Nick Cannon Says He Earns $100 Million a Year, Fires Back at 'Deadbeat Dad' Claim

In a new interview, the 42-year-old says he outworks Ryan Seacrest with at least triple the projects.

Nick Cannon is getting candid. The 42-year-old media mogul fires back at being called a "deadbeat dad" in a new interview while revealing his jaw-dropping annual salary. 

"I've been villainized," Cannon tells the Los Angeles Times regarding scrutiny over his many partners and kids. The Masked Singer host has fathered 12 children with six women over the last 12 years, with five of those kids currently under the age of 1. "I hear all the time: 'You can’t be present for all those children.' So therefore I get this deadbeat dad title," he says. 

After refuting a report in November that he paid $3 million in child support per year, claiming the figure was actually much higher, Cannon now says that $3 million is "not a lot of money." 

"When you think about my lifestyle, I have to generate at least $100 million a year," he tells the Times, clarifying that, yes, he does earn as much. 

"Everybody thinks Ryan Seacrest has tons of money. I do everything that he does times 10. Well, not times 10 -- times three. Because he does a lot," Cannon shares. 

Among his notable endeavors are TV hosting gigs that include The Masked Singer -- for which he says he's paid $20 million -- and Wild 'N Out, along with a guest stint taking over for Jamie Foxx on Beat Shazam. There's a Wild ‘N Out arena tour and themed bars in San Diego, California and Miami, Florida, which he owns. He's also the co-owner of the Hollywood Hills restaurant, Yamashiro.

His other current projects include E!'s Celebrity Prank Wars, Amazon Freevee's Counsel Culture, BET's Future Superstar Tour, the film Hollywood Heist co-starring Alec Baldwin, his daily AMP radio show The Daily Cannon, the #2HateorNot2Hate podcast. He has his own music imprint, Ncredible, and is currently writing his second romance novel, based on his personal life and described, in his words, as "an urban Fifty Shades of Grey." 

LAT also notes that Cannon is working on his master's degree in child psychology and a PhD in divinity.

Explaining how he came to be a father of 12, Cannon says he's a hopeless romantic and a people pleaser. When a number of his partners expressed anxiety about their biological clocks during the pandemic, Cannon delivered. 

"A lot of them are in the same age group," he shares. "And I just wanted to give them what they desired. I kept saying, 'I can handle it.'" 

Cannon shares 12-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, with his ex-wife, Mariah Carey. He also shares Rise, 5 months, Powerful, 2, and Golden, 6, with Brittany Bell as well as Beautiful, 3 months, and Zion and Zillion, both 1, with Abby De La Rosa. The youngest of his kids are Halo, 2 months, with Alyssa Scott along with  Legendary, 7 months, with Bre Tiesi, and Onyx, 5 months, with LaNisha Cole. He also welcomed his late son  Zen with Scott. 

While Cannon has long been open about his polyamorous lifestyle -- once referring to it as "consensual non-monogamy" -- he now shares an update on how he decides where to sleep each night.

"A lot of times it's whichever of them has called me that day, to be honest," he admits. "I am such a creature of habit. I like who like me."

Although, he adds with a laugh: "Because everybody's so busy, nobody's looking to have sex with me... Everybody’s focus is the children."

And while he admits to feeling guilty about having limited time with each of his kids, he does his best to make each moment count. 

"It's not about what I do for you or what I say to you, it’s about how you feel when I’m with you," he says. "If you feel loved when you see your dad, that’s what’s gonna resonate."

In the end, Cannon feels he's in good fatherly company. Eddie Murphy has 10 kids with five different women, while Clint Eastwood has eight children with at least five partners, among other examples.

"I mean, Muhammad Ali had a bunch of kids and he was the greatest fighter there ever was," he says. "Bob Marley got more kids than I got. These are great men."

In a recent interview with ET, Cannon shared that, when it comes to spending time with his children, there's a misconception of how he goes about it.

"Everybody thinks it's time management. It's energy management," he said. "[Because] once we're all aligned, the flow is a lot easier. If there's any kind of low frequencies or dissension in there, that’s what messes up the scheduling. As long as we're all on the same page and we all got the same goal -- to be the best parents we could possibly be -- that works and then the scheduling is the scheduling."

Cannon's cognizant of the fact that, at some point, the business empire he's building is something his kids will inherit. It's what keeps him busy (he wakes up at 2 a.m. to go to work) and motivated. But with so much love to give, will he ever say it's time to hit pause on having more kids? Yes and no.

"Yeah, yeah [laughs] yeah," Cannon told ET when asked if he's done having kids before offering a caveat. "God decides when we're done [laughs] but I believe I definitely got my hands full. And I'm so focused. I'm locked in. But when I'm 85, you never know. I might."

But, in all seriousness, Cannon can't help but beam with pride at the bright future he's set up for his kids.

"It's a blessing, man, like, hopefully because of what I am able to do, my kids can do whatever they want to do, to be able to be in a position that if they want to be a nuclear physicist, I know somebody at an Ivy League school that I could [hit up]," he told ET. "If they want to go into the military, if they want to be artists, if they want to be actors, it's a thing where we have the capability. Let's start talking about it now so we can help your dreams come true."