Haiti is a country with a rich culture and history. Haitian people have made significant contributions in many fields, including the arts, politics, and sports. The Dominican Republic occupies the western three-eighths of Hispaniola, with Haiti sharing the remainder. The Eastern side of the island is occupied by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is home to many talented celebrities who have made a name for themselves both in Haiti and around the world. When it comes to celebrities, Haiti has produced some of the most talented and beloved figures in the entertainment industry. Here are just a few of our favorite Haitian celebrities.
20. Jean-Michel Basquiat
Basquiat was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. He first gained notoriety as a street artist in New York City in the early 1980s and went on to become one of the most celebrated artists of his generation. Basquiat’s work often dealt with issues of race, poverty, and political injustice. He died of a drug overdose at the age of 27. He is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation. He was the first African American artist to be featured on the cover of “The New York Times Magazine” and was the youngest artist to ever have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
19. Garcelle Beauvais
Beauvais is a Haitian-American actress, model, and television personality. She is recognized for her work as Francesca “Fancy” Monroe on The Jamie Foxx Show, as well as for her work as a model and actress in films and on television. Born in St. Marc, Haiti, Beauvais and her family moved to the United States when she was seven years old. After high school, she began a successful modeling career, appearing on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Glamour, and Essence. She also landed campaigns with CoverGirl, Clairol, and Revlon. In 1996, Beauvais made her acting debut on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She has since appeared in several films and television shows, including NYPD Blue, LAX, and Franklin & Bash. Beauvais is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and an active supporter of the Haiti relief efforts. In 2010, she was named an honorary citizen of Haiti by then-President René Préval.
18. Jason Derulo
Derulo is a Haitian-American singer, songwriter, and dancer. He is best known for his hits “Wiggle”, “Talk Dirty”, and “In My Head”. Derulo has sold over 30 million singles and has achieved nine Platinum singles, including “Wiggle”, “Talk Dirty”, “Trumpets”, “Want to Want Me”, and “Swalla”. He was born in Miami, Florida, to Haitian parents. His mother, Sylvia (née Desrosiers), is a former ballet dancer, and his father, David Derulo, is a former drum major of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Derulo’s music is influenced by R&B, pop, and hip hop. He has also cited Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Prince as his musical inspirations.
17. Tony Yayo
Yayo is an American rapper and entrepreneur. He is a member of the hip hop group G-Unit, alongside rappers 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks. Yayo was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and grew up in Queens, New York City. His mother moved to New York from Haiti in the late 1960s. Yayo’s musical career began in the early 2000s when he was featured on several mixtapes. He released his debut album, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon, in 2005. The album peaked at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart and was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Yayo has since released two additional albums, Both of Us (2007) and The Code of the West (2012). He has also been featured on several songs by other artists, including 50 Cent’s “I Get Money” and G-Unit’s “Stunt 101”. Yayo is known for his collaborations with Haitian-American singer Wyclef Jean. The two have worked together on several songs, including “Haiti” and “Perfect Gentleman”. Yayo has also been featured on Jean’s album Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant. Yayo has been active in philanthropy, particularly in Haiti. He has donated money to several charities, including the Red Cross and UNICEF. Yayo has also been involved in relief efforts following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
16. Alisha Wainwright
Wainwright is an American actress. She is known for her roles in the television series Shadowhunters and Station 19. She has also appeared in the films The Dark Tower and A Wrinkle in Time. Wainwright was born in Miami, Florida, to Haitian parents. She attended the New World School of the Arts for high school and graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Wainwright has said that she is “proud to be Haitian” and that her heritage has “played a major role in shaping who I am as a person.”
15. Blake Griffin
Griffin was born on April 28, 1989, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Griffin is a professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. He played collegiate ball at Duke University. the Oklahoma Sooners when he was named the Consensus National Player of the Year as a sophomore. According to AtlantaBlackstar, He was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA draft and has since been a five-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-NBA Second Team member. In 2013, he was named the NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion. During his career, he has also been a member of the United States men’s national basketball team.
Maxwell is a three-time Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer. According to Globalgrind, He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Haitian mother and a Puerto Rican father. Maxwell’s musical career began in 1991 when he was discovered by Columbia Records after performing at an open mic night. He released his debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, in 1996 to critical and commercial success. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and went on to be certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
13. Michel Martelly
He’s a singer, songwriter, actor, and former Haiti president. Martelly was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He started his musical career as a teenager under the stage name “Sweet Micky.” In the late 1980s, he became a popular performer in Haiti with his brand of compas style, a Haitian music genre. Being the president of Haiti from 2011 to 2016, Martelly worked hard to improve the country’s infrastructure and economy. He also advocated for the Haitian diaspora to return and invest in Haiti. During Martelly’s leadership, he reinstated the military, which had been abolished since the country’s 1987 Constitution. He also created a new police force. Martelly is a controversial figure, but he’s also one of the most popular celebrities from Haiti.
12. Jonathan Vilma
Jonathan Vilma is a former NFL linebacker who played for the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moved to the United States when he was four years old. He attended the University of Miami, where he was a member of the school’s national championship team in 2001. He was drafted by the Saints in the 2004 NFL Draft and was a key member of the team’s Super Bowl-winning squad in 2010. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2009 and was a First-Team All-Pro in 2009. He retired from the NFL in 2015, and now works as an analyst for ESPN.
