NEW ORLEANS, LA — New Orleans is known for its musical and cultural history, and its heritage clearly influences famous icons who were born and lived or grew up in this city. Here are just a few of them.
1. Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, born in New Orleans, March 22, 1976, is an American actress, producer, and businesswoman. She is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world as of 2019, having won an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award.
In 2006 and 2015, Time magazine named her one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Forbes named her one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2019. Witherspoon began her acting career as a teenager in The Man in the Moon (1991).
2. Lil Wayne
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record executive, and entrepreneur best known by his stage name Lil Wayne. He was born in New Orleans on September 27, 1982. Many of his peers consider him to be one of the most influential hip-hop musicians of his generation, and he is frequently referred to as one of the best rappers of all time.
His career began in 1995 when he was 12 years old when he was signed by rapper Birdman and joined Cash Money Records as the label’s youngest member. Wayne was Cash Money Records’ leading artist from then until June 2018, when he parted ways with the label.
Lil Wayne spent his first few years in the impoverished Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans. His mother, a cook, gave birth to him when she was 19 years old. His parents divorced when he was two, and his father permanently abandoned the family.
3. DJ Khaled
Khaled Mohamed Khaled, better known by his stage as DJ Khaled, is a DJ, record executive, record producer, author, and media personality from the United States. He was born on November 26, 1975, in New Orleans.
Khaled gained prominence as a radio host on the station 99 Jamz in the 1990s, and later, a DJ for Terror Squad’s live concerts. In 2019, Khaled released his eleventh album, Father of Asahd, which charted at number two and earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance for the song “Higher” at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
4. Peyton Manning
Peyton Williams Manning is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 18 seasons. He spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Denver Broncos and is regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Manning is also one of the most well-known players in the NFL. Peyton was a three-year starter at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he led the Greenies to a 34–5 record.
5. Louis Armstrong
Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), better known by his nicknames “Satchmo”, “Satch”, and “Pops”, was an outstanding jazz trumpeter and vocalist. His career spans five decades and several periods in jazz history.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louis Armstrong spent his youth in poverty in a rough neighborhood known as The Battlefield. Armstrong was one of the first well-known African-American entertainers to gain widespread white (and international) acclaim. He received many accolades, including three Grammy Award nominations and a win for his vocal performance of “Hello, Dolly!” in 1964.
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