Besides the legendary singer Bob Marley, more Jamaican celebrities in America have put their country on the world map.
Revered as the birthplace of reggae music, Jamaican is more than a region adored for its music, food and rum. Some life-changing inventions have been from the region, too.
For instance, the cure for prostate cancer was research conducted by Jamaican scientist Dr. Henry Lowe and his team. So Jamaica is a great place and an important country in the world.
There are many celebrities in America you didn’t know are Jamaicans. What makes them even more difficult to identify is that they don’t have the popular Jamaican accent. Keep reading to find out who these celebrities are.
Jamaican Celebrities In America You Need To Know
Check out the celebrities in the United States of America’s entertainment industry you didn’t know are Jamaicans. These individuals are doing great exploits, making the country and region proud.
They range from actors, actresses, musicians, producers, politicians, directors, and more.
Check them out below.
1: Usain Bolt: Sprinter
You can’t be a sports lover and not know a thing or two about Usain Bolt. He’s the standard when it comes to sprinting. Though retired, Usain Bolt is the richest runner in the world. He has a net worth of $90 million.
Usain St. Leo Bolt is a Jamaican based in the United States of America. He’s regarded as one of the “greatest sprinters of all time.” Bolt was born on August 21, 1986, at Sherwood Content, Jamaica. His father and mother are Jamaicans, too.
2: Christopher Gayle: Cricketer
Christopher Henry Gayle was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on September 21, 1979. He is one of the greatest and most Destructive Batsmen of all time.
Chris has been playing international cricket since 1999. He played for the West Indices, earning the nickname “The Universe Boss.”
Tips: Around June 2023, Chris Gayle squashed the rumors that he had retired from playing cricket. He said, “I haven’t officially retired from playing cricket. I will still be playing some cricket; I am in good shape.”
He hasn’t retired despite turning 43. He claims he’s in good shape and wants to continue playing the game he loves.
3: Patrick Aloysius Ewing: Ex Basketball Player & Coach
Patrick Ewing’s second name should have been basketball, given his love and passion for the sport. He was born on August 5, 1962, in Kingston, Jamaica.
Ewing was teammates with prominent basketball players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Charles Barkley. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
4: Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henrique: Singer And Rapper
Sean Paul is a Jamaican rapper who needs no introduction. He possesses a unique voice that sets him apart. You can easily identify Sean Paul via his voice when he’s rapping.
Sean Paul has featured several top celebrities in his music, including Beyonce. He is among the richest Jamaican rappers, with over $30 million net worth.
He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on January 9, 1973, and married Jodi Steward in 2012. They are still happily married and have two lovely kids.
5: Grace Beverly Jones: Singer, Model & Actress
Grace Jones is a familiar face in Hollywood. She was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, on May 19, 1948.
Grace is a model and a top-rated actress. She’s also one of the greatest women of the popular rock and roll by VH1 back in 1999.
Grace and her family moved to the United States at a young age. They moved to Syracuse, New York when she was a teenager.
Tips: Grace suffered a severe stroke in 2000 but overcame the physical challenge. Today, she has continued her academic teaching and biological research work, a career she cherished so much.
6: Orville Richard Burrell (Shaggy): Singer, Rapper & Actor
Shaggy is a popular Jamaican singer, born and raised in the country. He was born on October 22, 1968, in Kingston, Jamaica.
He’s the singer of popular reggae hits such as, “Boombastic” and “It Wasn’t Me.” He’s among the richest Jamaican rappers, with a net worth of around $14 million. He married Rebecca Parker in 2014, and the union has been blessed with two beautiful kids.
7: David Nesta “Ziggy” Marley: Reggae Singer And Songwriter
Born on October 17, 1968, Ziggy is the son of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley. Ziggy was born in Trenchtown, Jamaica and is a passionate reggae singer.
Ziggy led the family band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, releasing eight studio albums. He’s married to Orly Marley.
8: William James Adams Jr. (Will.i.am): Rapper, Songwriter and Record Producer
Will.i.am was born on March 15, 1975. He’s the founder and lead member of the iconic musical group Black Eyed Peas.
Will.i.am has made several hit songs throughout his highly successful career. He’s a songwriter, singer, record producer, and actor.
