|Birth name||Vivian Lee Smallwood|
|Born||June 18, 1933|
|Origin||Castaic, California, U.S.|
|Died||July 22, 2017(aged 84)|
Vivian Lee Smallwood (June 18, 1933 – July 22, 2017), known by her stage name Rappin' Granny, was an American grandmother who performed hip-hop music. She lived in Castaic, California, near Los Angeles.
Smallwood was employed as a postal worker and began rapping in the mid-1980s. She took first place in a rap contest at a South-Central Los Angeles roller rink with an anti-drug themed rap. By 1988 she had formed a group with her son called Rappin' Granny and DJ Len. She won a Granny of the Year contest in Pasadena in 1988, performing a rap version of the song "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena". In 1989, she released a little-known, self-titled music video called "Rock-n-Soul". Smallwood was signed to Tandem Records in 1992. She released the single "You Didn't Use Your Blinker Fool" as a response to the DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince song "You Saw My Blinker". A brand of soda, Rappin Granny's Slammin Strawberry Hip Hop Pop, was named for her in 1995.
Smallwood had been a working Hollywood actress since the mid-1990s. She has appeared in numerous television shows with small parts and a few feature films. Some of her credits are, Everybody Hates Chris, Malcolm in the Middle, The Shield, and The Ladykillers. In Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996) she is credited as Vivian 'Rappin Granny' Smallwood. She also played "Nano" in Big Bad Beetleborgs, a show on the former Fox Kids network. In 2012, she appeared on the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Magician's Code: Part 1".
America's Got Talent
Smallwood was a contestant on the NBC television series America's Got Talent and qualified on the August 16, 2006 season finale for the one-million-dollar grand prize. In her audition, Rappin' Granny gave a performance that was very popular among the crowd and the judges, all of whom (Brandy, David Hasselhoff, and Piers Morgan) advanced her to the next round by way of a unanimous vote. Smallwood then returned for the semifinal episode that aired July 26, 2006. After another crowd-pleasing song, the judges again put her through to the next round, by another unanimous vote. For the final round, Smallwood rode in on a motorcycle. However, the final round was not kind to Smallwood; not only did she not win the million-dollar prize, she finished in the bottom half of the public vote that determined the winner, as announced by host Regis Philbin.
Vivian Smallwood died from natural causes at the age of 84 on July 22, 2017.
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