Born As: Pharrell Williams
Birth date/place: April 5, 1973 in Virginia Beach, VA
Claim to Fame: With Chad Hugo, the record production duo of the Neptunes
“The Neptunes” created an off-kilter, stripped-down electronic funk sound was very successful for Hip hop, R&B and Pop artists on the late 90s and 2000s Williams released his only solo album titled In My Mind in 2006. He and Chad Hugo received a Grammy in 2004 for Producer of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Williams won another Grammy Award in 2007 for Best Rap Song.
Williams co-founded the clothing brands: Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footware amd co-designed a series of glasses and jewelry for Louis Vutton.
Name: Trey Songz
Born As: Tremaine Aldon Neverson
Birth date/place: November 28,1984 in Petersburb, VA
Songz is a R&B/Hip Hop performer with two studio albums to his credit. I Gotta Make It was released in 2005 and Trey Day in 2007. A new alums titled Ready is scheduled for release in August of 2009.
Songz appeared in Queen of Media, a film released in 2008, in the role of “DJ I.V.”
Name: Darryl Stephens
Birth date/place: March 7, 1974 in Pasadena, CA
Claim to Fame: As Noah Nicholson in Noah’s Arc
Stephens began his acting career in the 1999 film Seamless: Kidz Rule. He is probably best known for his role as “Noah Nicholson” on the television series Noah’s Arc which began in 2005. He also starred in the film version Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom in 2008.
Name: Tristan Wilds
Born As: Tristan Paul Mack Wilds
Birth date/place: July 15, 1989 in Staten Island, NY
Claim to Fame: As Michael Lee on The Wire
Wilds’ first major break came in the HBO s series, The Wire, where he portrayed the character of “Michael Lee” from 2006-2008. His next role from 2008-2009, was as “Dixon Wilson” on 90210. Wilds stars as “Adrian” 2009s Indelible and as “Ray ‘Ray Gun’ Gannon” Red Tails scheduled for release in the fall of 2009.
Born As: Earl Simmons
Birth date/place: December 18, 1970 in Baltimore, MD
DMX started rapping in 1990. At that time his stage name was Dark Man X, which he later shortened to DMX. He has released many album, both studio and compilation, and has sold over 28 million worldwide. His best-selling album was And Then There Was X released in 1999.
In addition to his rapper career, DMX made several films such as: Belly, Exit Wounds Romeo Must Die and Last Hour. In 2002, he wrote his autobiography titled E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.
Name: Tupac Shakur
Born As: Lesane Parish Crooks
Birth date/place: June 16, 1971 in Brooklyn, NY
Shakur’s rapper career was highly successful, although, brief. In the six years that he was active as a rapper, he released 5 studio albums. His first album, 2Pacalpyse Now, released in November of 1991, was certified Gold. Shakur’s next release Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z (1993) went Platinum. Me Against the World, (1995), was a two-time Platinum album and All Eyes on
Me (February, 1996) was a nine-time Platinum album. His last album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was released on November 5, 1996, two months after Shakur’s death on September 13, 1996. It was a four-time Platinum hit.
Shakur also pursued an acting career. His first major role was in the 1992 crime drama Juice. In his next film, Poetic Justice, Shakur co-starred with Janet Jackson. Prior to his death, Shakur had completed three films, Bullet, Gridlok’d and Gang Related. All three were released posthumously.
Name: Dennis Rodman
Born As: Dennis Keith Rodman
Birthdate/place: May 13, 1961 in Trenton, NJ
Claim to Fame: NBA All Star Basketball Player
Known as “Dennis the Menace” Rodman played small forward in his early years and then became a power forward later on. He earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times and was voted NBA Defensive Player of the Year two times. He also led the NBA in rebounds per game seven consecutive years and won five NBA championships (1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998). Rodman also became a part-time professional wrestler becoming a member of the nWo fighting alongside Hulk Hogan at two Bash at the Beach events. He had his own TV show, The Rodman World Tour, and had lead roles in the action films Simon Sez and Double Team alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. Both films were total flops. Double Team earned Rodman a triple Razzie Award. He appeared in several reality TV series and was the winner of the $222,000 main prize of the 2005 edition of Celebrity Mole. He also won the first ever Celebrity Championship Wrestling tournament.
Name: LL Cool J
Born As: James Todd Smith
Birth date/place: January 14, 1968 in Queens, NY
Claim To Fame: Pioneer in the hip hop genre
LL Cool J (the name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”) is a pioneer in the hip hop genre with his songs Headsprung, I’m Bad and Mama Said Knock You Out. He is also know for romantic ballads like I Need Love and Hey Love. Cool J has sustained his success as recording artist for more than two decades. He has released 12 studio albums and a greatest hit album. His many music awards include: Two MTV Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Soul Train Music Awards.
Cool J began a film career in the late 1980s and has appeared in over twenty movies and several television series episodes. A NCIS spinoff is in production with LL Cool J as Special Agent Sam Hanna.
Name: Lenny Kravitz
Born As: Leonard Albert Kravitz
Birth date/place: May 26, 1964 in New York City
Claim to Fame: Hit single Let Love Rule
Often playing all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and percussion instruments himself when recording, Kravitz is, among many things, a singer-songwriter, actor, interior and clothing designer. His worldwide album sales have been estimated at 38 million. Kravitz’s musical talents have earned him 4 Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. He has also won the American Music Award, MTV Video Mucis Award, Radio Music Award, BRIT Award, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award. Between 1989 and 2008 Kravitz released 9 albums, all of them (except 2008s It Is Time for a Love Revolution) have been certified either Gold or Platinum with 200s Greatest Hits being a 3-time platinum album.
Kravitz did a voice role in the 1998 The Rugrats Movie. He played himself in Being Bick and Zoolander and the character “John” in the 2009 film Precious.
Name: Marques Houston aka Batman
Born As: Marques Barrett Houston
Birth date/place: August 4, 1981 in Los Angeles, CA
Multitalented Houston is a singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. His first solo album, MH , was released in 2003, followed by Naked (2005), and Veteran (2007). Houston’s fourth solo album, Mr. Houston, will be released in the summer of 2009.
Houston’s film and television career include: “Roger Evans” in Sister, Sister, and “Kevin Barnes” in Cuts. In his new film, Boogie Town, Houston has the starring role of “Micha”.