'AGT' host Nick Cannon stays young with YTV bash

Nick Cannon attends

Nick Cannon attends "America's Got Talent" season 9 post show red carpet event at Radio City Music Hall on August 6, 2014 in New York City. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images/AFP

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:48 PM ET

With his ability to keep his finger on the pulse of youth culture, not to mention his youthful appearance, perhaps Nick Cannon has a painting of himself in his attic that's mysteriously aging.

“Right! It could be, it could be!” Cannon said with a laugh. “I'm still looking the same. I might have to check that out, Dorian Gray style.

“Man, I'm just a kid at heart. I've always loved youth culture, I've been a product of youth culture. It's kind of just 'staying in the know' with what's going on in music and fashion and technology and just being able to speak their language.

“I mean, honestly, I still feel like I'm 19 years old. I've always worked in kids' television, producing and being in front of the camera, and I just kind of grew up in it. I've never really left. I just feel that for some reason I've been blessed to understand youth culture.”

Another example of Cannon's kid connection comes Saturday, Aug. 9, as he hosts the YTV Summer Beach Bash in Toronto. The event will be taped and broadcast across the country, Aug. 23 on YTV.

The free concert at Toronto's Sugar Beach is scheduled to feature performances by 4Count, Victoria Duffield, Rebel Coast, Alicia Moffet, Karl Wolf and the stars of YTV’s Some Assembly Required.

“I'm really excited about the event, because I launched a new guy group called 4Count, and not only is their album coming out, they have some great hit songs that are playing on the radio right now,” Cannon said. “But they also have a television show that's launching on YTV with Corus, so this was kind of a great way to launch and introduce the band, but at the same time get up there and have some fun in the sun.”

It's hard to believe Cannon has time for fun in the sun, so it's a good thing he has fun with his countless projects. He's 33 now, and has been a staple on the showbiz scene since his late teens. From an audience perspective, Cannon's most high-profile gig at the moment is hosting America's Got Talent.

Cannon chuckled when told that a media release described him as a multifaceted entertainer/film star/comedian/TV and radio host/musician/writer/director/executive producer/philanthropist.

“I feel like it's all one,” Cannon said. “I would take all the slashes out and just call myself an artist, or an entertainer.

“I kind of pattern myself after those entertainers and artists of yesteryear, and just say, 'Hey, I'm blessed that I get to wake up every morning and be creative.' That's my job and that's what people pay me to do, so I love it. Before, if you were a great entertainer, you had to do it all.”

As a famous person married to another famous person – Mariah Carey – Cannon also has heard it all, with the personal lives of celebrities not only being scrutinized these days, but basically having become an industry unto itself.

“It comes with the territory,” Cannon said. “I mean, with social media and everything, it is getting a little worse. But as long as you stay true to yourself, you'll be fine. I mean, the beauty of it is, there's always a new story tomorrow.”

So now as Cannon maps the career of 4Count, would he advise members of the group to ignore social media? Or is there an expectation that they partake and participate, given their young age?

“It depends,” Cannon acknowledged. “But that's why I say, stay true to yourself. If you have something to say, stick to it, stand firm on it, but don't get caught up in it, don't use gimmicks and media ploys to get attention, that never works.

“If you just stay true to who you are as an artist, you'll be able to fly above it. And when you do get trapped in it, you'll be able to deal with it.”

Wise words from the always youthful Nick (Dorian Gray) Cannon. Seriously, someone check his attic for a gruesome painting.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca


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