Previously Known For: Son of Master P, films: Honey, Romeo!, and Scooby-Doo, singles like “My Baby,” and his time playing basketball with the USC Trojans
|Currently Known For: Empire, Famous in Love and Fighting Monsters as well as the founder of the No Limit Forever record label|
“I used to see my dad and his brothers rhyming, and I knew I wanted to do that one day. I’m like any other boy, always wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps.” With his father’s success as a talented rapper, record producer, philanthropist, businessman and former basketball star known as Master P, Percy Romeo Miller Jr. had some big shoes to fill when he made his grand entrance into the world on August 19, 1989 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Growing up watching his dad make music and learning even more about his father’s legacy on the basketball court, Romeo was determined to follow his father’s footsteps and did exactly that when, at five years old, his father signed him to Soulja Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Master P’s No Limit label.
Romeo released his debut single, “My Baby,” and performed the hit alongside his father at Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary celebration, which did wonders to boost both Romeo’s and Master P’s fame as No Limit was reintroduced as the New No Limit Records. Seven years later, Romeo released his debut album—Lil Romeo—and watched proudly as the album climbed to number six on the Billboard 200 charts. With the album selling over 500,000 copies and certified gold, Romeo was on fire and released his second studio album, Game Time, in 2002 that featured hit Billboard singles like “2-Way.” Although Game Time paled in comparison to his debut album, Romeo reached for another success in 2004 with his third album, Romeoland, which barely sold 250,000 copies in the United States.
Rebranding himself and going into the record business with his father, Romeo released his first digital album—Lottery—in 2006 and spent the next two years working on his fourth album and released the first hit single, “Get Low Wit It.” Following up with God’s Gift: Music form the Motion Picture in 2006, Hip Hop History in 2007 with Master P, and Spring Break in 2010 with College Boyys, Miller took a six-year hiatus from the studio and returned bigger than ever in 2016 with Fighting Monsters, a mixtape released especially for his adoring fans.
Amid his growing success as a rapper, Romeo showed an interest in acting and made his debut in the 2001 film Max Keeble’s Big Move before he joined Jessica Alba in Honey in 2003. The same year, Nickelodeon gave the young actor his own series titled Romeo!, which was a big success on the network over its three-season run. Along the way, Romeo snagged leading roles in flicks like Decisions, God’s Gift and Don’t Be Scared in addition to guest roles on television series like One on One, Static Shock, and Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. After Romeo! wrapped in 2006, he returned to film with The Jollybean Kids Mystery, The Pig People, Down and Distance, Jumping the Broom and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection.
Taking another cue from his father in the new millennium, Romeo felt confident enough to pursue his passion for basketball and, in 2006, attended Reebok’s premiere summer basketball camp in New Jersey that boasted alums like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. “I was a little kid like, ‘Damn, Dad hoops and raps, that’s the coolest thing ever,” Romeo said even though his talents paled in comparison to his dad’s and other NBA stars. However, he refused to give up and accepted a scholarship to the University of Southern California where many critics argued the offer was merely a favor to Master P. Regardless, the former high school basketball star put on his Trojans jersey but failed to make a lasting impression on the hardwoods over the next two seasons. Retiring his jersey in 2010, Romeo had failed to keep the promise he’d once wrapped… “I been dribbling a ball since the age of 3. I got game like Kobe, dunkin’ like Poppa P…”
Despite the criticism, Romeo refused to give into the rumors that he’d failed on the hardwoods as a Trojan and, instead, embraced the opportunity saying, “People may not know that I’ve gone to regular schools through my whole career. Education has always been the rock in my life and I think that every kid should have the proper education and that experience… College lets you make mistakes and learn from them without being babied by your parents. USC was the perfect school for me because I was able to be a regular student on campus.”
On the heels of his time at USC, Romeo launched his career as a model and fashion designer with the release of his College Boyys clothing line, which was designed to empower young men. “I want to implant the same positive message to young boys as they dress themselves each day with a feeling of success,” Romeo said. “They can look in the mirror at themselves with a positive goal in mind for their bright future knowing that going to college can make a big difference in their lives. College Boyys clothing style is classy, cool, and urban with a message: ‘It’s actually cool to be smart.’”
In the years since, Romeo has continued to build his brand through his music, clothing line and modeling career as well as his stint on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars, where he finished in the top five with professional dancer Chelsie Hightower. “Dancing with the Stars is like learning a new sport with lots of bumps and bruises,” Romeo said of the experience before joining his father on the reality series, Master P’s Family Empire. He returned to Hollywood bigger than ever when he joined the cast for the third season of Fox’s popular series Empire. Since then, his credits on television include The Challenge: Champs vs Stars and Famous in Love with his last film credit coming in 2016 films Jarhead 3: The Siege and Game Day.
Today, the 28-year-old still works incredibly hard and says the biggest competition he has is against himself. “I feel like my biggest competition is myself,” he says. “A lot of kids get caught up in the comparing game—comparing themselves with Michael Jackson, comparing themselves with Michael Jordan. You have to be your best. You have to overcome your own fears. I feel nobody has limits. It’s all in your head. If you have a big dream, go after it and go get it.”