On September 13, 2015, megastar Tyler Perry turned 46. And to celebrate his birthday, he made a somewhat startling Facebook confession. “I really don’t like people singing “Happy Birthday” to me,” he wrote. This rather downbeat opener was perhaps not what fans of such a generally positive celebrity were expecting. But the rest of Perry’s post explained the reason behind his admission, and it’s something many of us can relate to.
To truly appreciate where Perry is coming from, it’s perhaps best to tell his story from the beginning. You see, when Perry came into the world, he wasn’t actually called Tyler. In fact, his parents, Willie Maxine Perry and Emmitt Perry Sr., originally named him after his father. But Perry seemingly dumped the first name Emmitt just as soon as he legally could.
Why? Well, in 2009 Perry revealed some of the ill-treatment that he had suffered through as a young boy. In an open letter to his fans, he described one terrifying incident where his drunk and angry father attacked him. The star wrote, “[My dad] got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back.”