Famous Black Actors

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Will Smith

Will Smith.
10
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

The charismatic, versatile and bankable American artist, Will Smith, tasted early success with rapping. A successful transition into films and television soon followed and made Smith a phenomenal success. With solid earnings, he has also frequently secured himself a place in the list of highest paid actors in world.

 2 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington.
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Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: December 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States

Actor, director, and producer, Denzel Washington, is famous for portraying strong real-life characters like anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko, and human rights activist, Malcolm X, in films. Well-built and ruggedly handsome, he became the first black star to be named the Sexiest Man Alive in 1996. 

 3 Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Prominent character actor, Morgan Freeman, has appeared in a range of film genres playing versatile roles. He is known for his distinctive deep voice. In a career spanning over half a century, he has received various accolades, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Besides acting, he is an advocate of environmental causes.

 4 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Actor and producer, Samuel L. Jackson is widely regarded as one of the most popular actors of his generation. A highly prolific actor, he has appeared in over 150 films and is especially known for his roles in Quentin Tarantino films. Besides acting, he has voiced for several animated films, television series, and video games.

 5 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States

Actor, singer-songwriter, and comedian, Jamie Foxx became internationally famous for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, a role that earned him an Academy Award. He is also known for hosting his own television sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. Besides acting, he is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released four albums.

 6 Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier.
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Birthdate: February 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, U.S.

Sidney Poitier is a Bahamian-American actor who became the first Afro-Bahamian and Black male actor to receive an Oscar for Best Actor in 1964. In 2009, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His life and work inspired a couple of documentary films, including the 2008 film Sidney Poitier, an Outsider in Hollywood.

 7 Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hayward

A renowned former wrestler with numerous titles under his belt, Dwayne Johnson initially wanted to be a football player but an injury turned him towards wrestling. He soon entered the world of acting, experienced phenomenal success in television and films and became the highest earning male actor in the world.

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 8 Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 29, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Anderson, South Carolina, United States
Died: August 28, 2020

A versatile actor and an inspiration for a generation of black youths, Chadwick Boseman is best remembered for portraying notable real life black figures like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown in their biopics. His excellent performance in Black Panther, though, turned him into a household name.

 9 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Actor and comedian, Eddie Murphy, is one of the highest-grossing actors in the United States. Beginning his career as a comedian on the TV show Saturday Night Live, he went on to become a bankable movie actor. Also a singer, he has released many studio albums. He has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 10 Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart.
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

American comedian and actor, Kevin Hart attained fame as a stand-up comic and then established himself as a leading comedic actor on the big screen with films like Get Hard, About Last Night, Ride Along and The Wedding Ringer. He has also been part of two Jumanji films. He was critically acclaimed for the 2019 comedy-drama film The Upside.

 11 Idris Elba

Idris Elba.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Idris Elba is a successful actor both on the small and the big screen and is mainly known for the television series The Wire and Luther and also for films, such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Beasts of No Nation. He has also acted in blockbuster films of Marvel Comics universe like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.

 12 Terry Crews

Terry Crews.
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Famous As: Actor, American Football Player
Birthdate: July 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Flint

Terrence Crews is an actor, comedian, activist and a body-builder. He’s also a former professional football player. He has starred in sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Plus, he has acted in many movies including the Expendables series. In 2017, Crews talked about a sexual assault on him by a Hollywood executive. He fiercely advocates for women's rights.

 13 James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States

A veteran actor with a career spanning more than seven decades, James Earl Jones has been described as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors. He initially aspired to be a doctor but fate had other plans for him. He began his career as a stage actor and soon joined films as well.

 14 Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 3, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan was one of the most popular actors best known for his portrayal of John Coffey in the fantasy drama film The Green Mile. Apart from acting in films and TV series, he was also featured in several video games, such as SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, and The Suffering: Ties That Bind.

 15 Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Orleans

The amazingly talented, Tyler Perry, is an American actor who topped Forbes list of highest-paid man in entertainment in 2011. Perry is most known as the creator of the boisterous, African-American grandmother character, Madea, which he himself performs with great skill and artistry. From a homeless playwriter to having his own studio, Perry has surely achieved the evasive American dream.

