September 4, 2008 in Features

That’s truly Raven

Grown-up ‘Cosby’ kid headlines Tuesday’s music at the Spokane County Interstate Fair
By Jonathan Landrum Jr. Associated Press
McClatchy-Tribune photo

(Full-size photo)(All photos)

If you go

In addition to Raven-Symone, here are the other musical acts performing grandstand shows at the Spokane County Interstate Fair. Through today, tickets for each show are $10 for adults, $7.50 for youth and seniors, which includes fair admission; beginning Friday, show tickets are $5, plus regular fair admission ($8 for adults, $5 for youth/seniors), through TicketsWest outlets (509-325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT,

Joe Nichols

Monday, 7 p.m. – He’s a young country singer with a reputation for upholding country music’s traditional roots. Nichols came out of Arkansas with his major-label debut in 2002 and soon scored hits with “The Impossible,” “She Only Smokes When She Drinks,” “Brokenheartsville,” “I’ll Wait for You,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and, most recently, “It Ain’t No Crime.” His latest album, “Real Things,” made it to No. 2 on Billboard’s country albums chart.

Bowling for Soup

Wednesday, 7 p.m. – This Texas punk band formed in 1994 and takes its name from an old Steve Martin comedy sketch. They had a popular radio hit in 2005 with the song “1985,” and also charted with “Almost” and “High School Never Ends.” They are known for their irreverent sense of humor, reflected in the titles of their albums: “Drunk Enough to Dance,” “A Hangover You Don’t Deserve” and, most recently, “The Great Burrito Extortion Case.”

Phil Vassar

Sept. 11, 7 p.m. – The Virginia-bred Vassar was first known as a songwriter, composing hits for country artists Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and Jo Dee Messina. He soon broke out on his own in 1999 and immediately had hits with “Carlene” and “Another Day in Paradise,” followed by “Six-Pack Summer,” “That’s When I Love You,” “In A Real Love” and “Love is a Beautiful Thing.” His most recent album, “Prayer of a Common Man,” hit No. 3 this year on the country album charts.

– Jim Kershner

Even though Raven-Symone can add movie producer to her long list of accomplishments, some people still perceive her as just a little girl.

But the former “That’s So Raven” star is trying to show she’s graduated from the child phenom role, and has more substance to her than the character that’s still endlessly shown, via reruns, on the television screen.

One way Raven-Symone believes she can do so is through her music.

“I just want people to see that I’m not a little kid anymore,” the 22-year-old said while on a rehearsal break for the nationwide tour that brings her to the Spokane County Interstate Fair on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

She’s touring behind her self-titled album released in April. Some of the tracks are uptempo songs, like the first single, “Double Dutch Bus.” But she also dips into her personal matters, such as a tough relationship on “Love Me Or Leave Me.”

“When I was recording it, I was crying because I don’t like putting my business out there,” Raven-Symone said.

While she is known through her TV and movie credits as the bubbly, outgoing type, she describes herself as an individual who would rather keep her experiences away from work to herself.

She avoids the spotlight and gossip headlines by not going to the same places as other celebs. For the most part, she stays at home to either play video games like “Heavenly Sword,” watch the cartoon comedy “South Park” or spend time on her how-to Web site for teens.

“I don’t talk about my personal life a lot, because it’s not for everybody’s knowledge,” she said. “But that is what grows people up. Even when I talk about it, I get antsy.”

One of the more personal songs on the CD is “Hollywood Life,” about the struggles of becoming famous, dealing with the pitfalls of loneliness and weight loss.

“There are so many girls who are trying to be famous, and trying to conform to a style or body type,” Raven-Symone said. “But they are fine just the way they are.

“This is a something that a lot of people need to hear.”

If there’s anyone in music or acting who should understand, it is Raven-Symone. The entertainer has read blog comments chastising her about her full figure, but she tries not to let the criticism bother her.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, except in Hollywood: It’s whoever says what is beautiful,” she said. “So everyone follows. For me, I’m fine with how I am. I’m not trying to be a certain size.”

Since the age of 2, Raven-Symone (her full name is Raven-Symone Pearman) has been in the limelight. Her big break was as the cute-as-a-button Oliva on “The Cosby Show” when she was just 3.

After that show went off the air, she starred in the comedy series “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” before getting her starring gig as the teen with psychic powers in the Disney smash “That’s So Raven.”

A star of the “Doctor Dolittle” movies with Eddie Murphy, she co-starred in and was executive producer for the movie “College Road Trip” with Martin Lawrence.

Raven-Symone has also participated in The Cheetah Girls’ films and their soundtracks, which have sold more than 3 million copies total.

In her new DVD, “Raven-Symone Presents,” she offers everything from fashion tips to recipes to party planning ideas.

Some may wonder why she continues to make records, rather than focus on her other successful endeavors. Ebony magazine dubbed her the “The $400 Million Woman,” referring to how much money the “That’s So Raven” franchise has made.

“I have a lot to say,” Raven-Symone said. “I love to perform and touch my audience.

“When you have a movie or TV show, you are not able to touch them the same way. I don’t think music will ever be

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