Archive for the ‘Black Musicians’ Category
1. Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, Explorer, As a result of his explorations and trading, he is credited with founding the early settlement which eventually became the city of Chicago.
2. Harry Elston, R&B (Friends Of Distinction), Originally, Elston came up with the name Distinctive Friends, but Barbara Jean Love decided to reverse the words. In 1968, Hall of Fame football player Jim Brown met the group and introduced them to the staff at RCA Records. In 1969, Friends of Distinction released their first album entitled Grazin’ on RCA Records. The album included the songs “Grazing in the Grass”, of which Elston wrote and sang lead on, and “Going in Circles.” Grazin’ peaked at number five on the R&B charts.
During the 1960s, Elston was also a prominent figure in the urban night life. Alongside, Jim Brown and John Daniels, Elston was instrumental in opening the Mavericks Flat, a well-known L.A. night club that is often referred to as the Apollo Theater of the west coast. In addition, Elston was instrumental in the formation of the N.I.E.U. (Negro Industrial and Economic Union). In 1992, Elston was co-writer of “It’s Over,” a single for Friends of Distinction.
3. Sean John Combs, also known by his stage names Diddy and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, singer, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. He has won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards, and his clothing line earned a Council of Fashion Designers of America award. He was originally known as Puff Daddy and then as P. Diddy (Puff and Puffy being often used as a nickname, but never as recording names). In August 2005, he changed his stage name to simply “Diddy”, but continues to use the name P. Diddy in England as the result of a lawsuit. He formed and recorded with the group “Diddy – Dirty Money”.
4. George Clayton Huff, Jr., R&B/Gospel Artist He placed first among male contestants and overall fifth-place finalist on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol.
1. Ethel Waters, Actor and singer, She became one of the nation’s best known jazz and gospel singers. Taking A Chance On Love Performed by Ethel Waters with Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson From the film CABIN IN THE SKY © 1943
Note: Notice the tap dancer doing the moonwalk….in 1943
2. Frederick Stanley “Crime Dog” McGriff, is a left-handed Major League Baseball player who starred for several teams from the mid-1980s until the early 2000s. A power-hitting first baseman with a tall, lanky build, the five-time All-Star became, in 1992, the first player since the dead-ball era to lead both leagues in home runs. Although he never hit more than 37 homers in a single season, he finished his career only seven homers away from joining the exclusive 500 home run club. He won a World Series title as a first baseman with the Atlanta Braves in 1995. He currently works in the Rays’ front office as an advisor. He also currently works for Bright House Sports Network as a co-host for “The Baysball Show”.
1. Melba Moore, disco, R&B singer and actress.
2. Jesse Barfield, is a former Major League Baseball right fielder who played for the Toronto Blue Jays (1981–89) and New York Yankees (1989–92). He batted and threw right-handed. He lived in Tenafly, a suburb of New York City.
3. Randy Jackson, singer and musician, a member of The Jacksons. Nicknamed “Little Randy”, he is the youngest of the Jackson brothers, and the second youngest of the nine Jackson whole siblings, after sister Janet.
Randy was only three when the Jackson 5 was formed and therefore was not an original member. While his brothers toured, he honed his skills as a musician, mastering piano.
4. Oscar Jackson, Jr., better known by his stage name Paris is an American Rapp artist from San Francisco, California, known for his highly charged political and socially conscious lyrics.
5. Gabrielle Union, actress and former model. Among her notable roles is as the cheerleader in the film Bring it On, opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the blockbuster film Bad Boys II and played a doctor in the CBS drama series City of Angels. She starred with LL Cool J in Deliver Us from Eva in 2003, and opposite Cedric the Entertainer in The Honey Mooners.
6. Tracee Ellis Ross, Actress (Daughter of Famed Motown R&B artist Diana Ross), best known for her lead role as Joan Clayton on the UPN/CW series, Girlfriends. She is currently starring as Dr. Carla Reed on the new BET sitcom Reed Between the Lines.
1. Thelma Hopkins, Actress, Singer, A member of the 1970s’ pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, she later starred in several television sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break!, Family Matters, Getting By and Half & Half.
