African Americans From New York

Famous black celebrities from New York, include Tupac Shakur, Mike Tyson, Shock G.

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 New York

 1 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur
150
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 13, 1996

Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered as one of the greatest American rappers of all time. Talent and trouble went hand in hand in Shakur’s journey to fame; the higher Shakur rose in his iconic status, the deeper he became entangled in gang violence and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely demise.

 2 Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
59
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: First Heavyweight Boxer to Simultaneously Hold the WBA, WBC & IBF Titles
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort Greene, New York, United States

A former professional boxer who reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion for three years, Mike Tyson is considered a colossal figure in boxing. Claiming his first heavyweight title at the young age of 20, he went on to become one of the best heavyweights of all time. Also a controversial person, he was once imprisoned on rape charges.

 3 The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.
52
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: One of the Greatest Rappers of All Time
Birthdate: May 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 9, 1997

The Notorious B.I.G. was a rapper and songwriter and is considered one of the best ever. His debut album Ready to Die in 1994 was critically acclaimed. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in September 1996. His album Life After Death was released two weeks after his death. 

 4 Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
27
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys has been active in the music industry since the mid-1990s. Her debut album was a super hit and earned her five Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling artists in the United States and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. She is also known for her humanitarian work, philanthropy, and activism.

 5 Jay-Z

Jay-Z
46
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Most Influential Hip-hop Artists in History
Birthdate: December 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jay-Z is an American rapper and songwriter and is one of the world's best-selling music artists. His debut album Reasonable Doubt was hugely successful in 1996 and since then he has gone on to release many more acclaimed and successful albums. He has been charged with assaulting a record executive and was given a three-year probation sentence in January 2000.

 6 Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson
21
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Public Welfare Medal-winning astrophysicist and academic Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted shows such as NOVA ScienceNow, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and Star Talk. He is the director of Hayden Planetarium and contributed to the dismissal of Pluto’s status as the ninth planet. He has also written a monthly column as "Merlin.”

 7 Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele
13
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Director
Birthdate: February 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
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 8 Jon Jones

Jon Jones
19
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: July 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States

Jon Jones, the American professional mixed martial artist, is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever. He holds many Ultimate Fighting Championship records in the light heavyweight division. However, he has been also been involved in several controversies and has been arrested for felony, hit-and-run charges and has tested positive for banned substances.

 9 James Baldwin

James Baldwin
23
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: December 1, 1987

Amongst the greatest writers of the 20th century and a leading literary voice in the civil rights movement, James Baldwin extensively explored issues like race, sexuality and humanity in his work. His best known work include his debut novel Go Tell It on the Mountain and his books of essays Notes of a Native Son and Nobody Knows My Name.

 10 Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

American actress, Kerry Washington, attained fame when she starred in the television series, Scandal, which ran from 2012 to 2018. She was also commended for her role in the television film, Confirmation, and for the miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere. She has also acted in films like The Last King of Scotland, Django Unchained, Our Song, The Dead Girl and American Son.

 11 Pop Smoke

Pop Smoke
21
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: American rapper closely associated with Brooklyn drill
Birthdate: July 20, 1999
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canarsie, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 2020

 12 Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross
30
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 1, 2005

Luther Vandross was an American record producer and singer-songwriter. As a background vocalist, Vandross contributed to the success of several songs recorded by artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Judy Collins. Regarded as a singer with one of the greatest voices in recorded history, Luther Vandross' works have influenced many artists like D'Angelo, Jaheim, Ne-Yo, John Legend, and Usher.

 13 Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 14 Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams
8
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

 15 Ving Rhames

Ving Rhames
3
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.

 16 Charlie Murphy

Charlie Murphy
7
Famous As: Best Known as a Writer & Cast Member of the Comedy Central Sketch-Comedy Series 'Chappelle's Show'
Birthdate: July 12, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 2017
Charlie Murphy, older brother of Eddie Murphy, is best remembered for his sketch-comedy series Chappelle's Show and for his performance as Vic in Black Jesus. He also voiced Big Kid on the children’s show Thugaboo. He also starred in movies such as CB4 and co-wrote Vampire in Brooklyn.

 17 Keith David

Keith David
6
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.

 18 Julius Erving

Julius Erving
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Meadow, New York, United States

 19 Robin Givens

Robin Givens
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Robin Givens is an American model and actress whose professional life during the late-1980s was overshadowed by her violent marriage to Mike Tyson. Subsequently, their acrimonious divorce drew considerable media attention as Givens claimed physical abuse, with Tyson admitting to punching her in the face.

 20 Lil TJAY

Lil TJAY
25
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 30, 2001
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Tione Jayden Merritt, better known as Lil Tjay, soared to fame with his Billboard Hot 100-charting tracks Brothers and F.N. He initially gained prominence on SoundCloud. He is also known as the Bronx Justin Bieber. Fans love his signature use of the auto-tune feature in his songs. 

 21 Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White
12
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

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.

 22 Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee Williams
1
Famous As: Actor, Novelist
Birthdate: April 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

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.

 23 Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
9
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States

 24 Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 17, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: October 4, 2019

Diahann Carroll was an American actress, model, singer, and activist. In 1962, she became the first African-American woman to receive a Tony Award under Best Actress in a Musical category. She is credited with starring in Julia, the first American TV series to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role; Carroll's portrayal of Julia earned her a Golden Globe.

 25 Keenen Ivory Wayans

Keenen Ivory Wayans
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Keenen Ivory Wayans, part of the Wayans family of comedians, is best known as the host of the show In Living Color. He has also directed and written several movies, including the horror spoof Scary Movie and its first sequel. He has also hosted The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show.

