Bow Wow was born in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, in Columbus, to Teresa and Alfonso Moss. His father left the family (though Bow Wow claims they are still in contact), and his mother re-married to Rodney Caldwell; Bow Wow grew up with his step-father and has two step-siblings. When he was five, he started his career in rap using the moniker "Kid Gangsta". One year later, in 1993, he performed at a Chronic tour in Columbus, and was noted by rapper Snoop Dogg, who subsequently gave him a stage name, "Lil' Bow Wow". Snoop later hired him as an opening act, officially gaining him a spot on the Death Row Records roster. Also "Lil' Bow Wow" appeared on a skit on Snoop's debut Doggystyle, saying, "I wanna be a muthafuckin' hustla!". By 1998, Bow Wow was introduced to record producer Jermaine Dupri, who helped shape his career.
In 2000, he released his first album, Beware of Dog and became a successful recording artist under Dupri's mentorship; the same year, Bow Wow's single, "Bounce With Me", was also successful. After the success of Bow Wow's debut album, he released 2002's Doggy Bag, which contained, among others, the songs "Thank You" and "Take You Home". During this time, he removed "Lil'" from his professional name. He eventually broke out on his own in 2003 with the album Unleashed, which was his first without Dupri's writing assistance; the album's sales were lower than that of his first two. In addition to his own albums, Bow Wow has contributed to Will Smith's Wild Wild West album, and had a guest appearance on Brandy's TV sitcom, Moesha as well as The Steve Harvey Show.
Bow Wow made his acting debut in 2002's Like Mike, where he starred as a young orphan who gets a shot at the NBA. He also co-starred with Cedric the Entertainer, Vanessa Williams, and Solange Knowles in Johnson Family Vacation. Bow Wow has appeared in commercials for Twix, Chewits Campbells, and Verbs. He has participated, as the headlining act, in every Scream Tour except for the last. He was featured in one of Jojo's songs "Baby It's You." Bow Wow also performed live with Chris Brown at the 2006 Kids' Choice Awards on Nickelodeon and appears on rapper Miss Nana's album I Got The Hood, Volume 1 as a host.
In 2005, Bow Wow released his fourth album, Wanted, on which he once again worked with Jermaine Dupri. The album featured two singles that reached #1 on the R&B charts, "Let Me Hold You" (featuring Omarion) and "Like You", featuring Ciara.  Since the success of Like Mike, Bow Wow has starred in several Hollywood films, with the latest, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, released on June 16, 2006. He has described the film's director, Justin Lin, as "the best director" he has ever worked with. Bow Wow has also developed a clothing line entitled Shago. In July of 2006, he received a Hollywood Life award for being "the most exciting crossover artist".
Bow Wow is currently working on his fifth studio album and expects the project to be out in December of 2006. Bow Wow describes the album as "edgier" than his last one; he has also noted that the album, which he describes as his biggest to date, may also be his last. The first single, "Shortie Like Mine", video will world premiere on BET on October 11 and will feature singer Chris Brown. Bow Wow has also committed to appearing in at least two more film roles. The script for one of the films, named Mr. President, is currently being re-written.
Bow Wow has been dubbed as "The Prince of Hip-Hop" and "Mr. 106 & Park"
Bow Wow became the second celebrity to appear on the reality prank show, Punk'd, more than two times. During his first appearance, he was tricked by Ashton Kutcher for losing some borrowed jewelry. The second time involved singer Omarion.
Bow Wow's fifth album The Price of Fame will be released on December 19, 2006. It is lead off by the single "Shortie Like Mine," which debuted at number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100. On Access granted for "Shortie Like Mine," he talked about the song being about everything that he's experienced in the last 8 months. The album, he said, has to do with all he's experienced in the last year and a half, and basically dealing the "The Price Of Fame."
Bow Wow stated that this may be his last album for a while.
Bow Wow has recently cut off his signature braids for the second time in his career.
Bow Wow owns his own McDonalds in Atlanta,Ga.
Bow Wow was a guest star on the television show Smallville in November 2006 in the episode entitled "Fallout".
Bow Wow's cartoon "Homeboyz" debuts on MTV late Dec/early Jan.
Bow Wow owns a shoe store in Atlanta, Ga, along with radio personality Greg Street, called "Prestigious".
Dated Ciara after their duet "Like You".
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