//MEET: Roque, Black Cuban-American, who made history as a child star

MEET: Roque, Black Cuban-American, who made history as a child star

Raquel “Roque” Herring started her career with a record-breaking win on “Star Search” and making history as the first Black Mouseketeer on “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.”

She was the first teenager to win “Star Search” eight consecutive times and two championships. No other teen competitor to date has beaten her record. She then went on to launch her acting career on the same platform as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.

Herring sees every day as a new chance to grab hold of new opportunities and has spent her adult life navigating through the entertainment industry, creating seats at the table in every sector.

Herring’s cousin first discovered her extraordinary singing talent when she was 7 years old. The Miami native was singing a Natalie Cole song at a birthday party, and her cousin, who’s a singer, narrowed in on her vocals.

“When she heard me singing, she got so excited, and she ran and told my mom, ‘Oh my gosh, she can sing! She can sing,’ ” Herring said.

Herring then started performing at pageants and conventions all over Miami. She sang The National Anthem at college and professional games and was a hit in her local community. After five years of dazzling audiences around town, Herring and her mother took the young singer to California for her first “Star Search” audition.

Raquel “Roque” Herring

Triumphant from her “Star Search” victory, Herring auditioned for her role on the “Mickey Mouse Club” in Orlando. She instantly got a callback, and the rest was Disney history.

Even though Herring remembered working long hours on the set, she said being part of “The Mickey Mouse Club” was fun.

“Those were the most memorable moments to me because I loved performing, being on the set in front of a studio audience, engaging with the audience and doing our skits, songs and dances. I enjoyed all that. I enjoyed how things came together.”

Herring still sings and acts, but she has also added CEO, talent manager, producer, comedian, author and spokesperson to her repertoire, among a list of other things.

She describes herself as funny, warm-hearted and animated and sees success as “living a life of joy and love while inspiring people and making them laugh.”

Nyam Daniel
Nyam Daniel

Nyam Daniel is a journalist, a radio host and the founder of Caribbean America Web.