2. Sheryl Underwood, Comedien, Actor, first gained notoriety as the first female finalist in the Miller Lite Comedy Search in 1989. She won the BET “Funniest Female Comedian on Comic View” award in 1994 and the BET Comedy Awards’ Platinum Mic Viewers Choice Award in 2005. Following her stand up success, Underwood took a number of minor acting roles including Bad Mouth Bessie in the 1998 film I Got the Hook Up, and Catfish Rita in the 2005 film Beauty Shop. She is one of the host on daytime talk show The Talk
Underwood was the host of BET’s Comic View and executive producer and host of the limited run comedy/variety series Holla(September 2002- January 2003)
1. Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as “The Queen of Gospel”. Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world, and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist; entertainer Harry Belafonte called her “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen “golds”—million-sellers
2. Edward Brooke, U.S. Senator 1967–1979, Republican from Massachusetts. Politician and was the first African American to be elected by popular vote to the United States Senate when he was elected as a Republican from Massachusetts in 1966, defeating his Democratic opponent,Endicott Peabody, 60.7%–38.7%. He was also the first African American elected to the Senate since the 19th century, when selection came from state legislatures, and would remain the only person of African heritage sent to the Senate in the 20th century until Democrat Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois in 1993, and was the last Republican Senator elected from Massachusetts until the 2010 election of Scott Brown. He is also the only African American reelected to the Senate.
3. William (Bootsy) Collins, Musician (Bootsy’s Rubber Band/Parliament), funk bassist, singer, and songwriter. Rising to prominence with James Brown in the late 1960s, and with Parliament-Funkadelic in the ’70s, Collins’s driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk. Collins is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
4. Vice Admiral Regina Marcia Benjamin, USPHS, physician who serves as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Benjamin previously directed a nonprofit primary care medical clinic in Bayou La Batre,Alabama.
1. Kweisi Mfume (Frizzell Gerald Gray), Activist, Former NAACP President, five-term Democratic Congressman from Maryland’s 7th congressional district, serving in the 100th through 104th Congress.
2. Perry Lee Tavares, R&B Artist, a member of the Grammy award winning R&B, funk and soul music group Tavares composed of five brothers from New Bedford, Massachusetts.
3. Monica Denise Arnold, professionally known as Monica, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Arnold was a member of Charles Thompson and the Majestics, a traveling 12-piece gospel choir prior to signing a solo recording contract with Arista Records in 1995. In 1991, at the age of eleven, Monica was discovered by music producer Dallas Austin at the Center Stage auditorium in Atlanta performing Whitney Houston 1986’s Greatest Love Of All.
5. Adrienne Eliza Bailon, actress, singer-songwriter, dancer, and television personality. She was a member of former girl groups 3LW and The Cheetah Girls, and is also known for her roles in the Disney Channel Original Movie of the same name and latter sequels which brought the group to prominence. She is currently a solo artist via Island Def Jam, as well as hosts afternoon programming and other events for MTV.
1. John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie, was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed “the sound of surprise”.
Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Jon Faddis and Chuck Mangione
2. Ronald Erwin McNair, a physicist and NASA astronaut. McNair died January 28, 1986 during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L.
1. Byrd Prillerman, Co-founder of Virginia State College one of West Virginia’s most prominent Negro educators, and former president of West Virginia Collegiate institute, now West Virginia State college. one of those responsible for having the land-grant school located in the Kanawha Valley, was the fourth president. During his tenure, academic programs were expanded and the institution was given a new name “The West Virginia Collegiate Institute.” Prillerman Hall is named for him.
2. LaWanda Page, actress and comedienne best known for her portrayal of Aunt Esther in the 1970s TV sitcom Sanford and Son. Known for using the “set you straight term” (Watch it sucker).
3. Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers, served for 21 years as a distinguished member of the state Senate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When elected in 1967, she became the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky’s State Senate.
4. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD, The first African American female president of Spelman College from 1987-1997. She was president of Bennett College from 2002-2007. She is currently serving as director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art.
5. Michael Stephen Steele, Conservative politician, serving since January 2009 as the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
6. Jennifer Holiday, singer and Tony Award-winning actress. She started her career on Broadway in musicals such as Dreamgirls, and later became a successful recording artist. She is best known for her debut single, the Dreamgirls showstopper and Grammy Award-winning R&B/Pop hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
7. Evander Hollyfield, Former heavyweight Boxing Champion, He is a former World Undisputed Champion in both cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, earning him the nickname “The Real Deal”. After winning the bronze medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics, he debuted as a professional at the age of 21.
8. Bradley Lee Daugherty, retired basketball player with the University of North Carolina and later with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, joined ESPN’s return to NASCAR racing telecasts in 2007. He is currently a car owner and an analyst for NASCAR.