A Family Affair: 40+ Black Celebrities Who Are Related By Blood
There are plenty of connections in Hollywood, but some run deeper than most fans think. Some famous actors and singers are connected through family or marriage, and the surprising part is some don’t even realize it until they get into the industry! In some cases, celebrities don’t disclose their relationship with other big stars in the business, so they can make a name for themselves on their own merit.
While getting a leg up from family members in Hollywood sometimes means being labeled a ‘nepo baby,’ some celebrities don’t mind fans knowing. They’re proud to be associated with their kin. So if you’re curious about which celebrities probably spend the holidays together as family, we’ve got you covered. Here are 45 stars you didn’t know were related.
1. Marsai Martin & Janelle Monae
It really is a small world. Actress and singer Janelle Monae recently discovered she was related to fellow actor and producer Marsai Martin. According to her, they are cousins. The two discovered they were related at a Golden Globes after-party.
Marsai said she’d always heard stories about their relationship from her family members and was excited for them to finally meet in person. We can only imagine how awesome it must have been for both of them to find each other at that after-party.
2. Nico Parker & Thandiwe Newton
If you think Niko Parker, who plays Pedro Pascal’s daughter in The Last of Us, looks familiar, it’s probably because she looks a lot like her mother, Westworld actress Thandiwe Newton. The 18-year-old has been following in her mom’s talented footsteps since she was a kid.
Parker is from a famous family, and she doesn’t deny that she had it a bit easier in the industry, thanks to who her parents are. While she’s grateful for the contacts she’s gained along the way, she’s ready to do the work it takes to make a name for herself beside other young stars.
3. Richard Pryor & Ludacris
Richard Pryor is a famous comedian who’s made a name for himself as one of the most influential stand-up comedians in the business. This is probably why it’s unsurprising that he is related to rapper and actor Ludacris. Making people laugh must run in their talented family.
Although Pryor is his distant relative, Ludacris has nothing but nice things to say about the comedian. He also said that although he never met him, he is definitely one of his biggest fans. We have no doubt that Pryor would be proud to be associated with Ludacris if he was alive today.
4. Yara Shahidi & Nas
Yara Shahidi comes from a very accomplished and talented family. Her mother is a successful advocate who owns a media company, while her dad is a talented celebrity photographer. But one thing some fans don’t know is that she is related to the rapper and musician Nas.
The famed New York rapper is also from a reputable family. Shahidi’s mother is a cousin to Nas, which makes the stunning actress his second cousin. She also served as a flower girl when Nas got married to artist Kelis.
5. Bianca Lawson & Beyoncé
Bianca Lawson is an actress in Hollywood known for her roles in TV series like Sister Sister, Pretty Little Liars, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Her mom and dad, Richard Lawson and Denise Gordy, divorced only a year after she was born. Richard later married Tina Knowles.
This made Beyonce and Solange step sisters to Bianca Lawson. Tina finalized her divorce in 2011, and a while later, she started seeing Richard Lawson. The two got married in 2015, blending their families as one. And it’s truly a family of talented individuals.
6. Rashida Jones & Quincy Jones
Parks and Recreation actor Rashida Jones was born in California. She happens to be Quincy Jones’ daughter. In addition to that, her mother is Mod Squad star Peggy Lipton, so she has two famous parents. According to her, it wasn’t an easy childhood.
She watched her mother’s early rise to fame dwindle as her father’s star continued shining, which gave her a unique perspective on fame. It can be intoxicating and destructive if things don’t go as planned. While she initially wanted nothing to do with fame, she ended up loving being an actor.
7. Pharrell Williams & Timbaland
These two are accomplished musicians and producers in their own right, and most fans don’t even know they are related. Timbaland was actually the one who first revealed that Pharrell was his cousin while promoting his mixtape some years back.
The two mega-producers are connected through their grandmothers. They are cousins who knew each other as they grew up, and it only makes sense that they started their journeys in the industry together as the hip-hop ensemble S.B.I. (Surrounded by Idiots).
8. Maya Rudolph & Minnie Riperton
Maya Rudolph is an accomplished actress and comedian known for her roles in SNL. That said, she was famous long before she started her career in Hollywood. Maya is the daughter of the famous queen of soprano Minnie Riperton and composer Richard Rudolph.
