1. Otis Redding, soul singer-songwriter and record producer. Born in Dawson and later moved to Macon, he began touring with blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins and served as the lead singer in the band Otis Redding and The Pinetoppers. He signed a contract with record label Stax Records and released his debut album Pain in My Heart in 1964. This album produced several successful singles, including “These Arms of Mine”.
Although he was not very successful among white audiences in the United States, the opposite was true in Europe. His performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 was one of his last big concerts until his death in a plane crash at the age of 26. One month later, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released, which sold about 4 million copies worldwide and would be his biggest hit.
2. Inez Foxx, R&B Artist along with her brother Charlie, a soul duo from Greensboro,North Carolina. Inez sang lead vocal, while Charlie sang back-up and played guitar. Their most successful record was with their novelty composition, “Mockingbird”. Released in 1963, it made the Top 10 on both the rhythm and blues and pop charts
3. Dee Dee Sharp (Dione La Roux), R&B singer, who began her career recording as a backing vocalist in 1961.
In 1962 she began a string of successful Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hits: “Slow Twistin'” (with Chubby Checker) (#3), “Mashed Potato Time” (#2), “Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes)” (#9), “Ride” (#5) and “Do the Bird” (#10). Both “Mashed Potato Time” and “Ride” each sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs. “Do the Bird” provided her only entry in the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at #46 in April 1963. In 1967, she married record producer Kenny Gamble and has since recorded under the name Dee Dee Sharp-Gamble.
She had a brief career resurgence during the disco era: as a member of the Philadelphia International All Stars (which also included Lou Rawls, Billy Paul, Teddy Pendergrass, The O’Jays and Archie Bell) she had a minor hit with “Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto.”
In 1981 she spent four weeks at number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart with “Breaking and Entering” / “Easy Money,” from her album Dee Dee.
More recent appearances included a performance at Pontins in the UK for the Northern Soul Show, and at the 2008 Detroit Jazz Festival. In May 2009, she appeared in Belgium at the Salle De L’Hotel de Ville.
5. Benjamin Roy (B.J.) Armstrong, retired American professional basketball player. As a starting point guard, he was an integral part of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s.
His playing career left him with several distinctions, including being the last Chicago Bull to wear the number 10 jersey. The jersey was retired in honor of Bob Love after Armstrong left the team following the 1994–1995 season. He had a consecutive games played total of 577 until late in the 1996–1997 season, third-longest in the NBA. He was also the first player selected to play for the Toronto Raptors in 1996.
6. Rapper Dray, (also known as Krazy Drayzy, born Andre Weston, along with Skoob formed the hip hop duo Das EFX. They rose to popularity in the early 1990s with an affiliation with EPMD’s Hit Squad and the duo’s stream of consciousness lyrical delivery, which became one of the most influential lyrical styles in hip hop music during the early 1990s. Their style combined nonsensical lines with a fast-paced flow (that included words that end with “-iggedy“) and numerous pop culture references.
7. Sonia Sanchez, Renowned poet, born Wilsonia Benita Driver in Birmingham, Al. She has written more than a dozen books of poetry and has been a professor at several American universities. Sanchez joined the Nation of Islam in 1972 but left in 1975 following a dispute over the issue of women’s rights.