Name: Columbus Short
Born As: Columbus Keith Short, Jr.
Birth date/place: September 19, 1982 in Kansas City, MO
Claim to Fame: As the lead role, “D. J.” in the film Stomp the Yard
Short is an actor, choreographer and dancer. His film debut was made in 2004 as a dancer in You Got Served. His next film appearances were in 2006s Save the Last Dance 2 and Accepted. Short’s career took off when he was cast in the role of “Darius” in Aaron Sorkin’s critically acclaimed, but short- lived television drama, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. His next films were: This Christmas, Quarantine and Cadillac Records.
In 2007, Short was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance in Stomp the
Yard and Best Kiss, also in Stomp the Yard. Upcoming films for 2009 are
Whiteout and Armored. Due for release in 2010 is the film Death at a Funeral, and, in 2011, The
Born As: Shawn Corey Carter
Birthdate/place: December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, NY
Claim to Fame: debut album Reasonable Doubt (1996)
Bio: Jay-Z has 10 different nicknames: S-dot, Young Hov, Jazzy, Hova, Jigga, J-Hova, Jiggaman, Iceberg Slim, Lucky Lefty, and Joe Camel.
Jay-Z, is not only a hip hop artist he is also an incredible businessman. He is the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records. He co-owns The 40/40 Club and the New Jersey Nets. He has sold over 26 million units in the United States and received several Grammy Awards for his musical work. His debut album, Reasonable Doubt, is ranked by Rolling Stone as #248 on its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. The Blueprint, was written in only two days. He announced that he was retiring from recording music in 2003, but he returned in late 2006 with the album Kingdom Come, which sold 680,000 copies in its first week. This ended up being his highest-selling album in a one-week period. He was named number one on the MTV’s list of greatest MCs of all time. He has also appeared in several films including, State Property (2002), Paper Soldiers (2002), Fade to Black (2004) and Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life (2006).
Name Richard T. Jones
Born As: Richard Timothy Jones
Birth date/place: January 16, 1972 in Kobe, Japan
Jones began his acting career in the 1999 movie What’s Love Got to Do with It in the role of “Ike Turner, Jr. Since the beginning of his career to the present he has appeared in over 50 films and television series episodes. Most recently, he can be seen in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as “James Ellison:
Name: Andre 3000
Born As: Andre¢ Lauren Benjamin
Birth date/ place: May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, GA
Claim to Fame: Member of OutKast
While in high school Benjamin (then performing as “Dre” teamed up with Antwan ‘Big Boi’ Patton and the two formed “OutKast” Their debut album “Southernplayalisticdillacmuzik” in 1994. By the end of the year the album achieved platinum status and OutKast was named Best New Rap Group of the year in 1996. In the next two albums, ATLiens and Aquemini, OutKast added trip-hop, soul and jungle elements to their sound. Benjamin began using the name “Andre 3000” when OutKast released their fourth album, Stankonia. More albums followed including a greatest hit release in 2001, and Speakerboxx/The Love Below, in 2003.
Benjamin played the part of “Django” in the 2007 film Battle in Seattle and as “Clarence” in Semi-Pro released in 2008.
Born As: Alexander Emanuel Rodriguez
Birthdate/ place: July 27, 1975 in New York City
Claim to Fame: Third Baseman for the New York Yankees
A-Rod began his professional baseball career as a shortstop with the “Seattle Mariners” in 1994. Just under the age of 19 he was only the third 18-year-old Major League shortstop since 1900. A-Rod signed with the Texas Rangers in 2000 with a 10-year contract at $252 million. He became a power hitter in his first season with the Rangers with 52 home runs, 133 runs scored and 393 total bases.
A-Rod joined the New York Yankees in 2004 and remains with the team at present. He hit his 500th home run in August of 2007 making him the youngest player, at age 32, to achieve this goal. Among his many awards and accomplishments are: 3-time American League MVP and 5-time AL Home Run Title. Rodriguez is considered one of the best all-around baseball players of all time.
Name: Lyfe Jennings
Birthdate/place: June 3, 1978 in Toledo, OH
Claim to Fame: The New York Times referred to him as a “socially minded R&B singer.”
Lyfe Jennings Bio: In 1992, Lyfe Jennings went to jail for arson.
Lyfe found his true love for music again while serving time in jail. He shares, “Deeper situations tend to lead to deeper music and prison was one of those deeper situations. (Music) gave me an opportunity to express emotions in an unemotional environment.” While in the Ohio institution he pursued singing, writing, and playing the guitar. He appeared on “Showtime In Harlem” (The Apollo) and won the amateur competition five times. While appearing at the Apollo, Lyfe began to promote and sell his EP “What Is Love”. Two songs, “What Is Love” & “She Got Kids”, were regularly played locally which helped his sales. Soon after Jennings moved to New York he appeared in front of a sold out crowd at Radio City Music Hall for Hip-Hop star Nelly, and his spontaneous serenade to New Yorkers during the October 14th blackout at The Cafeteria in Chelsea. Other venues and events include 2003 NBA All-Star events, NAACP Convention where he performed “Thank God for the NAACP”, world famous B.B. King’s Lounge & Grill, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Tennessee State University. His second album was named “The Phoenix” and it was released in August, 2006. His third album, “Lyfe Change” was released earlier this year.
Name: Lance Gross
Born As: Lance Gross
Birth date/place: July 8, 1981 in Oakland, CA
Claim to Fame: As Calvin Payne in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne
Gross has made brief appearance in television shows such as Eve, and The Bernie Mac Show. He appeared, as “Tony Gene” in the 2006 film Changing Blossoms and as “Michael Brown” in Meet the Browns released in 2008. Gross has played the character of “Calvin Payne” on House of Payne from 2007-2009. He won Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy in 2008 and 2009.
Born As: Taimak Guarriello
Birth date/place: June 27, 1964 in Los Angeles
Claim to Fame: As Leroy in The Last Dragon
Taimak’s first acting role came in the 1985 martial arts movie The Last Dragon, as “Leroy Green” a black teenage student of martial arts. Taimak was a 20-year-old martial arts black belt who had never acted before. The Last Dragon was not well received critically but was financially successful and is considered a cult classic. Since his debut in The Last Dragon, Taimak has appeared in numerous television roles, plays and music videos.
Taimak was once a co-owner of a Manhattan gym called “Fitness Concepts. He has finished the first in a series of fitness DVDs titled Taimak FIT (Find Inner Transformation).
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.”