But her life in the limelight wasn’t always easy, mainly because her mother died when she was very young. Maya says she recalls that people would always stare at her as a kid, and it was only later that she realized it was because of her mother.
9. Gabrielle Union & Saweetie
Actress Gabrielle Union and singer Saweetie are indeed related. Questions flooded the internet when it was revealed that these two beautiful stars shared blood. Union revealed that she and Saweetie’s father are first cousins and that Saweetie’s grandmother is her aunt Joanne.
This makes her and Saweetie second cousins. Although they haven’t spent much time together since her rise to fame, they have become closer than ever. The two even had a reunion at Union’s home and shared the highlights with their fans on Instagram.
10. Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem
Despite being an underground rapper at the beginning of his rap career, Kendrick Lamar is now selling out stadiums and releasing hit after hit. But did you know he is related to fellow rapper Baby Keem? The two are cousins.
Despite people calling Baby Keem an industry plant, Lamar respects his cousin’s efforts and talents. He’s even called him a musical genius! The two have worked closely together, sharing their love of music with the world. They clearly didn’t name their single Family Ties for nothing.
11. John David Washington & Denzel Washington
Legendary actor Denzel Washington has long been known as one of Hollywood’s most talented and handsome men. This guy’s acting career has had numerous highs with hits like Training Day and Inside Man. Very few people knew he had a son interested in acting.
Even after John David Washington appeared in 2020’s Tenet, only a few people realized he had a famous father. If he did that intentionally so he could make a name for himself, he’s doing an excellent job at it. We can confidently say he has appeared in several popular movies thanks to his own talents.
12. Snoop Dogg, Brandy, and Ray J
Yes, even Uncle Snoop has relatives in the entertainment industry. Snoop Dogg has his hands on numerous pies. He is a rapper, actor, and musician and has numerous businesses that have helped him stay on top of the game this long. Brandy is a talented actress and singer.
Brandy and Ray J are siblings, and their parents, as well as Snoop Dogg’s, come from the state of Mississippi. The undoubtedly talented family members are all in the music business in various capacities and have found a lot of success.
13. Ludacris & Monica
Yes, Monica and Ludacris are related. Monica is a talented musician and rapper known for her hit song The Boy is Mine with legendary singer Brandy. It turns out she is connected to one of the most beloved rappers, Ludacris.
Monica and Ludacris are related through marriage and even grew up together. Monica’s mother married Ludacris’s uncle, bringing their families together. The two grew up as Mo, and Christopher Bridges way before Ludacris and Monica were household names and have been close ever since.
14. Stacey Dash & Damon Dash
Stacey and Damon Dash are two other celebrities who some people don’t know are related. Yes, they share a surname, but the connection isn’t obvious. Stacey Dash is known for her work on the hit film Clueless as well as the show Single Ladies. She and Damon are first cousins.
But the sad part about this relationship is that these families aren’t on the best of terms. They aren’t even speaking to each other currently. Although they were once friendly, their relationship deteriorated because of online controversies and primarily due to differing political opinions.
15. RuPaul & Cory Booker
While this may seem hard to believe because of how different these two people are, it’s actually true. RuPaul of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Senator Cory Booker are related. The talented host even invited Booker on an episode of his popular show.
He introduced the senator as his cousin. As expected, many people thought he was joking, but he confirmed the story saying they only discovered this relationship in 2020 on an episode of the PBS show, Finding Your Roots. Booker seemed happy about it, and frankly, we would be too. After all, it’s Ru Paul!
16. Coi Leray & Benzino
Coi Leray didn’t just become famous out of the blue. She has family connections in the industry, and you’ll be surprised to know who it is she’s related to. The rapper is the daughter of the cultural figure Benzino, co-owner of the once-famous Source Magazine.
While Benzino may not necessarily be a household name, he has deep connections in the music industry, considering his magazine covers a lot of what’s happening, especially in the world of rap. On a sad note, their relationship is complicated.
17. Redfoo of LMFAO & Berry Gordy
While the hit-making duo LMFAO may not be topping the charts this decade, they significantly impacted the music industry with their hit songs, Party Rock Anthem and Shake That. If you’re a fan, we guarantee you’ll be elated to learn that Redfoo is Motown royalty.
Motown Records founder Berry Gordy is Redfoo’s father. Berry is responsible for launching groups like the Jackson 5 and the Supremes. He is also the grandfather to the group’s other half, Sky Blu. Growing up around all that music clearly influenced their passions in life.
