Number one is Josephine Baker
after that in alphabetical order
Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, MO, in 1906 to Carrie McDonald, a laundress, and Eddie Carson, a musician. Her early life hinted at her future career. She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis for nickels and dimes. Later she became a chorus girl on the St...
Monica Arnold was born October 24, 1980, in Oak Park, Georgia, to Marilyn Best, a church singer and airline customer service representative, and M.C. "Billy" Arnold, Jr., a mechanic. At the age of four, she began singing in her local church choir. After entering many talent shows, Monica was spotted by Dallas Austin...
Garcelle was born in Haiti. Her mother, Marie-Claire, was a teacher who moved Garcelle and her six older children to Massachusetts after a divorce from her father, Axel, four years prior. At age 16, the family moved again to Miami. At 17, Garcelle pursued a modeling career in New York. She got a break on Aaron Spelling
's TV show...
Foxy Brown, a Brooklyn native, never thought she would be in the rap industry, much less in films. Even though she received a lot of skepticism from critics because of her raunchy lyrics and sexual appeal in music videos, Foxy still managed to stay on top. With a platinum album under her belt, and literally tens of appearances on other songs, her movie debut was much expected.
One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an important part of her life as a child...
Lisa Nicole Carson
Lisa Nicole Carson has the distinction of having simultaneously starred in television's most lauded comedy and drama series. She has both amused audiences as Renee Radick, the D.A. roommate of Calista Flockhart
on Fox's Ally McBeal
and riveted them as Carla Reese, the mother of Eriq La Salle
's son on NBC's ER
Ciara was born in Austin, Texas October 25, 1985. She is the only child of Carlton and Jackie Harris. Due to her father being in the United States Army, she grew up on army bases in Germany, New York, Utah, California, Arizona, and Nevada. During her teens, Ciara and her family settled in Atlanta. Ciara said that watching Destiny's Child
perform on a television program...
Deborah Cox Grammy® Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox made her Broadway debut in the lead role in Elton John and Tim Rice's musical, Aida. She most recently starred on Broadway in 2013 as Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde, and will star as legendary Josephine Baker in Josephine at Asolo Repertory Theatre in April of 2016...
Aasha Davis was born in Alexandria, Va and grew up in several different areas around the world. She went to boarding school in Barbados when she was 7 years-old until she left several years later to attend school in Montreal, Canada. Aasha became an expert at switching schools during her second appearance...
One of the most respected and premier mc's - regardless of gender - Rashia Fisher aka Rah Digga, has been legendary. She started off the only female member of New Jersey's acclaimed hip hop group, Da Outsidaz, where she also met future husband, Young Zee. Rah exploded on the music scene when she caught the eye of A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip...
Proprietor of her own production company, Jenise is an actress and filmmaker living in Los Angeles, CA. After moving to Atlanta from Omaha, NE at the age of 12, Jenise knew early on that she wanted to be a part of the magic of the big and small screens. Her mother took her to an audition for Northside School of the Arts in Atlanta...
Aunjanue Ellis was born in San Francisco, California. She graduated from the Brown University, and later attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. During her career, Ellis performed on Off-Broadway theater, appeared in many film, and had roles on television. In film, she is best known for her roles in "Men of Honor" (2000)...
Franklin joined the multi-platinum singing group Destiny's Child after co-founding members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson were fired by manager Matthew Knowles (father of lead singer Beyoncé Knowles). She was unceremoniously dismissed in the same manner after only five months.
It was inevitable that Nona Gaye
would become a singer - she is the granddaughter of Cuban jazz great Slim Gaillard
, the niece of R&B singer/songwriter Frankie Gaye
and the daughter of soul legend Marvin Gaye
. Signed to Third/Stone Atlantic at 14, Nona released "Love for the Future" in 1992...
Actress-dancer-director Jasmine Guy has enjoyed a diverse career in television, theatre and film. She began her professional career at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Jasmine starred on Broadway in the original productions of Beehive and Leader of the Pack, and reprised hit productions of 'Grease'...
British actress Naomie Harris was born in London, the only child of television scriptwriter Lisselle Kayla
. Her father is from Trinidad and her mother is from Jamaica. She showed an interest in acting from an early age and attended the prestigious Anna Scher Theatre School. From here, Harris won roles in various projects...
Charity, a University of Southern California graduate, started her stage career at age 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the world renowned Children's Theater Company. Having done seven consecutive seasons of over 3000 performances of more than 25 different productions at the Guthrie, Penumbra, Mixed Blood...
Erica Hubbard started her career in 1988 doing voice-overs and starring in commercials such as: McDonald's, MCI, Reebok and Sears. She has worked in many markets, including Chicago, New York and California. Ms. Hubbard has performed in feature films distributed by Paramount, 20th Century Fox and TSIBILI Pictures...
In 2008 adult film star India decided to leave the adult film industry for good. Since the age of 10, Shamika "Mika" Brown--her real name--had always dreamed about doing music. In 1994 she got her break. She started a girl singing group, Harmony Innocent, with some high-school friends. They practiced every day after school...
Ashthon Jones came into this world with musical roots strong within her family and remembered her first musical beginnings singing her heart out in church. She received her early training when she would make runs to Valdosta, Georgia to stay with her cousins. Some of her musical influences are the Clark Sisters, Mary Mary, Monica, Destiny's Child, and Mary J. Blige...