The story of how he found out his real name is hilarious. He was 25 years old then. A passport application made him see his complete birth certificate for the first time.
He discovered his full name on the birth certificate: William James Adams Jr. The painful part is that he got his father’s name, someone he doesn’t know much about.
9: Naomi Elaine Campbell: A Supermodel
Naomi Campbell is a supermodel often seen hanging out with big shots in the entertainment industry. Even though she was born and raised outside Jamaica, she’s still one of them.
10: Alicia Augello (known as Alicia Keys): R&B
Alicia Keys has been one of the top-rated R&B female singers for the last few decades. She has the beauty, the lyrics, the voice, and the perfect song for every occasion.
Alicia Keys was born in Clinton, Manhattan, New York City, in 1981 to a Jamaican father and Italian mother. She also started singing at a very young age.
Alicia Keys released her debut album, Songs in a Mirror, earning her the Song of The Year award and 5 Grammy Awards. But that is not all. She won Grammy Awards with her other albums: As I am, Diary of Alicia Keys, and The Girl on Fire.
The R&B legend also tried her hands in acting, but the outcome shows she’s made for music rather than acting. She did perform her role satisfactorily, but her movies didn’t enjoy the same attention her music received.
11: Colin Luther Powell: U.S. Secretary of State
Being the U.S. Secretary of State is an important position in the country. It is a political position given to a selected few.
Colin Luther Powell was the first African-American to serve the United States as a Secretary of State. He served under President Bush.
Powell was born in Harlem, New York, in 1937 to two Jamaican immigrants, Luther Powell and Maud Ariel. He started working as a shipping clerk before finally enlisting in the U.S. military and served for 35 years.
He was the first African American to become a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So, he was a very important person even before becoming the U.S. Secretary of State.
12: Albert Lincoln Roker Jr: TV Host
Albert Lincoln is a popular name in the media sector. Even if you don’t know him by the name “Albert Lincoln,” you may likely know him by the name “AL Roker.” He’s an American TV personality, actor and author.
AL Roker was a regular guest on NBC’s Today Show. He was born in 154 to Albert Lincoln Roker Sr and Isabel, of Jamaican descent.
Millions of people love watching AI Roker because of his wonderful personality. His charisma, voice, and smile can light up a room.
13: Micheal Ray Stevenson(Tyga): Rapper
If the name “Michael Ray Stevenson” doesn’t sound familiar or you can’t recall the face, the name “Tyga” should be familiar to you. Tyga is a young rapper who had a breakthrough career after joining Young Money Entertainment.
He was born in Compton, California, in 1989 to parents of Jamaican and Vietnamese descent. In other words, his father hails from Jamaica, while his mother is from Vietnam.
Tyga’s career has been impressive over the years. He has released a couple of hit songs and featured some of the biggest artists in the industry. He has featured big names like Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Chris Brown.
One thing that separates Tyga is that he has always remembered where he comes from. He even had a video shoot in Jamaica for one of his songs.
14: Pete Wentz: American Lyricist and Bassist
Pete Wentz was born in Chicago in 1979 to parents of Jamaican and German descent. His mother is an Afro-Jamaican, while his father is a German.
Wentz is a lyricist and one of the top-rated bassists in the country. He played for the famous Chicago rock band “Fall Out Boy” and featured in several award-winning projects. We will always remember Wentz’s contribution to Chicago punk rock music.
15: Sheryl Lee Ralph: Actress
This screen diva was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on December 30, 1956, to parents of African and Jamaican descent. Her father is African, while her mother is a Jamaican.
Sheryl was raised in Jamaica and later Long Island, NY. Her first attempt at acting was in the movie “DreamGirls” in 1982. Since then, she has moved to the next level in her career, featuring in several movies.
Sheryl has starred in movies such as “Mighty Quinn,” “Oliver & Company,” “The Flintstones” and even “Mistress.” She married Vincent Hughes, a Pennsylvania State Senator, and has two lovely kids.
16: Wentworth Earl Miller III: Actor
Wentworth is another celebrity in America with roots in Jamaica. Earl Miller III’s father is a lawyer and a renowned educator of Jamaican heritage. Wentworth Earl Miller III was born in 1972. His mother, Joy Marie, is of Russian-French descent.