18. Omar Gooding & Cuba Gooding
This was probably not hard to tell. If you look close enough at their facial features, you will notice a slight resemblance. The two stars are actually brothers. You have likely seen them on your TV screens in shows and movies for years.
As two siblings in the same business, they always support each other. Omar even helped Cuba get his first acting gig. With both of their parents working in the entertainment industry, it’s no surprise that the brothers found success in the same field.
19. Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad
Debbie Allen currently stars in Grey’s Anatomy as “Catherine Fox,” while Phylicia Rashad stars in the hit drama series, This is Us. Though these are legendary Hollywood names that most people recognize today, most people have no idea that they’re sisters.
They are the daughters of Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Vivian Ayers and grew up loving theatre in Houston, Texas. The two have always supported each other’s careers, and it has always shown. And though it’s a tough industry, they always persevered thanks to their bond.
20. Lori Harvey & Steve Harvey
This one is not news to most. Many people know Lori Harvey as an influencer and business entrepreneur. But the successful model isn’t new to the spotlight. She is the adoptive daughter of legendary comedian and Family Feud host Steve Harvey.
Steve adopted Lori when he married her mother, Marjorie. While you might not know much about the other Harvey kids because of their career choices, Lori Harvey decided that she wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry and is thriving in it.
21. Viola Davis & Mike Colter
Turns out we don’t know as much about Hollywood celebrities as we thought. For example, who knew that Viola and Mike Colter were related? Well, they also didn’t until recently. Viola is an award-winning actress, while Mike Colter has some solid roles in his acting catalog.
It was only in 2019 that these two talented stars discovered they were cousins. Although they had never met, their families have family reunions where they talk about them. Since this discovery, the two have been spending time together and have developed a nice relationship.
22. Fantasia & K-Ci & JoJo
Yes, even these superstars are related. While Fantasia is a talented singer in her own right, she had some significant connections that gave her a start in the music business; RnB duo, K-Ci & JoJo. The songstress says she comes from a family of musicians.
K-Ci & JoJo are brothers, and they happen to be Fantasia’s cousins. They all loved singing and performing from a young age, so it wasn’t surprising when they made it big as musicians. In 2018, the family members hit the stage together at the Essence Festival.
23. Bill Bellamy & Shaquille O’Neal
Bill Bellamy might joke about many things, but one of the most genuine things about him is that he is related to basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. The NBA star is his second cousin. Bellamy was born and raised in New Jersey, and the two are very close.
Unlike some celebrities on this list who just recently found out they were related, these two have been friendly and supportive of each other for a long time. Their kids even play basketball together when their families are hanging out.
24. Da Brat and LisaRaye
It’s unsurprising when artists and public figures in the rap industry have problems with each other. Having beef is part of the culture. However, the beef between Da Brat, aka Shawntae Harris, and Lisa Raye McCoy was more personal than just industry drama.
That is because they are half-sisters. They are both daughters of the hotel tycoon and business entrepreneur David McCoy. Thankfully, with time and patience on both sides, they finally made up and currently have thriving careers and each other’s support.
25. Nia Long & Sommore
Nia Long and Sommore are actually half-sisters. But like many stars on this list, they didn’t really see each other a lot when they were children. Although they shared a father, they didn’t spend time together or get to know each other when they were kids.
Sadly, the two half-siblings were brought together because of tragedy. Their father, Doughtry Long, died in 2020, and they had to come together to console each other. They’ve grown closer over the years, even sharing photos of each other on social media.
26. Stevie Wonder & The Jacksons
The Jacksons are a famous group known for its musically talented members who all come from the same family. But did you know they were related to Stevie Wonder? Janet Jackson revealed in an interview that the legend is actually their cousin.
Wonder is a first cousin to the Jackson siblings. They are so close that in 2011, Janet Jackson was asked to present Stevie Wonder with his induction into the NAACP Hall of Fame. It was indeed a beautiful family moment for the audience to witness.
27. Mason Gooding & Cuba Gooding Jr.
Mason Gooding isn’t a stranger to the acting world because most people in his family are in that business. He is the son of Cuba Gooding Jr and grandson to Cuba Gooding Sr., so evidently, he has plenty of ties in the entertainment industry.
