvin shared that he was willing to take a chance with Tyler Perry because he was, “very talented and very creative. He had ‘it.’”
A homeless and broke Tyler Perry became Melvin Childs’s newest project. He took care of Tyler. He helped Tyler Perry and put him up in a cheap hotel, and according to Melvin Childs he began devising a way to get money to properly fund Tyler Perry’s first play. “Nobody was interested in Tyler,” Melvin said. “He was a nobody, but I knew there was something about him.”
With his connections, Melvin Childs was able to get the money, but from less than savory resources. “Tyler was oblivious to where the money came from,” Melvin said. “I admit that we all were young and made lots of mistakes.”
In some exclusive excerpts from Melvin Childs’s book, he writes, “To ascend to the level of celebrity, you have to want it to the point of desperation. It has to consume and dominate your every waking moment. It has to be the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think about at night. And if you want something, anything, that badly you will be willing to do just about anything to get it. Show me someone as famous as Tyler Perry and I will show you someone who, at some point, sacrificed his or her integrity at the altar of fame.”
He goes on to write, “Taking money from a drug dealer was never questioned. We saw it as a blessing because to us, he was that dude. Now if you were to look up “that dude” in the dictionary you would probably find a picture of Chico. He had it all – designer suits, five hundred dollar shoes, expensive cars and a stable of beautiful women at his disposal. Everything about the man absolutely reeked of money.”
Melvin goes on to tell of how much money he received –
“How much you need?” Chico asked as we gathered our things to go home.
“$100,000 would be nicely.” I replied.
“We split what comes back 50/50?”
“Right down the middle.” I said confidently.
“Alright my man, come down to Miami and I’ll take care of you.” He said with a smile. “Just let me know when you’re coming.”
Finally, Melvin writes how anyone willing to make it in the entertainment business will do anything to make it to the top, “…if you want something bad enough, you will be willing to do just about anything to get it. I am no different from anyone else in that regard. I walked away from a family that needed me and, essentially, left them to fend for themselves while I was hustling down in Atlanta, trying to launch Tyler Perry’s career. Getting that show back up was my only concern. Everything else, including family, was a distant second and would have to wait.”
“As ugly as that sounds, I was more than willing to make that sacrifice. You have to understand, it’s not just the Will Smith’s or Tyler Perry’s of the world that make difficult choices for the sake of their dreams. Behind every Tyler Perry there is somebody else who is just as willing, if not more so, to do whatever it takes. Someone crazy or foolish enough to put himself in harm’s way for the sake of something he or she perceives to be bigger than they are. Only their stories are rarely told because what they had to do is often contrary to the image that has been created for the celebrity in question.”
“But that doesn’t lessen our contribution to their success. I have no problem recognizing Tyler Perry’s talent but here is the worst kept secret in the world. You do not make it in this business based on talent. Talent is not enough. It wasn’t enough then, it’s no enough now and it won’t be enough tomorrow. Without someone standing in the shadows, hustling and grinding for him, Tyler Perry is not Tyler Perry. He is just another cautionary tale of big, unrealistic dreams that come crashing down to earth at the feet of the monster we call maturity.”
Melvin Childs reveals another shocking revelation in his book regarding Tyler Perry and the success of his first play, and his continued success, “If you want to know how Tyler Perry went from being a virtual nobody to selling out the House of Blues, the answer is simple. He was able to buy $45,000 of advertising. How was he able to do that? We gambled a hundred thousand dollars of drug money without regard to our personal safety or that of our families. That is how it happened and that is what separated him from all the other talented artists out there struggling to make it.”
“For anyone who simply doesn’t believe Tyler would have done that, I am sorry but you are being naïve. Just as naïve as anyone who thinks Tyler Perry is the only celebrity to get his start this way. For good or bad, that’s the way the entertainment business works and any aspiring performer who buys into the fantasy Tyler puts out as his bio is dooming himself to failure because it doesn’t happen that way. It didn’t for Tyler and it won’t for you.”
Melvin Childs’s book, Never Would Have Made It – The Rise of Tyler Perry, the Most Powerful Entertainer in Black America (And What It Really Took To Get Him There), is available wherever books are sold and also on Amazon.com.
You can also visit his website, HERE!
