African Americans From New York

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Famous black celebrities from New York, include Mike Tyson, Tupac Shakur, Shock G.
Vote for Your Favourite African Americans From New York
 1 
Tupac Shakur
( 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone)
Tupac Shakur
195
Listed In: Singers
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
(One of the Greatest Heavyweight Boxers of All Time and First to Simultaneously Hold WBA, WBC & IBF Titles)
Mike Tyson
71
Listed In: Sportspersons
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.
(One of the Greatest Rappers of All Time)
The Notorious B.I.G.
60
Listed In: Singers
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
(Singer, Actress)
Alicia Keys
48
Listed In: Singers
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
(One of the Most Influential Hip-Hop Artists in History)
Jay-Z
54
Listed In: Singers
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 
Angela Bassett
(Known for Her Portrayal of Singer Tina Turner in the Biopic 'What's Love Got to Do with It')
Angela Bassett
25
Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Best known for playing real-life black women in biopics, Angela Bassett does not mind being typecast as someone who often plays biographical roles. She has portrayed prominent personalities like Tina Turner, Betty Shabazz, Katherine Jackson, and Coretta Scott King. Also a director, producer, and activist, Angela Bassett works toward bettering the lives of African-Americans.

 7 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
33
Listed In: Scientists
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.”

 8 
ASAP Rocky
(Member of The Hip-Hop Collective 'A$AP Mob')
ASAP Rocky
32
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 3, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Rapper ASAP Rocky gained fame with his debut mixtape, LiveLoveA$AP. He released two consecutive Billboard 200-topping albums, Long. Live. ASAP and At. Long. Last. A$AP. Fans loved his Grammy-nominated single Fuckin' Problems. He also produces using the pseudonym Lord Flacko and is part of the hip-hop collective A$AP Mob.
 9 
Pop Smoke
(American rapper closely associated with Brooklyn drill)
Pop Smoke
31
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 20, 1999
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canarsie, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 2020
 10 
James Baldwin
(Author Best Known for His Novel 'Go Tell It on the Mountain')
James Baldwin
29
Listed In: Writers
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.

 11 
LL Cool J
(Known for His Album ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ One of the Best Albums of All Time)
LL Cool J
17
Listed In: Singers
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.

 12 
Mary J. Blige
(Rapper, and Actress Known as "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul")
Mary J. Blige
39
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 11, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Mary J. Blige is a popular singer-songwriter and actress. Having sold 80 million records worldwide, she is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Referred to as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary is credited with influencing the fusion of R&B and hip hop. She often gets featured in lists like The 100 Greatest Women in Music.

 13 
Jon Jones
(American Professional Mixed Martial Artist and Former Two-Time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion)
Jon Jones
25
Listed In: Sportspersons
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.

 14 
Damon Wayans
(Actor, Comedian and Member of the 'Wayans' Family of Entertainers)
Damon Wayans
10
Birthdate: September 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harlem, 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.

 15 
Sean Combs
(Rapper and Record Producer Known for His Albums: ‘No Way Out’ , ‘Forever’ and ‘Press Play’)
Sean Combs
20
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning hip-hop legend Sean Combs, known to fans as Puffy, Puff Daddy, or Diddy, started off as a talent director with Uptown and then launched his own record label. His debut album, No Way Out, was certified 7Xplatinum, and his song I'll Be Missing You topped the Billboard charts. 
 16 
Cicely Tyson
(Actress and Model Best Known for Her Films: 'Sounder' and ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’)
Cicely Tyson
24
Birthdate: December 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 28, 2021
Cicely Tyson is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Rebecca Morgan in Sounder and her Emmy-winning performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She is also a Tony- and Drama Desk-winning theater actor. Fans also loved her as Ophelia Harkness in How to Get Away with Murder.
 17 
Kerry Washington
(Actress and Producer Famous for Her Portrayal of ‘Olivia Pope’ in the Drama Series ‘Scandal’)
Kerry Washington
17
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.

 18 
Nas
(One of the Most Influential and Greatest Rappers of All Time)
Nas
26
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Crown Heights, New York, United States

Widely considered one of the greatest rappers ever, Nas has seven platinum and multi-platinum albums under his belt in the US. In 2006, he was ranked fifth on MTV's The Greatest MCs of All Time list. In 2012, he was ranked second on the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time list published by The Source. He is also an entrepreneur.

 19 
Charlie Murphy
(Best Known as a Writer & Cast Member of the Sketch-Comedy Series 'Chappelle's Show')
Charlie Murphy
8
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.
 20 
Luther Vandross
31
Listed In: Singers
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.