During an interview, Mason revealed that growing up, he learned that art and performance can do a lot of good for his community and the people around him. The fact that he enjoyed the craft was a bonus. He is one of those stars who always credits his success to his family members’ support.
28. Martin Lawrence & Christopher Martin
Comedic legend Martin Lawrence is practically a household name. Christopher Martin, on the other hand, is a rapper and actor. Though they might seem worlds apart, they are actually cousins in real life. This talented duo even did the movie House Party together, where they still played relatives.
The script of the movie could have been inspired by their real-life bond, making them the perfect casting choice in the film. Working together on a project must have been fun for the two Hollywood stars. And knowing Martin, we’re certain there wasn’t a dull moment.
29. Aldis Hodge & Edwin Hodge
There are plenty of familiar faces in Hollywood, so it is not surprising that most people don’t know that Aldis and Edwin Hodge are brothers. The talented actors grew up in North Carolina and fell in love with acting while still young.
Their parents are Basil Hodge and Yolette Evangeline. Aldis is the younger brother who got his first lead role in the TNT series Leverage. His last significant role was as “Hawkman” in the DC film Black Adam. On the other hand, Edwin Hodge has appeared in all three Purge movies.
30. Spike Lee & Baron Davis
Spike Lee is a producer, director, and actor known for his work in numerous movies and TV shows like Empire, and She’s Gotta Have It. The Atlanta-born filmmaker has directed over 20 movies and isn’t slowing down despite being in the business for decades. He also loves sports.
The star has never been shy about voicing his opinion when sitting courtside. But it has recently become more awkward after his second cousin, Baron Davis, was signed to his home team, The New York Nicks. On the bright side, they both get a mini-family reunion whenever he goes to watch his games!
31. Steve Harris & Wood Harris
Steve and Wood Harris are brothers from the west side of Chicago. Growing up, the two had a very normal upbringing. Their father was a bus driver, while their mother was a substitute teacher and seamstress. As you can imagine, life was not without its struggles.
Though both actors have starred in numerous films and TV shows, they had never been in a film together until 50 Cents’ Starz hit show BMF. The two siblings have had thriving careers in acting, and their parents must undoubtedly be proud.
32. Baby Tate & Dionne Farris
Yung Baby Tate is a big name in the music scene. From the moment she started creating a buzz and growing a fan base, fans wanted to know more about her, including her family tree. As it turns out, her mother is also famous as a singer.
Baby Tates mother is producer, singer, and actress Dionne Farris. Dionne and David Ryan Harris, also a singer and songwriter, only dated for a short while, but their romance led to Baby Tate’s birth. Sadly, her father moved on, and she was raised mainly by her mother.
33. Young Dolph & Juice WRLD
When Juice WRLD tragically died in 2019, many rappers took to social media to pass their condolences to the family. One of those rappers was Young Dolph, who revealed on a post that Juice WRLD was actually his younger cousin.
Even sadder is the fact that Young Dolph also passed away after being shot inside a Memphis bakery in 2021. Although the two didn’t grow up together, their families knew each other. It’s sad that they didn’t get to make more happy memories when they were alive.
34. Coco Jones & Mike Jones
Coco Jones is a singer and actress best known for her role in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air remake, Bel-Air. While she’s been in numerous films and TV shows and has a number of hits, many fans don’t know she was raised around fame thanks to her parents.
Coco happens to be the daughter of Mike Jones and Javonda Jones. Mike is a former NFL player who played for over nine seasons. The former NFL defensive lineman has always been supportive of his daughter’s dreams ever since she landed her first role in Disney’s Let It Shine.
35. Lenny Kravitz & Al Roker
Al Roker is known as one of the most famous faces when it comes to reporting the weather. That said, the last thing you would think is that he is related to the famous musician Lenny Kravitz. But that just happens to be true!
Lenny’s mother, Roxie Roker, is Al’s first cousin, which makes Al and Kravitz second cousins. Kravitz explained their relationship during an interview with Today in 2011, saying both he and Al share a great-great-grandfather from the Bahamas. To say this came as a surprise would be an understatement.
36. Marques Houston & Jboog
Marques Houston is an actor and musician known for his time in the RnB group, Immature. Although he is currently famous for having an unconventional relationship with a very young woman and being a Jehovah’s Witness, he is also related to another ’90s singer, Jboog.
