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Archive for the ‘Black Musicians’ Category

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For November 09


1. Benjamin Banneker, self-educated scientist, astronomer, inventor, writer, and antislavery publicist. He built a striking clock entirely from wood, published a Farmers’ Almanac for 10 years,  completed the design and layout of Washington, D.C., and actively campaigned against slavery. He was one of the first African Americans to gain distinction in science.

2. Dorothy Dandridge, actress and popular singer, and was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.   She performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Nathan Featherston and the Apollo Theater.

After several minor bit parts in films, Dandridge landed her first noted film role in Tarzan’s Peril (starring Lex Barker), in 1951. Dandridge won her first starring role in 1953, playing a teacher in a low-budget film with a nearly all-black cast, Bright Road, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

She was nominated in 1954  for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Carmen Jones, and in 1959 she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Porgy and Bess. In 1999, she was the subject of the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, starring Halle Berry as Dandridge. She has been recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

3. Dion James, Major League Baseball Player, played as left and center fielder for an eleven-year career from 1983–1985, 1987–1990, 1992–1993, 1995-1996. James starred at C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento, California before being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round (25th overall) in the 1980 Amateur Entry Draft. He played for the Brewers, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees all of the American League and the Atlanta Braves of the National League.   James was the Brewers’ Rookie of the Year in 1984

4. Sandra Denton, known as Pepa, Is a Rapp and hip hop artist, actress, and a member of the female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa.

5. Mark Durrell Andrews known by his stage name Sisqó, is an  R&B singer and actor. He is best known as the lead singer of R&B group Dru Hill, and also for “Thong Song”, a song from his first solo LP, Unleash the Dragon, that became an international hit.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For November 04


 Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable1

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.

Harry Elston

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.

Sean Combs

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”.

George Clayton Huff

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.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 31


Ethel Waters

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

Frederick Stanley Crime Dog McGriff

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”.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 29


Melba Moore

1. Melba Moore, disco, R&B singer and actress.

Jesse Barfield

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.

 Randy Jackson

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.

 Oscar Jackson, Jr

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.

Gabrielle Union

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. 

 Tracee Ellis Ross

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.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 28


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)

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 26


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.

In this Video She Sings Trouble of the World in the movie “imitations Of Life”

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[1] 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.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 24


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.

4.  Betty Swann (born Betty Jean Champion) is an soul music singer, best known for her 1967 hit song “Make Me Yours“.

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.

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