11. Bermane Stiverne
Stiverne is a Canadian professional boxer. He won the heavyweight title from WBC from 2014 to 2015. Stiverne is the first and only Haitian-born heavyweight champion. He was born in La Plaine, Haiti, and moved to Canada with his family at the age of 13. According to Famous People, Stiverne had a successful amateur career, winning the 2001 Canadian National Championships. He turned professional in 2005 and won his first 24 fights before challenging Chris Arreola for the WBC heavyweight title in 2013. Stiverne won the title in a unanimous decision, becoming the first Haitian-born heavyweight champion. He successfully defended the title twice before losing it to Deontay Wilder in 2015. Stiverne has since rebounded with two wins, including a knockout of Tony Thompson in 2016.
10. Pierre Garcon
Pierre Garcon is a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). According to MTV (He was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at Mount Union College. Garcon was born in Miami, Florida, to parents of Haitian descent. In May 2010, Garcon founded the Pierre, Garçon’s Helping Hands Foundation, whose mission is to provide access to quality education and healthcare for underprivileged children in Haiti. In 2012, Garcon was named the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work with at-risk children, both in the United States and Haiti.
9. W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois is one of the most important African-American thinkers and writers of the twentieth century. A sociologist, historian, novelist, and editor, Du Bois was an outspoken critic of racism and a leading voice in the early civil rights movement. Born in Massachusetts in 1868, Du Bois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. He attended Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee, and then Harvard University, where he was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. Du Bois’s early writings, including The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (1896) and The Souls of Black Folk (1903), helped to shape the intellectual foundations of the civil rights movement. His later work, such as Black Reconstruction in America (1935) and Color and Democracy (1945), expanded our understanding of race, democracy, and social justice.
8. Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean is a Haitian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and politician. He was a member of the hip hop group Fugees and released his first solo album The Carnival in 1997. Jean has since released nine more solo albums and received three Grammy Awards. In 2010, he ran for President of Haiti but withdrew before the election.
7. François Duvalier
Duvalier, nicknamed “Papa Doc,” was the President of Haiti from 1957 until he died in 1971. He is a controversial figure, having been accused of human rights abuses and corruption. Nevertheless, he is also credited with modernizing Haiti and bringing economic stability to the country. Duvalier’s regime was characterized by its use of the secret police, known as the “Tontons Macoutes,” to control the population.
6. Raoul Cédras
Cédras was the de facto leader of Haiti from 1991 to 1994, during the military coup d’état which ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Cédras was born in Cap-Haïtien. He was a career military officer and took power in a coup in September 1991. He resigned under international pressure in 1994 and was succeeded by René Préval. Cédras later lived in exile in Panama and South Africa, before returning to Haiti in 2014. He died in Port-au-Prince in October 2015.
5. Michaëlle Jean
Jean was the 27th Governor-General of Canada, serving from 2005 to 2010. She was the first black Canadian and the first person of Haitian origin to hold the position. Before her time as Governor-General, Jean had a career as a journalist and broadcaster, working in both English and French. She was also the Secretary-General of the Francophonie from 2014 to 2016. In 2017, Jean was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors.
4. Jimmy Jean-Louis
Jean-Louis is a Haitian model and actor who gained popularity on the NBC series Heroes known as The Haitian. He has also appeared in films such as The Incredible Hulk, Tears of the Sun, and Ararat. Born in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, Jean-Louis moved to Paris with his immediate family when he was just young. He began his career as a model, working for such designers as Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier. He made his acting debut in the film La Haine and has since appeared in several films and television shows. Jean-Louis is an active supporter of several charities, including UNICEF and the Red Cross. He has also been a spokesperson for the Haitian government’s “Haiti is Open for Business” campaign.
3. Samuel Dalembert
Dalembert is a Haitian-Canadian professional basketball player who currently plays for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moved to Montreal, Canada, with his family at the age of seven. Dalembert began playing basketball at a young age and eventually attended Seton Hall University on a full scholarship. According to Ranker, He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001 and went on to play for the team for 11 seasons. Dalembert is a two-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team in 2009. He has also represented Haiti at the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Summer Olympics.
2. Daniel Fignolé
Fignolé is a Haitian-American actor, writer, and director. He is best known for his work on the television series The Wire and Treme. Fignolé was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moved to the United States with his family when he was four years old. He attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied acting and directing. Fignolé has appeared in several films and television shows, including The Wire, Treme, and Law & Order. He has also directed several short films. Fignolé is a member of the Haitian American Directors Caucus, a group of filmmakers who are committed to telling Haitian stories. He is also the co-founder of the Haiti Film Festival, which showcases Haitian films and filmmakers.
1. Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Aristide is a Haitian politician and former member of the Chamber of Deputies who became Haiti’s first democratically elected president in 1991. He was ousted from power in a military coup in 2004 but returned to Haiti after being exiled to South Africa. Aristide remains an influential figure in Haitian politics and is the founder of the left-wing Fanmi Lavalas party.
Haiti is a country with a rich culture and history, and its celebrities reflect that. From music to sports to acting, Haitians have made their mark on the world stage. They have made Haiti proud and continue to be an inspiration to others.