In a recent interview on the Diary Of A CEO podcast, the father of 12 wasn’t afraid to confess that he wouldn’t have survived his 2012 lupus diagnosis if it wasn’t for the “Without You” singer by his side.
“She was my rock,” he admitted. “She went hard. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for how hard she went with the doctors, with me, my stubbornness.”
The Grammy winner, 54 and the former America’s Got Talent host, 42, saw sparks flying almost immediately when Carey cast Cannon as her love interest in the 2008 “Bye Bye” music video. It only took six weeks from the time they got engaged for Carey and Cannon to tie the knot. In 2011, they welcomed fraternal twins Moroccan and Monroe.
Unfortunately, Cannon was diagnosed with lupus one year later – an inflammatory disease which occurs when the immune system attacks its own tissues. The Masked Singer host described Carey as “the perfect helpmate, the perfect matriarch, the perfect mom, the perfect wife” during this time.
“It probably took a toll on us just because of the person I was in my head and the struggles that I was dealing with,” he continued. “But it definitely brought us closer together.”
When podcast host Steven Bartlett asked whether Cannon believed Carey “saved his life”, he simply responded: “I absolutely do.”
“But that’s what you do when you find a helpmate. When you find someone that you’re in matrimony with, you go hard for [them],” Cannon pointed out. “I feel like I went hard for her and we’ll still go hard – I lay down my life for her today. That’s what you do, it’s just family.”
Cannon went on to explain how his experience with the disease put many things into perspective for him. However, it wasn’t easy for him to see things clearly while he was struggling. In fact, he told Bartlett that he was also dealing with mental health issues at the time, such as questioning his purpose and effect on the world.
“Staring up from the hospital bed, staring at the ceiling all alone when everybody else is kicked out, and you gotta be face to face with your higher power, asking all those tough questions. Am I done?” he explained. “A lot of people don’t do that because we get caught up in the constant race of just living day to day, but it slowed down for me on many occasions.”
While it may have been difficult for him to comprehend at the time, Cannon said he now lives his days with direction and without fear. “I’m probably reminded of my physical mortality all the time,” he noted. “And when you’re not afraid of dying, you focus on living, you know?”
This isn’t the first time the TV personality has praised the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” singer. In 2022, Cannon opened up to Entertainment Tonight about the gratitude he has for his time spent with Carey.
“I was talking about the fantasy of it all. I was like: ‘Yo, if I could have that same vibe of where I was at that state in my life and that age, of course I would do that all over again,’” he said. “But I’m not.”
In addition to his two children with Carey, Cannon has welcomed Rise, Powerful, and Golden, with Brittany Bell; Zion, Zillion, and Beautiful with Abby De La Rosa; Halo with Alyssa Scott; Legendary with Bre Tiesi; and Onyx with LaNisha Cole. Cannon and Scott lost their baby boy, Zen, to cancer in 2021 when he was only five months old.