African Americans From Illinois

Famous black celebrities from Illinois, include R. Kelly, Juice WRLD, Jennifer Hudson.

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

Vote for Your Favourite African Americans From Illinois

 1 R. Kelly

R. Kelly.
16
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 8, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

One of the best known R&B artists, R Kelly, who’s sung many chart-topping songs and has sold millions of records, has been accused of sexual abuse by many women. He and is facing several state and federal charges in the US. He was arrested in July 2019 on charges of sex trafficking and child pornography.

 2 Juice WRLD

Juice WRLD.
32
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 2, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 8, 2019
Rapper Juice Wrld is best remembered for his tracks Lucid Dreams and All Girls Are the Same. He was also part of the collective Internet Money. He died due to a drug-induced seizure at the age of 21. His posthumous album Legends Never Die topped the Billboard 200 chart.

 3 Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson.
8
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Jennifer Hudson shot to fame after reaching the finals of the third season of American Idol. She is known for her Academy Award-winning role of Effie White in Dreamgirls. She also won the Grammy twice, one for her self-titled debut album and the other for the musical The Color Purple

 4 Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan.
3
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.

 5 Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor.
2
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.

 6 Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones.
6
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Record Producer, Songwriter
Birthdate: March 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Regarded as one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians of the previous century, Quincy Jones is known for his work with other legendary artists like Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra. As the first African-American to find success at the Academy Awards ceremony, Quincy has influenced a host of black musicians and songwriters.

 7 Emmett Till

Emmett Till.
7
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: African-American teenager
Birthdate: July 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 28, 1955

In the 1950s, a teenage African-American boy, Emmett Till was kidnapped, tortured and brutally killed for allegedly misbehaving with a white woman. Those responsible were never convicted but the brutality of the crime brought focus on racial discrimination and African-American Civil Rights Movement. It eventually played a crucial role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

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 8 Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton.
12
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: August 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Summit, Illinois, United States
Died: December 4, 1969

Fred Hampton was considered an activist and a revolutionary socialist working for social change. He was the deputy chairman of the national Black Panther Party. He founded the Rainbow Coalition, aiming to help the Chicago street gangs to end infighting. The FBI considered him as a major threat and he was shot and killed in December 1969 during a raid.

 9 Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac.
4
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.

 10 Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama.
21
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: January 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Wife of the former U.S President, Barack Obama, and one of the most popular First Ladies of the United States, Michelle Obama is a celebrity in her own right. She is still very popular and is a sought-after speaker around the globe and often lends her voice to issues like poverty awareness, education, nutrition, women’s rights, immigration and racism.

 11 Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harvey, Illinois, United States

Keke Palmer is an American actress, television personality, and singer. In 2019, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 celebrities who are shaping the future of health, entertainment, business, politics, and more. Palmer, who has been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety, supports movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

 12 Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert.
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: June 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois

Iman Shumpert is an American basketball player who has played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for popular teams like New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, and the Houston Rockets. While representing the Cleveland Cavaliers, Iman Shumpert helped his team win NBA championship in 2016.

 13 Lil Rel Howery

Lil Rel Howery
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 17, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 14 Mr. T

Mr. T.
1
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.

 15 Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: March 11, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

American professional basketball player, Anthony Davis plays, for the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers. He is the youngest player to score at least 59 points in a NBA game. He was a member of the US men’s national basketball team which participated in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The team was undefeated in London and won the gold medal.

 16 Patrick Beverley

Patrick Beverley
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: July 18, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

 17 Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes.
6
Famous As: Television Producer
Birthdate: January 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, author, and television producer. She is credited with creating, writing, and executive producing one of the most popular American medical drama TV series ever, Grey's Anatomy. She is also credited with creating series like Private Practice and Scandal. In 2007, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 People Who Help Shape the World.

 18 Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Andre Braugher is best known for his Emmy-winning performances as Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street and as Nick Atwater in Thief. Fans also loved him as Raymond Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz in BoJack Horseman, and in the movies City of Angels and Poseidon

 19 Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: January 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois, United States

 20 Polo G

Polo G.
20
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: January 6, 1999
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Old Town, Chicago, Illinois

Polo G is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and record executive. Polo G, who became famous for his Chicago drill sound, gradually adopted a more melodic style. Renowned for his vivid storytelling, Polo G's lyrics often reflect on subjects, such as mental health and racism. In 2020, he announced the launch of ODA Records, his own record label.

 21 Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer, Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: November 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: July 12, 1979

 22 Wood Harris

Wood Harris.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Wood Harris, younger brother of actor Steve Harris, is best known for his portrayal of Avon Barksdale, a character modeled on real-life drug dealer Nathan Barksdale, in The Wire. He has also appeared in the series Empire and films such as Remember the Titans, and narrated the sports documentary Benji.

 23 Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: June 3, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 26, 1999
Soul singer and guitarist Curtis Mayfield gained fame with The Impressions. His songs such as People Get Ready carried prominent social themes. The Grammy Hall of Fame inductee was paralyzed from the neck down after an accident during a live performance in 1990 but continued to record even after that.