J-Boog from B2K is Marques Houston’s cousin. While most people thought that Houston was related to Omarion because of their similarities in appearance, that’s not the case. These two cousins worked together for a long time as RnB stars in the ’90s.
37. Lenny Kravitz & Roxie Roker.
Al Roker is also related to Lenny Kravitz’s mother, Roxie Roker. Roxie was a famous actress known for her role in the classic comedy, The Jeffersons. In 1995, Roker passed away from breast cancer when she was only 66 years old.
As we mentioned before, she was Al Roker’s first cousin. Al didn’t even know about the family connection until much later in life, but as can guess, he is definitely happy to know he shares blood with these fantastic artists.
38. Eniko Hart & Jordyn Craig
Eniko Hart is married to the funny actor and legendary comedian Kevin Hart. Born Eniko Parish, she married Hart in a beautiful ceremony in August 2016. That said, Eniko has some family connections in Hollywood that people may not know about.
She is related to Tristan Thompson’s first baby mama, Jordyn Craig. Yes, the Jordyn that Tristan cheated on with Khloe Kardashian. Though the cheating scandal was brutal, Eniko was there to support her cousin through it all, just as family should.
39. Al B. Sure & Quincy Brown
Quincy Brown is a talented young actor and singer. His mother was the famous model Kim Porter, who sadly passed away a few years ago. For years, the young star had an estranged relationship with his biological father, RnB singer Al B Sure.
But things have gotten better recently between father and son. The two even have dinner regularly and are working on improving their relationship. Currently, Quincy has decided to shift his focus entirely to the music industry and not so much on acting.
40. Vince Carter & Trace McGrady
Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady are some of the best basketball players of our generation. Although they did not reach their full potential by winning an NBA championship, they have cemented their names as some of the best players of the last decades.
Talent must run in their family because these two legendary players are cousins. According to Carter’s grandmother, the two are second cousins. Although they didn’t know each other growing up, they are very close despite only being related by marriage.
41. MC Lyte & Charles Hamilton
If you were born in the ’90s or early 2000s, the name ‘MC Lyte’ must ring a bell since he’s a significant and recognizable name in the entertainment industry. Her talent on the mic can rival most other female and even male artists. That’s how gifted she is.
So it didn’t surprise many when her cousin, Charles Hamilton, expressed his desire to start rapping and producing as well. Although he was doing well in the beginning, Hamilton was arrested in 2010 and had to take a hiatus from the industry for a while.
42. Donna Summer & Bobby Brown
Many fans don’t know this, but Bobby Brown is actually related to disco queen Donna Summer. Although she is a distant cousin, they obviously both loved music enough to get into the career and thrive in it. Music is also how Bobby met Whitney Houston.
Summer gained international fame in the mid-1970s. Unfortunately, she died after battling cancer for a while. She always shared her love for Whitney Houston and the legacy she had created. Bobby Brown has made numerous changes in his lifestyle over the years, and hopefully, they’re working out for him.
43. Ernie Isley & Alex Isley
Musical talent runs in the Isley family. You might know singer, songwriter, and producer Alex Isley because of her immense talent, which he began showcasing when she was very young. The singer was drawn to music thanks to her surroundings and the joy she got from the art.
Her father is Ernie Isley, who is known for being part of the iconic soul group, The Isley Brothers, with her uncles. This widely-known group was clearly responsible for shaping young Alex’s dreams and passions as a child. Can you imagine how it must have been growing up around that?
44. Whitney Houston & Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick is a Grammy Award-winning performer who started as a gospel singer. She has sold over a million records during her lifetime. She is talented and a bonafide star, but did you also know she is related to the late Whitney Houston?
Dionne Warwick’s mother and Whitney Houston’s mother were sisters, making her and the late songstress cousins. Though this family of legendary singers was devastated by the tragic loss of the pop star, they still honor her memory to this day.
45. Jo Jo White & Brian J White
Brian J White is a very familiar face on TV. He has starred in different films and shows on various networks. He has a very close relationship with his father, Joseph Henry White, who most Boston Celtic fans know as Jo Jo White. Thanks to his God-given talents, he is a household name too.
According to the star, the two have grown much closer since Brian became a father in 2014. He says they now share experiences on what it means to have a child and the sacrifices and challenges that come with that journey.