Starlets, Unsung: 7 Stories Of Lesser Known Black Women

October 2, 2012 ‐ By Nicole Akoukou Thompson

We all know of talented women who have graced the stage and the studio and became great legends in the process. Women such as Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Etta James and Lena Horne have all been indexed in our minds and talented, untouchable women who made their mark because of their talent, beauty and charisma. And for each of those women, we know that there is a great number of women who found their home in  entertainment, but didn’t emerge as a household name. It’s about time that we pay tribute to some of these women.

Syreeta Wright

The Grammy-nominated songstress, Syreeta was discovered by Brian Holland, and did a great deal of collaborations with dozens of famous artists and producers, including her title producer and ex-husband, Stevie Wonder. She also sang background for the Supremes, Diana Ross, Deniece Williams and Minnie Riperton. Always having an active hand in the success of others’ songs and albums, the artist never acquired the following that some of her colleagues did. During the summer of 2004, following a two year struggle with congestive heart failure, she died from complications related to cancer.

MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Pingback: 20 inspirações de moda, maquilhagem e cabelos nos estilos vintage e retrô! -

  • Pingback: Deniece Williams-Free « messymandella()

  • Y’all need 2 gone with having Cree Summer on this list… She aint unknown like that! if anything she should be titled under ‘Where you been/ We been lookin for you’ although she is still working just low key.

  • Vic

    “there is honor in being a pioneer…and show casing black beauty as being equivalent in every way to white beauty.”

    Because there is NOTHING more important than being as attractive as a white woman…

  • Candacey Doris

    Thank you for including at least one live starlet! Thanks especially for including Madge Sinclair. Loved her in Coming to America.


    Why is Cree Summer on this list???

  • Ms. Bee

    I’ve always thought Madge Sinclair was absolutely gorgeous. Her high cheekbones were everything. Then she played Sarabi in Lion King! Come on, Jesus! I wanted to be Sarabi, Queen Aoleon, Captain Silva La Forge, Bell Reynolds, Leona Hamilton… every one of her characters lol. Anything for those cheekbones.

  • Echo

    Her name is Summer, not “Summers”, though. 🙂

  • cut the bullsh!t

    Nope, haven’t heard. I guess ya’ll are too busy posting on and idolizing Kum Kumtrashian.

  • Hello_Kitty81

    I loved that movie Hallelujah with Nina Mae, my mom and I watched it on TCM couple months ago, she was good in that movie.

  • Korey

    I had to google tab a few of these ladies to learn a little more. Love!


    OMG i thought you were about to say Cree died. I was about to have a fit. I love this.

  • Yay!

    Well done MN! This was one of very few worthy click-throughs.

  • Earthspirit1

    Thank you MN for this article. This particular subject should be written weekly or at least monthly. We have so many starlets who were/are so underrated. This list should be way longer.

  • IllyPhilly

    I like this