 24 Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan.
4
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Ten-time Grammy-winning funk/R&B/disco artist Chaka Khan, or the Queen of Funk, soared to fame as the frontwoman of the band Rufus. Known for her hit track I Feel for You, Khan has sold 70 million records and has ranked 17th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll list.

 25 Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 26 Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 28, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Robbins, Illinois, United States
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 27 Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Chance the Rapper is best known for his Billboard-charting mixtape Coloring Book, which was the first streaming-only album to earn a Grammy. An avid social activist in Chicago, he owns the non-profit SocialWorks. He is known for his signature style of wearing a cap with the number "3" on it.

 28 Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress
0
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 29 Khalilah Ali

Khalilah Ali.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

 30 Laura Harrier

Laura Harrier
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 28, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 31 Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt.
2
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: February 24, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

Rapper and record producer Earl Sweatshirt was previously known as Sly Tendencies. He was part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future. Following the release of his debut mixtape, his mother sent him to a Samoa boarding school. He went back to Los Angeles soon and began making music again.

 32 G Herbo

G Herbo.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: October 8, 1995
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Rapper Herbert Randall Wright III, initially known as Lil Herb and now known as G Herbo, became famous for his collaborations with rapper Lil Bibby. He has contributed to various philanthropic ventures, too, and had once launched a campaign to safeguard the mental health of Black youngsters.  

 33 Ken Norton

Ken Norton.
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: August 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Illinois, United States
Died: September 18, 2013

Professional boxer Ken Norton is remembered for his three highly publicized fights with Muhammad Ali, out of which he lost two. Norton was a towering figure in the boxing world and held the WBC heavyweight title in 1978. He was a forward-pressing fighter notable for his unusual stance. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.

 34 Adam Jones

Adam Jones
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: September 30, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 35 Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron
0
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Singer, Writer, Composer, Poet, Pianist
Birthdate: April 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: May 27, 2011

 36 Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe
6
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: May 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 37 Rickey Henderson

Rickey Henderson
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: December 25, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 38 Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco
2
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: February 16, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 39 Lamorne Morris

Lamorne Morris.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States

Lamorne Morris began his career with the BET shows HotWyred and 106 & Park. He gained game with his Teen Choice Award-nominated role of Winston in New Girl. He has appeared in many FunnyorDie shorts, in the docu-drama Valley of the Boom, and as Keef Knight in the series Woke.

 40 Sherri Shepherd

Sherri Shepherd.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 22, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Sherri Shepherd is an American actress, television personality, author, and comedian. She is known for co-hosting the popular talk show The View. She co-hosted the show from 2007 to 2014, for which she received several nominations for Daytime Emmy Award, winning the award in 2009. Also known for her dancing skills, Shepherd competed in Dancing with the Stars in 2012.

 41 Robin Harris

Robin Harris
0
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: August 30, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: March 18, 1990

 42 Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers.
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Coach
Birthdate: October 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Doc Rivers is a former American basketball player, who in his thirteen seasons played primarily for Atlanta Hawks and was known for his defence. After retirement, he picked up coaching responsibilities for Orlando Magic and in his first year was awarded NBA Coach of the Year. Later, he led Boston Celtics to NBA championship. He is currently the coach of Philadelphia 76ers.

 43 Fredo Santana

Fredo Santana.
3
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 4, 1990
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Died: January 19, 2018

Fredo Santana was an American rapper whose debut studio album peaked at number 45 on Billboard 200 chart. Santana suffered from drug addiction throughout his life and attributed his addiction to trauma experienced in his childhood. Eventually, his addiction took a toll on his health and he died in 2018 at the age of 27, joining the dreaded 27 Club.

 44 Drew Pearson

Drew Pearson
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: January 12, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: South River, New Jersey, United States

 45 Lynne Thigpen

Lynne Thigpen.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States
Died: March 12, 2003

 46 Cupcakke

Cupcakke.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 31, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

 47 Stuart Scott

Stuart Scott.
0
Famous As: Sportscaster
Birthdate: July 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 4, 2015
Sportscaster Stuart Scott is best remembered as an ESPN anchor. His signature style included catchphrases such as “booyah.” He mostly covered the NBA and NFL games. He received the Jimmy V Award for his long battle with appendix cancer and eventually died of the disease at age 49.

 48 Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Baseball Players
Birthdate: March 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: March 6, 2006

 49 Jaimee Foxworth

Jaimee Foxworth.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 17, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

Jaimee Foxworth is an American model, actress, and former pornographic actress. Foxworth is best known for playing Judy Winslow in the popular TV series, Family Matters. Also a musician, Foxworth is credited with forming S.H.E., an R&B musical group, with her two sisters. Over the years, Jaimee Foxworth has also battled depression and substance abuse.

 50 Lil Bibby

Lil Bibby.
3
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 18, 1994
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois