That’s My Cousin! Famous Black Celebrities Who Are Related
by Marissa Ellis
Culturally, black folks are known for referring to anyone they have a fondness for as their cousin. It’s a term of endearment per se. But it creates problems when it comes to an outsider determining actual blood connections. The outsider here being us, your very own nosy Madame Noire.
Case in point: many people assume that Ludacris and Monica are cousins. In actuality, they are merely connected via marriage. Luda’s uncle is married to Monica’s mom, essentially making Ludacris the nephew of Monica’s stepfather – not cousins. In any case, to the best of our abilities, we have highlighted some Black celebs who are first, second and third cousins.
Martin Lawrence and Christopher Martin
They were in House Party together back in 1990 when Christopher Martin of Kid n Play was hot stuff and Martin Lawrence had not yet hit it big. Was cousin Chris responsible for getting Lawrence one of his breaks in movies? All we know is that these days, the roles are certainly reversed.
Al Roker and Lenny Kravitz
This came from the horse’s mouth. Al Roker revealed on the Today show that he and Lenny Kravitz were actually third cousins (their grandfathers were cousins).
Christopher Williams and Al B. Sure
These two held down the pretty boy era of 80s R&B, and are still in the entertainment industry, albeit on a much more low-key level. Al B. Sure is hosting a radio show and Christopher Williams is acting in stage plays.
Cherrelle and Pebbles
Cherrelle had a lot of great singles in the 1980s, including Didn’t Mean to Turn You On,” but it’s her younger cousin Pebbles who is much more of a popular name amongst the younger generations. The two worked together when Cherrelle sang on Pebbles’ hit song “Always.”
K-Ci, Jo-Jo and Fantasia
K-Ci & JoJo of Jodeci and Fantasia are first cousins who hail from North Carolina. It’s kinda ironic that Fantasia rose to fame via American Idol when she had access to superstar relatives and their connections.
Stacey Dash and Damon Dash
It’s all in the Dash name for these first cousins who grew up in the Bronx together.
Bill Bellamy and Shaq
Now this is a surprising one. Although Bellamy has confirmed that he’s in fact Shaquille’s cousin, he never mentioned how distant or close they are in terms of cousinship. We’re guessing they’re second or third cousins.
Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston
This couple marks the most famous of cousins in the industry. Sadly, Warwick has been coping with the death of her cousin in recent weeks. They are first cousins whose mothers were sisters and who sang in the gospel singing group the Drinkard Singers.
photo credit: BET.com
Pete Rock and Heavy D
Uber producer and DJ Pete Rock was the late Heavy D’s younger cousin. Shortly after his death, Pete Rock explained just how instrumental his cousin was to his career. Heavy D’s brother Floyd is the one who taught him how to scratch, putting him on the path to becoming the youngest DJ in New York when he was hired at WBLS at the age of 15. The New York natives remained close as they both rose up the ranks, and Pete Rock worked on a couple of D’s albums.
Marques Houston and J-Boog from B2k
Marques Houston definitely hooked up his cousin J-Boog (real name Jarell Damonte Houston) with a plum job as part of the successful teen group B2K, who hit it big in the early 2000s. The elder cousin is busy with random projects as always and 26-year-old J-Boog is busy being a dad to his three children.
Snoop Dogg and Brandy, Ray J
This one seemed very odd considering they come two very different worlds for first cousins. But Snoop Dogg said it himself in this interview with MTV. He explained why he kept the info on the low, saying that “We never really told the world because we weren’t trippin’ off of that, but that’s my family.”
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