 16 Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

 17 Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes.
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Birthdate: July 31, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Orlando, Florida, United States

The quintessential vampire-killer of Hollywood, Wesley Snipes is best known for his action-oriented films, such as the Blade film trilogy and The Expendables 3. Apart from being an actor, Wesley Snipes is also a martial artist, and hence often portray roles that require him to perform stunts. He is a black belt holder in Hapkido and Shotokan Karate.

 18 Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

A fashion model turned actor, Shemar Moore is known for his rugged good looks and raw sex appeal. He started modeling in college and soon moved to act in TV shows. After having a successful stint in the TV series The Young and the Restless, he became a popular name in the show business.

 19 Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 20 Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States

Known for his portrayal of domineering and aggressive characters in his films, Laurence Fishburne began his stint on screen as a child actor in projects such as Apocalypse Now. The play Two Trains Running won him multiple theater awards. However, fans remember him best as Morpheus from The Matrix.

 21 Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac.
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 5, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 9, 2008
A well-known comedian and actor, Bernie Mac was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time list in 2017. In recognition of his contribution to arts, Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared November 14 as Bernie Mac Day in 2016. Bernie's alma mater Chicago Vocational High School renamed its CVS Auditorium as Bernie Mac Auditorium.

 22 Anthony Mackie

Anthony Mackie.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 23, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Anthony Mackie is an American actor who achieved international recognition after playing Sam Wilson / Falcon in a series of superhero films produced by Marvel Studios. A self-made man, Mackie graduated from the Juilliard School and worked hard to establish himself in the American film and TV industry.

 23 Spike Lee

Spike Lee.
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: March 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Spike Lee is a celebrated and one of the most decorated American filmmakers of his generation. Most of his critically acclaimed films explore political issues, such as urban crime and poverty, colorism in the African-American community, and race relations. Four of his films have been selected for conservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

 24 LL Cool J

LL Cool J.
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Famous As: Rapper, Actor
Birthdate: January 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bay Shore, New York, United States

LL Cool J is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and record producer. Such is his popularity that LL Cool J was named on VH1's list of 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time in 2010. In 2017, he became the first rapper to be awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. Over the years, Cool J has had a profound influence on hip-hop.

 25 Mr. T

Mr. T.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Mr. T is best known as A. Baracus from The A-Team and Clubber Lang from Rocky III. Fans love his signature hairstyle and his gold jewelry, which he stopped wearing after Hurricane Katrina. His catchphrase “I pity the fool!" inspired a reality show. He has previously been a celebrity bodyguard.

 26 Danny Glover

Danny Glover.
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Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, U.S.

Danny Glover is an American actor whose career has spanned more than four decades. Apart from being an actor, Danny Glover has had a major impact as an activist; he has made his presence felt as an activist in countries like Brazil, Iraq, Venezuela, Israel, and many African countries.

 27 Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence.
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: April 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Martin Lawrence is a German born-American actor and comedian. Despite being traumatized after witnessing his parents' divorce at the age of eight, Lawrence went on to succeed as a comedian and later as a leading Hollywood actor. After a problematic 1990s, which included episodes of arrests, lawsuits, and health problems, he bounced back with several hit films.

 28 Shaquille O’ Neal

Shaquille O’ Neal.
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Famous As: Former Basketball Player
Birthdate: March 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Shaquille O'Neal is an American former basketball player who currently works as a sports analyst. Considered one of the greatest basketballers ever, O'Neal was also one of the heaviest and tallest players of all time. One of the most important players in the history of LA Lakers, O'Neal helped the team win three consecutive NBA championships between 2000 and 2002.

 29 Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 14, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Carl Weathers began his career as a football player, playing for the NFL team Oakland Raiders and the CFL team B.C. Lions. He stepped into acting with Arthur Marks’s blaxploitation films. He is best known as Apollo Creed from the Rocky films and as Greef Karga from The Mandalorian.

 30 Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 5, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Sterling K. Brown is best known as Christopher Darden from The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Randall Pearson from This Is Us. Named to TIME 100, he also became the first Black actor to win the Golden Globe for the “Best Actor in a TV Drama.” 

 31 Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States

An important member of the popular Wayans family, Damon Wayans is a stand-up comedian and actor. Over the years, Damon Wayans has been a prominent and influential member of popular sketch comedy series, such as In Living Color and Saturday Night Live.

