There’s Nothing New Under The Sun: Modern Celebrities Who Remind Us Of Older Stars

May 9, 2013  |  
1 of 14


Image Source: WENN

As talented and fabulous as these modern-day celebs may be, we can’t help but listen to their music or watch them in movies and feel a little nostalgic. Sure, they’re doing their thing, but we hope they realize just how similar to their predecessors their “things” really are. Do these younger stars remind you of some older ones?

Ciara/Janet Jackson

We may not have realized it at first, but the more Ciara develops as an artist the more her (many) similarities to Janet Jackson become evident. She dances like her, sings like her, looks like her and even talks like her! Ciara has mentioned in interviews that Janet is her idol, which makes complete sense considering she references her constantly. Just check out the cover art for her newest single “Body Party.” Look familiar?

Image Source: WENN

Fantasia/Patti Labelle

It’s a shame that Fantasia’s vocal talents have been so outshined by her financial and relationship drama, because when that girl sings she is so much like soul legend Patti Labelle. And like Ms. Labelle, Fanny knows just how to rip EVERY single one of her stage performances to shreds. She even kicks off her shoes like Auntie Patti.

Image Source: WENN

Kerry Washington/Diahann Carroll

In 1968, Diahann Carroll made history as the first African-American woman to star in a TV series and not play a domestic worker. In 2012, Kerry Washington made history as the first African-American woman to lead a primetime TV show in 40 years. Naturally, Kerry and her accomplishments today remind us of Diahann and her accomplishments decades ago.

Image Source: WENN

Beyoncé/Tina Turner

Sorry Beyoncé stans, but not even Bey has brought much originality to the music world. For years her artistic traits have been compared to Tina Turner’s (and many others). From her divalicious stage outfits to her “dance like your life depends on it!” choreography – Beyoncé is Tina’s protégée in every sense of the word.

Ariana Grande/Mariah Carey

R&B newcomer Ariana Grande sounds just like Mariah Carey on her new single “The Way” featuring Mac Miller. The 19-year old even looks like MiMi! And we know we’ve seen that lying down singing thing done before… Check it out for yourself:

Image Source: WENN

Ruben Studdard/Luther Vandross

Ever since his singing debut on American Idol, Ruben Studdard’s velvety voice has reminded us of the late, great Luther Vandross – who once praised Studdard’s talents.

Image Source: WENN

Toni Braxton/Anita Baker

Although Anita Baker and Toni Braxton enjoyed fame less than one decade apart, the two are super similar in an old school/new school way. They both have very strong lower singing ranges making for sounds that are incomprehensible at times, but so, so smooth-sounding.

Halle Berry/ Dorothy Dandridge

Like Dorothy, Halle’s made headlines for her acting chops (Dorothy was the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award, and Halle has won that award); and her personal struggles (Dorothy had a number of fateful relationships, and Halle’s been linked to her fair share of fools). Plus, of course, Halle favors the iconic star and played her in the award-winning biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.

Image Source: WENN

Jennifer Hudson/Aretha Franklin

We know, we know. How dare we compare anyone to Aretha Franklin? It was difficult, and we may get read for it. But if any modern singer reminds us of the Queen of Soul it would have to be Jennifer Hudson – if only for her pipes. Plus, Aretha Franklin herself has been considering J-Hud to play her in a movie about her life, so we guess we aren’t the only ones who see some similarities there!

Image Source: WENN

Sofia Vergara/Charo

There’s no denying that Charo is Sofia Vergara’s spirit animal. They’re both loud, over-the-top Latinas with heavy accents and flouncy curves. They both crossed into mainstream American markets from smaller Latin American ones. And they both are better known for their kooky catchphrases and poor English language skills than their actual talents. These may not seem like the best qualities, but they’ve worked darn well for both women.

Image Source: WENN

Lady Gaga/Madonna

Lady Gaga can wear all the meat dresses and 16-inch heels she wants, she will always remind us of Madonna. There’s just something about her musical styling, song themes, cult appeal and even fashion sense that seems already done. And sorry Gaga, but “Born This Way” does sound a lot like Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Just saying.