About Melvin Childs:
Over the last 15 years, few individuals have been more innovative in the entertainment industry than Melvin Childs. At the same time, probably nobody in America has worked harder behind the scenes to launch the careers of beginning writers. Some might consider him a great producer with a special eye for talent, while others might call him a shrewd, no-nonsense business man. Whichever view you take of Melvin Childs, the story of his role as the Executive Producer of Tyler Perry’s first national tour is nothing short of remarkable.
Having started out in the radio industry, Mr. Childs was able to meet and work with many veteran promoters and producers very early on in his career. These industry vets fueled his aspirations to become one of the best in the business. His willingness to gamble on young talent put him in a position to work side-by-side, with Tyler Perry on his first national touring project ‘I Know I’ve Been Changed’. That successful tour is the one that ultimately led to Tyler’s success and spawned his multi-million dollar empire.
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100 Reasons Why I Can't Stop Looking At Blue Ivy
1. Mommy & Me
2. Blue. #May10 #NYC
3. Blue Ivy & Jay Z Sip Tea
Blue is surely the apple of Daddy's eye.
4. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Smell The Roses
Beyonce seems like the coolest mom.
5. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Soar The Big Skies
6. Blue Ivy & Mommy
7. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
9. One Big Happy Family
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10. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Beyonce in these heels though?!
11. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
12. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
13. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
14. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
15. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
16. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
17. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
Blue has grown up to be an adorable toddler! We're swooning over this photo of her playing on the beach.
Looks like Blue is taking a walk in mom's shoes...literally.
20. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
22. Blue On The Big Screen
Bey & Jay look at Blue during a video played at an "On The Run" tour stop. How precious!
23. Pardon Blue's Back
She's growing up so fast! We're loving the top knot. Take that Blue Ivy hair critics!
24. Jump Around
Bey & Blue share an adorable moment on the trampoline. Hello summer!
25. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
26. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
27. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
28. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
29. Trying On Some Heels
Will Blue be slaying a performance in the near future?
30. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
31. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
32. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
33. Blue Ivy
"The blueprint 🐝"
34. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
Doesn't Blue look adorable with her colorful dress and cute hair ribbon?
35. The Carter Lounge Together
The family was seen out and about.
36. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
37. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
38. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
39. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
40. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
41. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
43. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
44. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
45. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
46. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
47. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
48. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
"Fine, I'll go ask Daddy!"
49. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
50. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
51. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
52. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
53. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
54. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
55. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
56. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
57. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
58. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
59. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
60. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
61. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
62. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
63. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
64. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
66. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
67. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
68. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
"Beyoncé, Blue and Dora the Explorer"
69. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
70. Blue's Big B-Day
"Mommy make sure they can only see the back of my head."
71. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
72. Kisses From Mommy
Beyonce and Blue prepping for Momma Tina's Masquerade Ball
73. Talk To The Hand!
Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were spotted leaving Joey's restaurant in Miami, on January 8th, and Blue had a message for the paps! Talk to the hand!
74. Me & My Daddy
While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
75. Blue's First Words
"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
76. Imagine The Sound Of This Lullaby
A newborn Blue Ivy gets serenaded by her superstar mother.
77. Don't Mess With Blue!
Every now and again, Blue Ivy reminds you...she is her father's child!
78. All Gold Everything
Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
79. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
80. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
81. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
82. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
83. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
84. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
85. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
86. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
87. Blue Ivy Twirls
"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
88. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
89. Mommy & Me Loungin'
"Oh, Mommy, I'm so tired of seeing the wigs you snatched last night all on our floor. It's so exhausting. Like, when're they getting picked up? Not now? Oh. Ok."
90. A Kiss For Blue
"Mommy, let me sleep, dang!"
91. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
We could watch this adorable GIF of Blue Ivy nonstop forever!
93. Jay Sneaks In Kisses
"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
94. Blue Stares Back...
"Hey! Who's that?!"
95. Blue Still Doesn't Get Why Anyone's Here
"No, really, who are you? You're getting to close."
96. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
"I'm over this now. People just won't let us be. Mom, why can't we just be?!"
97. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
98. Blue Jetsets With Jay
"Dad, do we own this boat? I just figured we owned everything, so..."
99. Beyonce Keeps Blue Covered
"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
100. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
Look at that face, how could you not kiss it?!