Gloria Gaynor (born Gloria Fowles on September 7, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey), now living in Green Brook, New Jersey, is an American singer, best-known for the disco era hits; "I Will Survive", "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Hot 100 #4, 1974), "Let Me Know (I Have a Right)" (Hot 100 #42, 1980) and "I Am What I Am" (Hot 100 #82, 1983).
Halle Berry (born August 14, 1966) is an American actress, former fashion model, and beauty queen. Berry received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and an NAACP Image award for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and won an Academy Award for Best Actress and was also nominated for a BAFTA Award in 2001 for her performance in Monster's Ball, becoming the first and, as of 2009, only woman of African American descent to have won the award for Best Actress.
Tracy Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an American rapper and actor. He was born in Newark, New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles, California. After graduating from high school he served in the United States Army for four years. He began his career as a rapper in the 1980s and was signed to Sire Records in 1987, when he released his debut album Rhyme Pays. The next year, he founded record label Rhyme Syndicate and released another album, Power.
Mr. T (born Laurence Tureaud; May 21, 1952) is an American actor known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his appearances as a professional wrestler. Mr. T is also well-known for his distinctive mohawk hairstyle, for wearing large amounts of gold jewelry, and for his tough guy image.
Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Jr. (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor, film director, and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an internationally renowned American bass-baritone concert singer, scholar, actor of film and stage, All-American and professional athlete, writer, multi-lingual orator and lawyer who was also noted for his wide-ranging social justice activism.
Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee (born March 20, 1957) is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983. Lee's movies have examined race relations, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues. Lee has won an Emmy Award and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American singer, actress, and former fashion model. A relative of several prominent soul singers, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing at her New Jersey church as a member of a junior gospel choir at age eleven.
Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American film and television actor and producer. After Jackson became involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles, before meeting his mentor, Morgan Freeman, and the director Spike Lee.
Edward "Eddie" Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an American actor, voice actor, film director, producer, comedian and singer. He is the second-highest grossing actor in motion picture history. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984, and has worked as a stand-up comedian. He was ranked #10 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.
Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson; November 13, 1955) is an American comedienne, actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, and talk show host. Goldberg made her film debut in The Color Purple (1985) playing Celie, a mistreated black woman in the south. She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won her first Golden Globe Award for her role in the film.
Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson; June 7, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. He has also been known under the unpronounceable symbol, which he used between 1993 and 2000. This name change invoked controversy and many referred to him as "the artist formerly known as Prince", often abbreviated to "TAFKAP", or simply "The Artist" during that period.
Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), better known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American recording artist, musician and actress. She was raised by a single mother in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City. At age seven, Keys began to play classical music on the piano. She attended Professional Performing Arts School and graduated at 16 as valedictorian. She later attended Columbia University before dropping out to pursue her music career.
James Baskett (February 16, 1904 – July 9, 1948) was an American actor known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus, singing the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" in the 1946 Disney feature film Song of the South, for which he was given an Honorary Academy Award, making him the first male performer of African descent to receive an Oscar.
Morris L. Chestnut (born January 1, 1969) is an American film and television actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles as teenage father Ricky Baker in the 1991 film Boyz N the Hood, groom-to-be Lance Sullivan in the 1999 film The Best Man and as Tracy Reynolds, NBA star in the 2002 film Like Mike.
William "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Widely regarded as one of the most important jazz bandleaders of his time, Basie led his popular Count Basie Orchestra for almost 50 years. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams.
Benjamin Sherman "Scatman" Crothers (May 23, 1910 – November 22, 1986) was an American actor, singer, dancer and musician known for his work as Louie the Garbage Man on the TV show Chico and the Man, and as Dick Hallorann in The Shining in 1980. He was also a prolific voiceover artist, and provided the voices of Meadowlark Lemon in the animated TV version of The Harlem Globetrotters, Jazz the Autobot in Transformers and the title character in Hong Kong Phooey.
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in the rock music genre have earned her the title "The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll". Turner started out her music career with husband Ike Turner as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Success followed with a string of hits including "River Deep, Mountain High" and the 1971 hit "Proud Mary".
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), known as Beyoncé, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and model. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child.
Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr. , professionally known as LeVar Burton, is an American actor, director and author who first came to prominence portraying Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries Roots, based on the novel by Alex Haley. He is also well known for his portrayal of Geordi La Forge on the syndicated science fiction series ' and as the host of the PBS children's program Reading Rainbow.
RuPaul Andre Charles (born November 17, 1960), best known as simply RuPaul, is an American actor, drag queen, model, and singer-songwriter, who first gained fame in the 1990s when he appeared in a wide variety of television programs, films, and musical albums. Previously, he was a fixture on the Atlanta and New York City club scenes. RuPaul has on occasion performed as a man in a number of roles, usually billed as RuPaul Charles.
Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 - October 26, 1952) was an American actress and the first African American to win an Academy Award of any kind. She won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind. McDaniel was also a professional singer-songwriter, comedienne, stage actress, radio performer, and television star. Hattie McDaniel was in fact the first black woman to sing on the radio in America.