Image Source: WENN

Denzel Washington/Sidney Poitier

Many of us started comparing these two in 2001, around the time Denzel Washington was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, which he won. Making him the second black actor – behind Sidney Poitier, of course – to take home the prestigious honor.

But aside from their professional commonalities, Denzel and Sidney must have a lot of personal ones as well, because the two are actually quite good friends.

Image Source: WENN

Alicia Keys/Lena Horne

Alicia Keys may not sing Jazz, but she sure looks a whole lot like Jazz icon Lena Horne. Oprah even expressed interest in casting Alicia to play Lena in a biopic she’s producing.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
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
  • ♥smanuel♥

    beyounce is so no reminder o tina turner stop the lies

  • Jay

    My mom says that phrase all the time… And as I grow older I’m really realizing how true it is. This list is on point, what a surprise MN, lol. Anyway I really like the stars of the past, no one can take their places even if there are a few similarities with someone new.

  • Mimi

    Brandy/Dawn Richard….Dawn sounds just like her….Leona Lewis/Whitney Houston…some of leona runs sound reminiscent of Whitney.

  • therealnumber1

    Just Another Sad Love Song was actually supposed to be anita baker’s comeback song…but when Anita heard Toni sing it on the demo, anita told babyface to let toni have the song hence the icon we have in Toni Braxton today!!! I do believe Ciara is the janet of her generation, the girl is awesome!!

  • Dina English

    Lol I love Sophia V, have no clue what she says most of time

  • tbird

    None of them look alike at all except cici and janet

  • tintin

    the sofia one is hilarious

  • Chanda

    Rihanna/Lady Gaga and Grace Jones. They can’t hold a candle to Ms. Jones but you can see the influences. And Chris Brown still thinks he’s Michael Jackson smdh..

  • Just saying!!

    IDK about Rihanna…guess she could be the black Madonna because she’s very daring…and I think Destiny’s Child was like En Vogue’s baby lol

  • Just saying!!

    Keyshia Cole and Mary J Blige, India Arie and Nina Simone, Erykah Badu sounds like Billie Holliday sometimes when she sings, like I can hear her singing God Bless the Child lol, I honestly can’t think of one for Adele or Amy Winehouse because the only old school white girl I remember singing soul or sounding soulful was Teena Marie and she isn’t anything like those two lol

    • Jay

      Dusty Springfield for Adele, Amy Winehouse, or mostly, Duffy.

  • Just saying!!

    Janelle Monae and James Brown?

    • Jay

      A lot of people have been inspired by JB so that’s a hard decision!

  • Just saying!!

    I have always said that Beyonce’s stage persona comes from Tina Turner (who i wanted to be when I was little lol). I never even THOUGHT of Alicia Keys and Lena Horne or Ciara and Janet but wooow…that’s kind of true! They may not all sound alike but they have a similar persona/vibe. I can get Fantasia having Patti’s stage personality cuz they both tear the stage up and I guess she is similar to Patti in the way she dominates the stage but when she sings I hear Billie Holliday. Also….people have often said Toni was trying to be the new Anita Baker lol and I even heard one of Toni’s big songs was originally written for Anita but she passed on it and recommended Toni to sing it! Lady Gaga IS DEF doing the Madonna thing whether she would like to admit it or not….Denzel and Sidney def both have this suave, debonaire aura about them lol. The other comparisons are kind of iffy but Dang….SOOOO MUCH has been done, I wonder if it’s even possible to be completely original nowadays lol….

  • navronis

    Niki and lil kim

  • PleaseDOBetter

    I can get behind these comparisons…some of them.

    • CaliDreams

      The Beyonce, Tina turner comparison is non existent.. Tina is way better then Beyonce will ever be.

      • Just saying!!

        True…but you can still tell thats where Beyonce got her wild stage persona from. Sasha Fierce is really Tina Turner lol

      • anonymous

        Thank you. Because I saw it from the first page and I had to see these comparisons. MN, y’all should know better. It’s borderline blasphemous to compare anyone to the Divine Lady Tina Turner.