Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman, born December 10, 1985, is an American actress, comedian, model, singer, songwriter, dancer, and television producer. She made her appearance as Olivia Kendall in 1989 on The Cosby Show. She released four albums, Here's to New Dreams, Undeniable, This is My Time, and her self-titled fourth album. She has also appeared as a main cast member in Hangin' With Mr. Cooper. She is most popular for her Disney Channel television series, That's So Raven, playing Raven Baxter, a psychic teenager.
She appeared as Galleria in the Disney Channel film, The Cheetah Girls and the sequel, The Cheetah Girls 2, respectively. Raven returned to the scene with a short-lived television show, State of Georgia in 2011. She also made her Broadway debut in Sister Act, portraying Deloris Van Cartier. In 2015, Raven returned back to the television industry, portraying Olivia Lyon, Jamal's ex-wife, who returns with her daughter, in the FOX television series, Empire.
Raven-Symoné was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Lydia (Gaulden) and Christopher Pearman. She has a brother, Blaize. 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. At age three, her family moved to Ossining, New York where she attended Park School.
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 Cosby liked her so much that he found a part for her on his show, The Cosby Show, as his step-granddaughter Olivia. She made her debut in the premiere episode of the show's sixth season, and remained until the series finale in 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.
In 1992, Raven-Symoné began her singing career at the age of seven, 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 No. 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. The album sold over 73,000 copies in the US.