 32 Bow Wow

Bow Wow.
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Rapper Bow Wow, earlier known as "Lil Bow Wow,” was discovered by Snoop Dogg. He is best known for songs such as Bow Wow (That's My Name). He has also appeared in movies such as Like Mike and All About the Benjamins, and in series such as Entourage.

 33 Karl Malone

Karl Malone
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Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach, Actor
Birthdate: July 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Summerfield

 34 Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 24, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cotonou

 35 Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey

Despite being born with conditions like microcephaly and dwarfism, Beetlejuice went on to become a popular film, radio, and TV personality. A prominent member of Wack Pack, which is part of The Howard Stern Show, Beetlejuice was named the greatest Wack Packer ever by Howard Stern in 2015.

 36 Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, United States

Emmy Award-winner improv comedian Wayne Brady of Whose Line Is It Anyway? has also mesmerized audiences with his acting skills in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots. If that wasn’t enough, the multitalented performer was also nominated for a Grammy for his rendition of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come.

 37 Ving Rhames

Ving Rhames.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 12, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
Ving Rhames, mostly seen as the villain in films such as Con Air and Pulp Fiction, won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of real-life boxing promoter Don King in Don King: Only in America. He is also known as Luther Stickell from the Mission: Impossible franchise.

 38 Alfonso Ribeiro

Alfonso Ribeiro.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States

Alfonso Ribeiro is an American actor, television personality, and dancer who got to dance alongside Michael Jackson for a Pepsi commercial when the former was just a kid. Since then, Ribeiro has not looked back and later used his dancing skills to become an actor. He currently hosts one of the most beloved TV shows ever, America's Funniest Home Videos.

 39 Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor .
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States
Died: December 10, 2005

Considered one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Richard Pryor entertained his audience and influenced generations of stand-up comedians with his pointed observations and skilful art of storytelling. He began by performing at clubs and gained immense fame with his third comedy album, That Nigger’s Crazy. He also became an acclaimed actor and an award winning writer.

 40 Keith Stanfield

Keith Stanfield.
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Famous As: Actor, Rapper
Birthdate: August 12, 1991
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Bernardino, California, USA

Keith Stanfield is an American actor best known for playing real-life personalities like Snoop Dogg and Jimmie Lee Jackson in biographical films. For playing rapper Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, Lakeith Stanfield won the Breakthrough Performer award at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

 41 André 3000

André 3000
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 42 Akon

Akon.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Akon is one of the most successful R&B, hip hop and rap singers in the world. His albums Trouble, Konvicted, Freedom, El Negreeto and Akonda have many chartbusters songs. He has also founded record labels Akonik Label Group, KonLive Distribution and Konvict Mizik. He courted controversy in 2007 for an onstage act involving simulated sex with a 15-year-old girl.

 43 Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York

Michael Jai White is an American martial artist and actor. When he portrayed Al Simmons in the film Spawn, White became one of the first black actors to play a major comic book superhero in the history of American film industry. Known for his martial arts skills, White has played leading roles in popular action films like Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

 44 Keith David

Keith David.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Three-time Emmy-winner Keith David is known for his voice roles in The War and Unforgivable Blackness. He has narrated several documentaries and audio books, apart from voicing iconic characters such as Arbiter in the Halo games. He played the title role in Greenleaf and supporting roles in many movies.

 45 Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 46 Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee Williams.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Actor, voice actor, and artist Billy Dee Williams first rose to fame for his role in the Star Wars franchise in the early 1980s. Making his Broadway theater debut as a child actor, he went on to pursue a career as an artist. Eventually, he started acting again and achieved success as both an actor and an artist.

 47 Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr..
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
Cuba Gooding Jr., son of soul singer Cuba Gooding Sr., shot to fame with his Academy Award-winning role of Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire. He has played real-life characters O.J Simpson and Ben Carson on TV. His other notable projects include Pearl Harbor and As Good As It Gets.

 48 Master P

Master P
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 49 Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States

 50 T-Pain

T-Pain.
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tallahassee, Florida, United States
Faheem Rasheed Najm, better known as T-Pain, shot to fame with the US Billboard 200-topping album Epiphany. The two-time Grammy-winning artist is known for his signature use of the auto-tune effect. He has delivered hit singles such as I'm on a Boat and has played minor roles in several films.