Grammy-nominee and three-time Saturn Award-nominee, Grace Jones can claim a career in show business by birthright. Her grandfather (on her mother's side) was a musician who traveled with Nat 'King' Cole
. She was born May 19, 1948 in Spanish Town, St Catherine - Jamaica, to Marjorie Jones (née Williams) and Reverend Robert W...
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh
Performer, writer, producer and director T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh (Ta-Kee-ah Kristle Kee-Mah) is back on the Hollywood scene. Ten years after 'Tonya Baxter' mysteriously moved to London to study law, the actress who embodied the quirky character, loved by Disney fans worldwide, is acting steadily once again...
Aja Naomi King
King appeared in several short films before landing guest roles on the CBS procedurals Blue Bloods and Person of Interest. Her big break came in 2012 when she was cast as new surgical intern Cassandra Kopelson on the CW drama Emily Owens, M.D. The series was canceled after a single season in 2013. She later starred in the Amazon Studios comedy pilot The Onion Presents: The News...
Jessica Lucas (born September 24, 1985) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is known for her roles in television, such as Edgemont, Melrose Place, and Cult, and in the films The Covenant, Cloverfield and the 2013 Evil Dead. She also starred in the music video for Coldplay's 2014 single "True Love"...
LeToya Nicole Luckett, professionally known as LeToya, is a two-time Grammy Award-winning American R&B singer, songwriter and entrepreneur. She is an original member of the R&B group, Destiny's Child
, and has since pursued a successful solo career, topped the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and has been certified platinum by the RIAA...
Born and raised in Holland, Michigan, Teairra was strongly encouraged by her paternal parents to follow a singer career. She started her singer career at the age of twelve and she was lucky to catch the attention of Big Mike, Ed K, and Helluvah of Detroit's K.I.S.S. Productions, which trained her for the next years...
Mary Mary is a contemporary gospel group consisting of sisters Erica Atkins
and Tina Atkins
. The group is named after the two famous Marys of the Bible; Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Their 2000 debut album, Thankful, has been certified platinum. Their next two albums, Incredible and Mary Mary, have both been certified gold...
Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor, and her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother in the town of Witney...
Lupita Amondi Nyong'o was born March 1, 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico, to Kenyan parents, Dorothy and Peter Anyang' Nyong'o. Her father, a senator, was then a visiting lecturer in political science. She was raised in Kenya. At age 16, her parents sent her back to Mexico for seven months to learn Spanish...
Britne Oldford has a background in music, dance, and theatre. She attended an arts intensive program, majoring in drama at a renowned arts school from her freshman to senior year of vocation, which proved vital in her transition into the entertainment industry. Residing in New York City, Britne has been actively perusing her acting career with notable success since the age of 18...
Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi is best known for her work as a Victoria's Secret lingerie model and a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model. She appeared in six Victoria's Secret Fashion shows in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue four times from 2005 to 2008...
Valarie Pettiford's career glitters like the lights on Broadway. An award-winning triple-threat, Valarie has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, but has never let her brushes with fame go to her head. Although some would argue that she is a celebrity in her own right, Valarie is still a humble girl from Queens...
Dania is a Latin American actress born in the Dominican Republic. She grew up, living with her grandmother, in a poor household. Her parents left for the United States, when she was 6-months old, and she finally joined them in New York when she was age 10. She knew from a young age that she wanted to act...
Lovely and shapely Ola Ray was born on August 26, 1960 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother Ruth was a nurse and her stepfather James Moore was in the U.S. Air Force. She has eight siblings. Ola grew up in Japan, where she sang in a rock band and did some modeling. She moved to Hollywood, California at age fifteen...
Madge Sinclair was born Madge Dorita Walters on April 28 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica, married young and had two sons. Madge worked as a teacher in Jamaica until she was 30. She left her two boys with their father and went to New York City to be an actress. She began modeling and later acted with the New York Shakespearean Festival and at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre...
Kellita Smith was born January 15, 1969 as Kellita A. Smith in Chicago, Illinois. She is an actress who has appeared on House Party 3 (1994), The Bernie Mac Show (2001-2006), Sister, Sister (1994-1999), Moesha (1996-2001), In Living Color (1990-1994), Living Single (1993-1998), and The First Family (2012)...
Michelle Thomas was born in Boston but raised in New York and New Jersey. She attended the Montclair School of Arts and the Broadway Dance Center. She is survived by her parents, Phynjuar Thomas (a stage actress and acting coach) and Dennis J.T. Thomas (a founder and current member of the 1970s funk band Kool & the Gang); her brother...
Gina was born in New York City and is youngest of three children in a close-knit Cuban American family. Attended New York City's High School of Music and Art She is a gifted mezzo soprano and was trained in opera and jazz and also sang in a gospel choir.
She's an innovative music maker, a style-forging pioneer: since the mid-90s, Grammy-winning multi-talented Jody Watley has led the way as an entrepreneur working in the independent music world as one of the few already-established female best-selling artists to produce, create and own her recordings...
Rutina Wesley is known for the character Tara Thorton, on the gritty Southern vampire drama, True Blood
. She was born in the city most renowned for glitz and glamour, Las Vegas, Nevada and was exposed to the arts at a very early age; in fact entertainment runs through her veins. Her father, Ivery Wheeler
Born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa Williams became a member of the New York City Opera's Children's Chorus at age 11. Vanessa then signed with a talent manager and booked her first audition, a commercial for Frito Lay. Her pattern for success clearly set, her winning streak had only just begun...