 21 
Whoopi Goldberg
(Actress, Comedian and Host; Best Known for Her Role in 'The Color Purple' and 'Ghost')
Whoopi Goldberg
64
Birthdate: November 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chelsea, New York, United States

Accomplished American comedian, actress, singer and Broadway star, Whoopi Goldberg is amongst the select few who have won all the four awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Moreover, she is also a political activist, author and talk show host. Her notable work include films Ghost, Sister Act and The Color Purple; Broadway show Thoroughly Modern Millie and talk show The View.

 22 
Vanessa Williams
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
 23 
Alfonso Ribeiro
(Actor, Director, and TV Personality)
Alfonso Ribeiro
12
Birthdate: September 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bronx, 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.

 24 
Ving Rhames
3
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.
 25 
Tracy Morgan
9
Birthdate: November 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
 26 
Keith David
11
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.
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 27 
Lil TJAY
(Rapper)
Lil TJAY
42
Listed In: Singers
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. 

 28 
Tatyana Ali
(Actress and Singer Known for Her Role in the TV Series ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’)
Tatyana Ali
12
Birthdate: January 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: North Bellmore, New York, United States

Tatyana Ali is an American singer and actress who gained recognition as a child actress, portraying Ashley Banks on the sitcom TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ali's singing abilities, showcased throughout the series, helped her release her debut studio album Kiss the Sky. Unlike many successful child artists, Ali was able to establish herself as an adult actress.

 29 
Julius Erving
(Basketball player)
Julius Erving
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Meadow, New York, United States
 30 
Busta Rhymes
(Rapper)
Busta Rhymes
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States
 31 
Robin Givens
(Actress and Director Known for Her Role as ‘Darlene Merriman’ in the TV Series ‘Head of the Class’)
Robin Givens
12
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.

 32 
Shawn Wayans
(Actor and Comedian)
Shawn Wayans
5
Birthdate: January 19, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Shawn Wayans is best known for writing and appearing in the sitcom The Wayans Bros., along with his brother Marlon. He appeared in various roles in the comedy series In Living Color, along with his brother and the show’s creator, Keenen, and was also part of the Scary Movie franchise. 
 33 
Billy Dee Williams
(Best Known for His Role of 'Lando Calrissian' in the 'Star Wars' Film Franchise)
Billy Dee Williams
5
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.

 34 
Lena Horne
(Actress and Dancer Known for Her One-Woman Show 'Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music')
Lena Horne
5
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.

 35 
Diahann Carroll
5
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.

 36 
Keenen Ivory Wayans
(Actor, Comedian and Filmmaker Known for His Comedy Series, ‘In Living Color’, and the Film ‘Hollywood Shuffle’)
Keenen Ivory Wayans
10
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.
 37 
Shirley Chisholm
(Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 12th District (1969 - 1983))
Shirley Chisholm
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 30, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 1, 2005

A courageous political leader, Shirley Chisholm made history when she became the first African-American woman to be elected the United States Congresswoman. Later, she yet again created history when she—though unsuccessfullyVran for Democratic Party's presidential nomination to contest for US presidency. Throughout her career, she advocated racial equality and women empowerment. As an author, she penned two books.

 38 
Teyana Taylor
(Singer-Songwriter Who Appeared on MTV's 'My Super Sweet 16')
Teyana Taylor
21
Listed In: Dancers
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.

 39 
Nia Long
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Films: ‘Boyz n the Hood’, ‘Love Jones’ and ‘The Best Man’)
Nia Long
8
Birthdate: October 30, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

American actress, Nia Long, was first noticed when she starred in the television series Guiding Light from 1991 to 1994. She is mainly known for her work on television series, such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Third Watch, Boston Legal and Empire. She has also acted in movies like Friday, Made in America, Boiler Room, Big Momma's House and The Best Man.

 40 
Frankie Lymon
7
Listed In: Singers
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.
 41 
Etika
(YouTuber)
Etika
11
Listed In: YouTubers
Birthdate: May 12, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 22, 2019
 42 
Shari Headley
(Actress and Model Best Known for Her Role as ‘Lisa McDowell’ in the Film ‘Coming to America’)
Shari Headley
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Queens, 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.

 43 
Romeo Santos
(Lead Member and Vocalist of the Bachata Group 'Aventura')
Romeo Santos
10
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
 44 
Corbin Bleu
(Actor and Singer Best Known for His Role as "Chad Danforth" in "High School Musical" Trilogy)
Corbin Bleu
1
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.

 45 
Cab Calloway
(Singer)
Cab Calloway
4
Listed In: Singers
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.

 46 
Kemba Walker
(Basketball player)
Kemba Walker
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 8, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, USA
 47 
Lil Tecca
(Rapper)
Lil Tecca
16
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 26, 2002
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
 48 
Solomon Northup
5
Listed In: Activists
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.
 49 
Harry Belafonte
(Singer, Actor)
Harry Belafonte
14
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, United States
 50 
Jimmie Walker
(Actor and Comedian Known for His Role as ‘James Evans Sr.’ in the TV Series ‘Good Times’)
Jimmie Walker
18
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.