 26 Lena Horne

Lena Horne
4
Famous As: Singer, Dancer, Actress
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, United States
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

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 27 Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor
21
Listed In: Dancers
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter Who Appeared on MTV's 'My Super Sweet 16'
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

R&B and hip-hop singer Teyana Taylor gained fame with MTV's My Super Sweet 16. She signed with Kanye West’s label and also appeared on the reality show Teyana and Iman, with her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. In December 2020, she announced her retirement from music through Instagram.

 28 Etika

Etika
7
Listed In: YouTubers
Famous As: YouTuber
Birthdate: May 12, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 22, 2019

 29 Frankie Lymon

Frankie Lymon
7
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 27, 1968
Rock and roll/R&B singer/songwriter Frankie Lymon started his career as the lead singer of the group The Teenagers, known for hits such as Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Both his and his band’s popularity declined after he went solo. He was found dead of a heroin overdose at 25.

 30 Romeo Santos

Romeo Santos
6
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Lead Member and Vocalist of the Bachata Group 'Aventura'
Birthdate: July 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

 31 Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: May 8, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, USA

 32 Shari Headley

Shari Headley
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 15, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Shari Headley shot to fame in the 1980s with her performance in the box-office hit Coming to America and there was no looking back after that. She aspired to become a doctor, but after winning a Ford Modeling Agency sponsored contest, she drifted toward acting. She bagged a NAACP award nomination for her performance in 413 Hope St.

 33 Cab Calloway

Cab Calloway
3
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 25, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester
Died: November 18, 1994

Jazz singer and dancer, Cab Calloway, was a famous vocalist of the swing era.  From the early 1930s to the late 1940s, he led a very popular band that included musicians like  Dizzy Gillespie, Jonah Jones, and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham. A man of color, he became the first African-American musician to sell a million records from a single song.

 34 Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup
2
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 10, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Minerva, New York
Died: 1863 AD
Abolitionist Solomon Northup had authored the memoir Twelve Years a Slave, which was later adapted into the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave. Northup was abducted and sold as a slave to a planter in Louisiana. He was eventually freed with the help of the governor New York.

 35 Lil Tecca

Lil Tecca
11
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: August 26, 2002
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

 36 Corbin Bleu

Corbin Bleu
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 21, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Corbin Bleu, who appeared in television commercials right at the age of two is an American actor, dancer and singer who starred in the movies Catch That Kid, Jump In and Free Style. He is also a film producer, songwriter and dancer who finished runner-up in the Dancing with the Stars show aired on ABC. He is associated with 'Do Somethin'g organisation.

 37 Waka Flocka Flame

Waka Flocka Flame
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 31, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Rapper Waka Flocka Flame rose to fame with the release of his single O Let's Do It in 2009. His debut album released the following year, peaked at number six on the US Billboard 200. He is a member of the group 1017 Brick Squad.  He is involved in mental health advocacy and charitable endeavors.

 38 Daymond John

Daymond John
8
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: CEO of FUBU
Birthdate: February 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Daymond John is an American investor, businessman, author, TV personality, and motivational speaker. He is credited with founding FUBU, a hip hop apparel company, for which he also serves as the president and CEO. He is also credited with founding a consulting and brand management firm called The Shark Group, where he serves as the CEO.

 39 Emmanuel Lewis

Emmanuel Lewis
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Emmanuel Lewis started as a child actor and is best known for his titular role in the sitcom Webster, a role that earned him four Young Artist Award nominations. He is a martial arts enthusiast and is known for his signature short stature. He has released two singles in Japan.

 40 Tom Morello

Tom Morello
8
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Tom Morello is an American musician, rapper, singer, actor, songwriter, and political activist. Morello is best known for his association with Rage Against the Machine, which he co-founded with Zack de la Rocha. Renowned for his creative and unique guitar playing style, Tom Morello was ranked among the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.

 41 Joey Badass

Joey Badass
6
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: January 20, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 42 Stephon Marbury

Stephon Marbury
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 20, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 43 Tiffany Pollard

Tiffany Pollard
2
Famous As: Television personality
Birthdate: January 6, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Utica, New York, USA

 44 Patrice O'Neal

Patrice O'Neal
3
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: December 7, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 2011

 45 Jimmie Walker

Jimmie Walker
14
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Actor and stand-up comedian Jimmie Walker is best known as James Evans Jr. from the series Good Times, a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He became famous for his signature catchphrase, “Dy-no-mite!” He has also appeared in films such as Super Shark and the series Bustin' Loose.

 46 Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte
13
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer, Actor
Birthdate: March 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, United States

 47 Mekhi Phifer

Mekhi Phifer
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 29, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
Mekhi Phifer is best known as Greg Pratt from the medical drama ER. He also starred with Eminem in the film 8 Mile. Fans also loved him in the series Lie to Me and Torchwood: Miracle Day, and as Tyrell Martin in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

 48 Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah
13
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Musician, Rapper, Singer
Birthdate: May 9, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City

 49 Greg Oden

Greg Oden
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: January 22, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States

 50 Bokeem Woodbine

Bokeem Woodbine
3
Famous As: Actor, Ventriloquist
Birthdate: April 13, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Bokeem Woodbine is best known for his Emmy-nominated and Black Reel Award-winning role of Mike Milligan in the series Fargo. He also starred in the movies Black Dynamite and Spider-Man: Homecoming and the series Underground, Saving Grace, and Unsolved. He has also been the lead vocalist of the band Mazard.