Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Don D. Scott
Tyler James Williams
Brandon Mychal Smith
Courtney B. Vance
David A. Makin
June 15, 2012 (US & CAN)
Let It Shine is a 2012 musical television film that premiered on Disney Channel. It features an ensemble cast of Tyler James Williams, Coco Jones, Trevor Jackson and Brandon Mychal Smith. The film follows a shy, talented rapper and musician who pens romantic hip-hop verses only to stand idly by as they’re delivered to the girl of his dreams by a proxy, his best friend, in a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. The film was directed by Paul Hoen and written by Eric Daniel and Don D. Scott. The Disney Channel Original Movie premiered on June 15, 2012, US and CAN and July 20, 2012 UK. The first look at it was seen during Disney’s Whodunit Weekend on April 13, 2012.
In Atlanta, Georgia, Cyrus DeBarg is a musically talented choir director who writes rap lyrics under the pseudonym “Truth” because of his father Pastor Jacob’s disapproval of hip hop music and his shy demeanor compared to his more outgoing best friend Kris McDuffy. Cyrus also secretly works as a busboy at a club, Off the Street, where the music label of their childhood friend, teenage singing sensation Roxanne “Roxie” Andrews, is sponsoring a songwriting contest. Roxie chooses Truth’s heartfelt song “Don’t Run Away” as the winning entry but misidentifies Kris as Truth because the photo Cyrus submitted was of them both. Kris convinces Cyrus to let him take credit for the song because he has feelings for Roxie. As Kris uses Cyrus’ verses to get closer to both Roxy’s heart and his newfound fame, Cyrus begins to resent his best friend.
Cyrus and Roxie get to know each other and Roxie says she can talk to him better than she can talk to Kris. Cyrus invites Roxie to perform with the choir at his church. Right after their rousing performance, Pastor Jacob humiliates Roxie in front of the congregation by launching into a tirade against musicians who give suggestive performances. At the urging of his wife, Pastor Jacob goes to the club to apologize to Roxie, where he catches his son working at the club, and learns that Cyrus writes rap lyrics. Although furious at first, Pastor Jacob comes to realize his son’s raps carry positive messages and rescinds his initial disapproval.
The conflict between Cyrus and Kris comes to a head when they have a physical altercation at the club. Levi, the club owner, convinces the two not to let their friendship die. The two mend their friendship and during a duet with Roxie, Cyrus takes Kris’ place on the stage to sing “Me and You”, revealing through the lyrics that he was Truth all along. Cyrus apologizes and confesses his true feelings but Roxie storms from the stage and wants nothing to do with either of them. At a hip hop battle contest, Cyrus calls out the winner, an arrogant rapper named Lord of Da Bling. The two battle for the trophy, which Cyrus wins by rapping to the audience that Bling is not in fact rich, but a normal person, which he found out by seeing Bling work his day job as a taxi driver.
Kris eventually tells Roxie that Cyrus is a great person and only pretended he wasn’t Truth for Kris, and they didn’t try to hurt Roxie: he also says Cyrus is real and that’s who she needs to be with. Roxie goes to church and hugs Cyrus and they sing “Let it Shine”.
Tyler James Williams as Cyrus “Truth” DeBarge. He is shown to be musically talented, but likes hanging back in Kris’s shadow. His father is a pastor and thus was appointed choir director, but when he rocked up a gospel song, his father was unimpressed. It is stated by him that he felt like “Kris’s invisible friend since kindergarten” and is stated by Roxie that while Kris looks awesome, Cyrus looks just the same as always. He works at ‘Off the Street, a rapping club which he hides from with father, but his mother knows. His mother is shown to support Cyrus’s like in music and cools down his father when he gets angry. Lyla is always getting his name wrong.
Coco Jones as Roxanne “Roxie” Andrews, a famous singer and Cyrus and Kris’ friend since kindergarten. Critics don’t like her and call her “The singer who can’t sing” which Roxie basically ignores. She has a dislike for Lord of da Bling, which is mutual, but Lord of da Bling may see her as arm candy for himself, he even says that he’ll take her to dinner in his rap, but he may have just been saying that to annoy her or Cyrus. She stands up for herself in the end, not wanting to wear the ridiculous clothes that Lyla wanted her to wear. She is shown to have a fiery temper and even went as far as slapping Cyrus, when finding out that Cyrus was Truth all along.
Trevor Jackson as Kris McDuffy, Cyrus’ best friend. He is mistaken for Truth.
Brandon Mychal Smith as Lord of da Bling, the antagonist of the story who humiliates Cyrus at the club. Cyrus finally defeats him by revealing his secret: his job as a taxi cab driver.
Nicole Sullivan as Lyla, Roxanne’s manager and main stylist.
Dawnn Lewis as Gail DeBarge, Cyrus’ mother who openly encourages her son to follow his dreams.
Courtney B. Vance as Pastor Jacob DeBarge, Cyrus’ father who, throughout most of the movie, believes that rap and hip-hop should be banned from the community. At the end of the movie, after reading Cyrus’ lyrics, he accepts his son’s love of rap/hip-hop and supports him.
Alex Désert as Levi, club owner
Algee Smith as Da Boss, another rapper whom Lord of da Bling defeats in order to make it to the Rap Grand Slam.
Brandin Jenkins- Choir Kid #3
Chloe and Halle- Choir Kids
Robert Bryce Milburn as M.C.
Shay Roundtree as Rap Battle Host.
Courtney Gray (Revelation) – is a talented rapper, but was defeated by the Lord of da Bling in a rap battle.
Hans Daniels (Phantom) – a rapper who fought, but was defeated in a rap battle by Revelation.
The movie’s soundtrack features 13 original songs by acclaimed music producers/songwriters/performers Rock Mafia, Toby Gad, David Banner, Antonina Armato, Andy Dodd, In-Q, Adam Hicks, Tim James, Lindy Robbins, Dapo Torimiro, Thomas Sturges, Jon Vella and Adam Watts.
The movie was shot in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia. The DVD was released on August 7, 2012.
Main article: Let It Shine (soundtrack)
The premiere of Let It Shine garnered 5.7 million viewers and was the most watched Disney Channel Original Movie of 2012 and was also currently the #1 movie of the year across kids 6–11, tweens and teens.
In its original airing, the movie was watched by 5.7 million people, the high cable rating of the day, and obtained an adult 18-49 rating of 0.9, second only to Family Guy. The Rap Battle Edition, which aired on June 30, was watched by 2.54 million people. In the UK, the film was watched by 545,000 people
Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2013 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries, Special or Pilot – Leading Young Actor Trevor Jackson
The movie aired worldwide on Disney Channel. It premiered on June 15, 2012 in Canada, on July 20, 2012 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, on August 3, 2012 in India, and on September 28, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand. In Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines it previewed on October 19, 2012 and premiered on November 10, 2012.
Rap Battle Edition
It aired on July 6, 2012 in Canada, on August 17, 2012 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and on November 9, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand.
In the Spotlight Edition
It aired on November 23, 2012 in Canada.
The Fighting Temptations, 2003 film starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles
Joyful Noise, 2012 film starring Queen Latifah
Let It Shine (Disney Channel)
Let It Shine (family.ca)
BETTER GRAB SOME SUNGLASSES, THE FUTURE AROUND HERE IS BRIGHT, Disney Channel Medianet
“Twitter / TylerJamesWill: 5.7 million people watched”. Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
Kondolojy, Amanda (June 18, 2012). “Friday Cable Ratings: ‘Let it Shine’ Premiere, + US Open, ‘WWE Friday Night Smackdown’, ‘Common Law’, ‘Fairly Legal’, & More”. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
Kondolojy, Amanda. “Sunday Cable Ratings: ‘BET Awards’ + ‘True Blood’, European Football, ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’, ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ & More”. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
“34th Annual Young Artist Awards”. YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
Let It Shine at the Internet Movie Database