It’s no secret that singers Rihanna and Bob Marley are from the islands—Barbados and Jamaica, respectively—but there is a host of other celebrities who are of Caribbean descent.
This list of actors, musicians and models from the United States and the United Kingdom were either born in the Caribbean or their parents or grandparents were. Though there are some you may already know, we bet there are more than a few who will surprise you.
*This article was originally published on September 8, 2017
Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith has Jamaican and Bajan ancestry on her maternal side.
Estelle’s mother is from Senegal and her father is from Grenada.
Another celebrity who holds a Caribbean background is actor Romany Malco. The Think Like A Man alum is Trinidadian.
Jackée Harry’s mother is Afro-Trinidadian.
Tia and Tamera Mowry
Twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry may be known for their biracial background, but did you know they are also of Caribbean heritage? The two—as well their actor brother Tahj and college football star brother Tavior—are of Bahamian descent.
Though Campbell is most notably known as being from South London, many may not be aware that the famed model and actress is also of Afro-Jamaican descent. Her mother, who was a professional dancer, was born in Jamaica.
Legendary actor and director Sidney Poitier was born in Miami to Bahamian parents. Shortly after his premature birth, the family moved back to the Bahamas, where the actor lived until he was 15 years old.
Though it’s well known that musician and actor Lenny Kravitz was born to a Black mother and a white father, many are not aware that he is also of Caribbean descent. His mother, actress Roxie Roker (The Jeffersons), was half Bahamian.
If knowing that Laz Alonso’s full first name is Lazaro made you assume he had a Caribbean background, you were absolutely right. The veteran actor was born to Afro-Cuban parents.
Born Gerald Maxwell Rivera, the gorgeous singer is the offspring of a Haitian mother and a Puerto Rican father.
Wonder why Canadian singer Melanie Fiona infuses reggae sounds into most of her songs? It’s most likely because she is Guyanese.
Famed actress Nia Long is another celebrity who is of Caribbean descent. The Love Jones alum’s grandmother was from Grenada and she also has roots in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Sheryl Lee Ralph’s mother is a Jamaican fashion designer and she split her time growing up between the island, Mandeville, and Long Island, N.Y.
Kerry Washington’s mother, Valerie Washington, is Jamaican.
Model Selita Ebanks was born in the Cayman Islands to a Jamaican father and a Caymanian mother.
Derek Luke’s father is from Georgetown, Guyana.
Garcelle Beauvais was born in Saint-Marc, Haiti.
A$AP Rocky’s father is from Barbados.
LL Cool J
The Queens rapper’s grandfather immigrated to the United States from Barbados.
Actress Lorraine Toussaint was born in Trinidad and Tobago.
Doug E. Fresh
“Human beatbox” Doug E. Fresh was born in Barbados but raised in Harlem.
The Miami rapper’s mother is from the Bahamas while her father is from the Dominican Republic.
Both of Busta Rhymes’s parents are from Jamaica.
Tatyana Ali’s mother is Afro-Panamanian while her father is Indo-Trinidadian.
Nicki Minaj proudly reps her Indo- and Afro-Trinidadian roots and incorporates the sound into her music.
Amanda Seales’s mother was born in Grenada and they both hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and the island nation.
Pep of rap group Salt-N-Pepa was born in Kingston, Jamaica.
Canadian singer Deborah Cox was born to Afro-Guyanese parents.
Persia White was born in Nassau to an Irish-American mother and Bahamian father.
Both of the actor’s parents are Afro-Trinidadian.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s parents were Jamaican immigrants of mixed African and Scottish heritage.