Was Tyler Perry a struggling writer sleeping in his car when he had his first big stage hit? Yes. But did his success come from sheer faith in God and in himself? No, not according to Melvin Childs.

His upcoming book  Never Would Have Made It: The Rise of Tyler Perry, the Most Powerful Entertainer in Black America (And What It Really Took to Get Him There)tells the “real” story of Perry’s rise to fame, everything from his shady past with drug dealers, to his meteoric rise to fame, to how quickly he dropped those who helped him become such a huge name in entertainment. Yes, Childs is counting himself among those dropped.

Melvin Childs was Executive Producer of Tyler Perry’s first national tour “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” and he is finally ready to speak out about the multi-million dollar Hollywood influencer’s true path to fame. In addition to colorful anecdotes about Perry living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches one day and then demanding a certain type of limosuine the next, the website for the book promises a “riveting account of secret back room deals, illicit cash; backstabbing and double-dealing.” At the same time, Childs notes that Perry  is “the single most talented person [he’s] ever met.” If that’s not a mixed message I don’t know what is.

The website for the book also at once calls Never Would Have Made It an “inspirational story about using love and faith to overcome deceit and failure,” while also saying that it “has an uplifting message about the power of forgiveness that will resonate with readers who are Tyler Perry fans or hurt by someone you believe in.” Of course, Tyler Perry fans who have also been hurt by someone they believe in and have used love and faith to overcome deceit and failure will simply LOVE this book. Right?

It’s hard to separate Melvin Childs the scorned partner from Childs the veteran radio executive, a role that has served him well in life without him needing to speak out against the man who he claims discarded him with so little regard; the title alone screams bitterness of an order that one can only hope to never experience. Still, it might be interesting to read this book as a Hollywood How-To; no matter what anyone thinks of the quality of Perry’s work, few people of any race have ascended to his level of influence in the entertainment industry so the story, even from a secondhand perspective, is sure to be unique.

Check out the book trailer, which somehow manages to be 2 minutes and 40 seconds of stageplay drama itself. Remember folks, this is a BOOK trailer, not a movie trailer.




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