Wentworth has had an impressive career in the movie industry, featuring in several blockbusters. He graduated from Princeton University and started working for a newspaper as a cartoonist.
He has appeared in several of Marie Carey’s music videos and blockbuster movies. He starred in “Prison Break,” “Underworld,” and “The Human Stain.”
17: Ackquille Jean Pollard (Bobby Shmurda): Rapper
Ackquille Jean Pollard is another popular celebrity in America with roots in Jamaica. His father is a Jamaican, while his mother is a Trinidadian.
Known as Bobby Shmurda, Ackquille is a famous rapper and had his breakthrough after releasing the hit song Hot N*gga. He’s a promising rapper and one of the best in his line of business.
18: Yvette Clarke: Congresswoman
Yvette Clarke is a popular figure in American politics. She was born in 1964 to Jamaican parents. Her birthplace is Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.
Yvette got elected to Congress in 2006 and sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security, including the House Committee on Small Business.
19: Kim Victoria Fields: Actress
Kim is an actress many people aspire to become. She was born in 1969 in New York City, NY. Kim had a Jamaican root but didn’t know of it until recently.
Kim Victoria Fields has had an enviable career. She has featured in several movies, such as “Living Single,” and “Good Times.” She has a child and is currently married to Christopher Morgan. They have been married since 2007.
20: Julie Brown: Dancer & Actress
Julie Brown is a multi-talented actress, dancer, and former MTV VJ. She was born in 1959 to a Jamaican father and English mother.
Julie participated in the Disco Dancing Championships around 1979 and was a “Zoo” dance troupe member. She has appeared in several popular movies such as “Texas Ranger,” “Spy Hard,” “Weird AI Show,” Ru-Paul’s Drag U” and several others.
21: Ben Gordon: Basketball
If you love basketball, you’ll love Ben Gordon. He was a high-scoring athlete during his reign. Ben has Jamaican parents. Though born in London, England, he moved to the United States of America and stayed in Mount Vernon, New York.
22: Herald George Belafonte Jr: Singer
Herald is a famous Calypso singer, actor, songwriter and social activist. He was born in 1927 to a Jamaican mother named Melvin Love.
Herald’s father hailed from Martinique, a rugged Caribbean Island. His father worked as a chef in the Royal Navy. Herald lived with his grandmother in Jamaica for over 8 years before returning to the United States of America.
He joined the Navy later in life and served in World War II. He later became an actor, thanks to the Sidney Poiter’s performance he attended. That performance inspired him to embrace acting.
He has starred in several movies and TV shows and used his celebrity status to support several not-for-profit organizations. These include the Cancer Society for Prostate Cancer Awareness and the Campaign Against HIV/AIDS.
23: Karim Dule’ Hill: Actor and Tap Dancer
Karim Dule’ Hill is a popular tap dancer and actor. However, he’s more popular for his remarkable acting skills. He was born in 1975 to Jamaican parents.
His mother is an educator, while his father is an entrepreneur. He started his dancing career earlier than his acting career. He started dancing at the age of three.
His first acting role was on Broadway in the movie “The Tap Dance Kid.” He acted as Savion Glover’s understudy. Karim has featured in several musicals since then. These include “Black and Blue,” “Little Rascals,” and “Shenandoah.”
24: Tyson Craig Beckford: Super Model & Actor
Tyson Craig Beckford is a supermodel and model born in 1970. Tyson’s father is of Jamaican descent, while his mother is of Jamaican-Chinese descent.
Tyson’s parents raised him in Rochester, New York. He attended Bay Trail Middle School, after which he went to Pittsford Mendon High School.
A New York City talent scout identified Tyson’s talent in 1992; the rest was history. He has appeared on several shows such as “Get Me Outta Here!” including the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” He currently hosts the TV program “Make Me a Supermodel” and has a 10-year-old son.
These are the Jamaican celebrities in America. You can see their date of birth and what they do for a living. They are Jamaicans earning decent incomes and living legally in the United States of America. Some of these celebrities are even born in the United States.
It is a proud thing to see people from other countries do exploit their respective fields in America rather than create trouble and tarnish the image of their countries.
Jamaican celebrities in the U.S. range from actors, singers, rappers, and actresses to politicians and sports persons. From this post, you can see that some of the celebrities on the list are multi-talented.