1. Lou Rawls, Singer (Spokesman for UNCF), soul, jazz, and blues singer. He was known for his smooth vocal style, Rawls released more than 70 albums, sold more than 40 million records, appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. Rawls is the subject of an upcoming biopic, tentatively titled Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing.
2. Billy Paul (born Paul Williams), is a Grammy Award winning American soul singer, most known for his 1972 number-one single, “Me and Mrs. Jones” as well as the 1973 album and single “War of the Gods” which blends his more conventional pop, soul and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic influences. He is usually identified by his diverse vocal style which ranges from mellow and soulful to low and raspy.
3. Richard Pryor, born “Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III”, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and MC. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful language. He reached a broad audience with his observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important stand-up comedians.
His body of work includes the concert movies and recordings Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin’ (1971), That Nigger’s Crazy (1974), …Is It Something I Said? (1975), Bicentennial Nigger (1976), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982), and Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983). He also starred in numerous films as an actor, such as Superman III (1983) but was usually in comedies such as Silver Streak (1976), and occasionally in dramatic roles, such as Paul Schrader’s film Blue Collar (1978). He collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. He also starred in “Grease Lightening” a movie depicting the Life of Race Car owner and driver Wendell Scott.
Pryor won an Emmy Award in 1973, and five Grammy Awards in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982. In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award.
Pryor is listed at number one on Comedy Central’s list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians.