1. Aretha Louise Franklin, is a singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is adept at jazz, blues, R&B, and gospel music. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time.
Franklin is one of the most honored artists by the Grammy Awards, with 18 competitive Grammys and two honorary Grammys. She has 20 #1 singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart and two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Respect” (1967) and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (1987), a duet with George Michael. Since 1961, she has scored a total of 45 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She also has the most million-selling singles of any female artist (14). Between 1967 and 1982 she had 10 #1 R&B albums—more than any other female artist.
In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was the only featured singer at the 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.
2. Haywood Nelson, an actor. He is best known for portraying Dwayne Nelson on the television series What’s Happening!!, and its spin-off series What’s Happening Now!!
Haywood was a child star, appearing in many national commercials; he also appeared on Broadway in a successful show, “Thieves,” At the age of 14, he also guest starred on “Sanford and Son” (1972) as Grady’s grandson; at 15, he was in the cast of a spin-off of Sanford and Son called “Grady” (1975). The show was short-lived. The next year, in 1976, at the age of 16, he landed the role of Dwayne on “What’s Happening!!” (1976).
Haywood Nelson still works in entertainment, although mainly behind the scenes; he has worked in talk shows, TV shows and interview programs.
3. Lisa Gay Hamilton, film, television, and theater actress known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama The Practice
4. Debra Janine “Debi” Thomas M.D., Figure skater and physician. She is the 1986 World championand 1988 Olympic bronze medalist, having taken part in the Battle of the Carmens at those games.
After her figure skating career, Thomas went back to school to become an orthopedic surgeon. She graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a degree in engineering and from theNorthwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1997. Thomas followed this with a surgical residency at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Hospital and an orthopedic surgery residency at the Martin Luther King Jr./Charles Drew University Medical Center in South Central Los Angeles.
5. Sheryl Denise Swoopes, Three time Olympic goal medalist, professional basketball player who played most recently for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA. She pulled off the league’s first triple double in playoff history.
6. Lark Voorhies, actress who rose to fame playing Lisa Turtle in Saved by the Bell, for which she twice won the Young Artist Award, in 1990 and 1993.
7. Russell Mitchell, Journalist for CBS, anchor of the Early Show on Saturday , weekend anchor of CBS Evening News and on occasion filling in for Katie Couric during weeknights.