Tyler Perry: The Black Entertainer Who Never Gave Up

If you know the Madea character in Black American movies, then you know Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry was born as Emmitt Perry Jr in September 13, 1969. He is an American producer, director, writer and lyricist. The 46-year old from New Orleans, Louisiana, is an occasional actor. He often models his works within the Christian gospel precepts. The movies often revolve around broken families and the “black church culture.”

Tyler was the son of a carpenter. His relationship with his father was so rocky that he attempted suicide at some point. With the help of his mother he found solace in church. In his teens, he officially changed his name to “Tyler”. As a healing therapy, Tyler took up writing. Today he is a guru in the art.

A smart child he was but he never finished high school. His love for the performance art spurred him into investing all of his humble savings in producing shows. Unfortunately, Tyler spent 6 years organizing shows with little or no returns. He was frustrated and broke. However the young man did not dare give up, he kept on pushing till there was a positive change.

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I put a show up for 1,200 people and only 30 showed up but that didn’t stop me.

After facing several rejections in Hollywood, Tyler decided to start his own company in Atlanta. From there his break was registered.

In 2005, Forbes reported that Tyler had sold over $100 million in tickets and about $30 million in videos. Each of the 300 live shows he produces each year are attended by a weekly average of 35,000 people.


Tyler Perry has written and produced many performance pieces. He produces live recordings of stage plays; some of which have in time been translated into professional movies. According to Wikipedia, his most successful television show has been Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, a show that ran for eight seasons on TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). He is most popular for the ‘Madea’ movies. He both created and plays the comic character.

You get some laughter, you get some education, you get some therapy and you get some joy and some happiness, and at the end of it, you realize you’ve learned something”- Perry

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At a worth of $130 million in 2011, Forbes named him the highest paid man in entertainment. In 2012, he was rated as the richest black actor with a net worth of $400 Million (Eric Robeson). Tyler Perry recently moved his TV empire over to Oprah Winfrey’s cable network (OWN). OWN airs Tyler’s The Have and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor at the moment. Tyler is incredible with scripts. That skill has formed the basis of his partnership with Oprah. A resounding success in that regard is the script series for The Haves and the Have Nots.

It is good to know that the black successful entertainer was not always a money bag. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He believed, had faith and worked so hard to get to where he is today.

“He’s creating an empire based on what he knows, based on what he likes, and he’s doing it himself, and he’s coming from a very challenging background.”– Viola Davis