Three months since he was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus nephritis, which affects the kidneys, Nick Cannon reports that his health is “100 percent,” thanks to diet and lifestyle changes. “One of the biggest things about the condition is fatigue, so what I have done is meditating and working out first thing in the morning. That really gets my energy going all day. I feel better then ever. I am in the best shape I have ever been in,” declares Cannon, who has stopped eating red meat, salt and fast food. “Just chicken and fish,” plus “juicing a lot” and eating raw, organic vegetables, he says. He’s “taking some medicine, but I’m trying to get off of it,” he adds. “I don’t wake up tired.”
Admittedly scared when he learned he had a serious, potentially life-threatening condition, he started filming a video diary that’s now playing online under the title NCredible Health Hustle. “I wanted everyone else, whatever illness you’re going through, to know that your life isn’t over and it doesn’t have to stop. You can work through it. You see me working out. You see the ups and downs.”
There was concern that he might not be able to handle the hectic America’s Got Talent schedule, but he reports that it has not been the case. “This show has never felt like work, and it’s been the best season ever, I’m here because I love doing this,” Cannon raves about the talent contest, which returns to NBC for its seventh season on May 14. He relishes his role as “the enthusiastic cheerleader on the side of the stage. I came up in the world of talent shows and I know what it’s like,” says Cannon, who thinks that the show offers talented people an incredible opportunity, but he’s in no hurry to see his twins Monroe and Moroccan, who turn 1 on April 30, audition for it.
“Maybe because I’m a new parent, I’m so protective and so sensitive, I would never want anyone to judge my child. Of course I’m going to support whatever they want,” he adds, noting that wife Mariah Carey is totally fine with the idea of the children becoming singers. “It’s a real debate in our household. I don’t like to hold entertainment on such a pedestal. It’s great, but there are so many other wonderful things.”
For now, it’s first steps first, literally. “They’re trying to walk. I’m nervous because they’re at that age where anything can happen. My son loves banging his head and crushing stuff. Something new is happening every day,” reports Cannon, who’s planning a family getaway for their birthday.
Busier than ever with AGT and projects, including the upcoming BET sketch comedy series House Husbands and Rags, a movie he produced for Nickelodeon starring Keke Palmer, due to premiere May 28, Cannon says his wife will be the stay-at-home parent for now and won’t take Simon Cowell up on his offer to judge on The X Factor. “She was like, ‘I don’t care how much money they offer me. I don’t want to judge other entertainers.’”
America’s Got Talent premieres May 14 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
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(Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)