When listening to your favorite singer’s music or watching a film with your favorite actor, you probably do not spend too much time thinking about their cultural heritage. Or, you may assume based on the color of their skin that they are one race or another when actually, they have a mixed heritage. Therefore, it sometimes comes as a surprise to learn that a celebrity is biracial, while other celebrities talk openly about their cultural background. Here are the 20 most famous biracial celebrities.
20. Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys is the daughter of an African-American man ad a woman who is of Italian, Irish, and Scottish descent. Keys was born in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City on January 25, 1981. She began her career in the music industry in 1996, although she did not release her debut album until 2001. Since the beginning of her career, Alicia Keys has released eight studio albums, two live albums, one EP, four reissue albums, one remix album, and 45 singles.
19. Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on September 2, 1964. His mother is an English costume designer and performer. Reeves’ father has Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Irish, and English heritage. Keanu Reeves made his feature film debut in ‘Youngblood’ in 1986. He then rose to fame for his role in ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.’ Reeves later reprised the role in the film’s sequels. His other successful films include ‘The Devil’s Advocate,’ ‘The Matrix,’ ‘Constantine,’ ‘Street Kings,’ ‘The Lake House,’ and ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still.’ Reeves also played the title role in the ‘John Wick series of films.
18. Maya Rudolph
Maya Randolph’s mother was singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton, who was African-American. Her father is composer Richard Rudolph, who is Ashkenazi Jewish. Rudolph is an actress, comedian, and singer who began her career in 1996. She is best known for her roles in films such as ‘Grown-Ups,’ ‘Grown Ups 2,’ ‘Bridesmaids,’ ‘Life of the Party,’ ‘Wine Country,’ and ‘Sisters.’ She has also had voice roles in animated films such as ‘Luca,’ ‘The Emoji Movie,’ ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines,’ ‘Shrek the Third,’ ‘The Willoughbys,’ ‘Big Hero 6,’ ‘The Angry Birds Movie,’ and ‘The Angry Birds Movie 2.’
Zendaya began her career as a singer and actress in 2009, initially working as a child model and backup dancer. She made her television breakthrough in the series ‘Shake It Up,’ in which she played Rocky Blue from 2010 to 2013. Zendaya is also known for producing and starring in the series ‘K.C. Undercover.’ Her films include ‘The Greatest Showman,’ ‘Dune,’ ‘Malcolm & Marie,’ ‘Smallfoot,’ ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy,’ and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and its sequels. Zendaya’s father is African-American, while her mother has Scottish and German ancestry.
Musician Slash, known as a member of Guns and Roses, has Black and English heritage. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said that he preferred not to identify one way or another. The musician claims that it was more of an issue while he was at school, which is when people wanted to pigeonhole him. However, as an adult, he says he does his own thing without worrying about how people want to see him because of his heritage.
15. Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger is a singer, actress, and television personality who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 29, 1978, although she was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Scherzinger began acting when she was 14 but ideally wanted to pursue a career in the music industry. Her passion for music led to her dropping out of college to tour with the rock band Days of the New. She then competed in ‘Popstars’ to become a member of the girl group Eden’s Crush. However, she is better known as the lead singer in the Pussycat Dolls, which is one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. She has also had a career as a solo artist. In 2010, Scherzinger won ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and she was a judge on ‘The Sing Off’ between 2009. She was also a judge on ‘The X Factor’ in the United States in 2011 and for four seasons of ‘The X Factor’ in the UK.
14. Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle has become one of the most high-profile biracial celebrities in recent years. She initially garnered attention as an actress but gained international recognition when she married British Prince Harry. It was also her marriage that attracted attention to her heritage; her mother is Black, and her father is white with English, Irish, and Dutch heritage. Markle became the first biracial member of the British royal family, and she has since made claims that her race has been an issue in what she describes as ‘The Institution.’ Meghan and Harry, officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, now have a son, Archie, and a daughter, Lilibet.
13. Kimora Lee Simmons
Kimora Lee Simons is a model, television personality, and businesswoman. She is of African-American and Japanese Korean heritage. Simmons began her career in 1998, and she is known for her television reality shows, including ‘Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane’ and ‘Kimora: House of Fab.’ She is also the founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Baby Phat, a clothing brand.
12. Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele was born in New York City on February 21, 1979. His father, who is from North Carolina, is Black, while his white mother is from Maryland. The actor, comedian, and filmmaker began his career in 2002, and he is best known for his work in the comedy and horror genres. In addition to his acting work, Peele is also the founder of ‘Monkeypaw Productions,’ which is a film and television production company.
11. Olivia Munn
Actress Olivia Munn has Chinese and European heritage. However, she predominantly grew up in Japan until she moved to Oklahoma while she was still at high school. Munn revealed in an interview with Prestige Hong Kong that being biracial hampered the beginning of her acting career. She would go to auditions, and they would tell her that she was either too white or too Asian for a role, and she worried that she would never find the right roles for her.
10. Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 1, 1979, and he began his acting career in 1999. His father has Native Hawaiian ancestry, while his mother has Pawnee, German, and Irish heritage. Although he was born in Hawaii, he was raised by his mother in Norwalk, Iowa. Momoa is best known for playing Arthur Curry/ Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe. He also played Duncan Idaho in the 2021 film ‘Dune’, which is based on the science-fiction novel of the same name.
9. Lisa Bonet
Actress Lisa Bonet first became known for playing Denise Huxtable in ‘The Cosby Show.’ Other television series in which she has appeared include ‘A Different World,’ ‘Ray Donovan,’ and ‘Life on Mars.’ Lisa Bonet was married to Lenny Kravitz from 1987 to 1993, and the former couple had one daughter, Zoe Kravitz. Bonet has been married to Jason Momoa since 2017, and they have a son and a daughter together. Bonet’s mother was a music teacher of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, and her father was an African-American opera singer from Texas.
8. Zoe Kravitz
As the daughter of Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz has Black and Jewish heritage. She has said that as both her parents are biracial, she has white family on both sides. However, as she has gotten older, she identifies more as being Black, despite being one of the only Black kids at her private school growing up. She is proud of her Black roots and heritage and feels that it is an integral part of her identity.
7. Halle Berry
Ranker lists actress Halle Berry as one of the most famous biracial celebrities. Her father is Black, and her mother is white and of English and German descent. In 2002, Halle Berry made history when she became the first Black woman to win an Oscar for Best Leading Actress for her performance in the film ‘Monster’s Ball.’ She has also appeared in films such as ‘Catwoman,’ ’Kingsman: The Golden Circle,’ ’Perfect Stranger,’ and four installments of the ‘X-Men’ film series.
6. Dwayne Johnson
According to Ebony, Dwayne Johnson revealed in a Twitter conversation that he identifies as being both Black and Samoan. He made his name as a wrestler, and he continues to use his ring name, ‘The Rock.’ He is now better known for his films, which include ‘Tooth Fairy,’ ‘Central Intelligence,’ ‘The Game Plan,’ ‘The Scorpion King,’ the ‘Jumanji’ film series, ‘San Andreas,’ ‘Rampage,’ and ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.’ Johnson is currently one of the highest-paid actors in the world.
5. Tiger Woods
One of the most famous biracial sportspeople is golfer Tiger Woods. Strictly speaking, tiger woods is multiracial. His mother is from Thailand and has mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry, while his father is African-American with some European, Native American, and Chinese ancestry. Woods is regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and one of the world’s most famous athletes. He holds numerous golf records and is an inductee in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
4. Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz is a singer, songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, and actor who began his career in 1991. Throughout his career, Kravitz has won multiple awards and has sold more than 20 million records worldwide. Kravitz’s mother was actress Roxie Roker, who was of Bahamian and African-American descent. His father was a descendent of Ukrainian Jews. Kravitz was born and raised in Manhattan.
Singer Shakira has a Colombian mother and a Lebanese father who was born in New York City. Shakira spent most of her childhood in Barranquilla, which is a city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. She began her career in 1990 when she was signed to Sony Colombia when she was just 13 years old. Shakira has released 11 studio albums, five live albums, two compilation albums, and 68 singles.
2. Mariah Carey
Buzzfeed lists Mariah Carey as one of the most famous biracial celebrities. Her mother is of Irish descent, while her father is of African-American and Afro-Venezuelan descent. When Carey’s parents married, her mother’s family disowned her for marrying a Black man. The family did not integrate into the local community due to racial tensions in the area. Therefore, being biracial had a significant impact on Carey during her childhood. However, it did not stop her from becoming one of the most successful female artists of all time.
1. Barack Obama
Probably the most famous biracial celebrity is Barack Obama. Even those who do not listen to music or watch films know Barack Obama as a former President of the United States. Obama is widely acknowledged as the first Black president of the country, but he is biracial. His Black father’s heritage is the Luo of Kenya and Tanzania, while his white mother’s heritage is Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Swiss, and German. Obama has said that he did not feel discriminated against when growing up or that he lacked opportunities because of the Black element of his heritage, and he credits this to his close relationship with his white grandparents.