Famous Women of Atlanta

Meet other movers and shakers in the southern city

ESSENCE.COM Nov, 10, 2008

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Every week the ladies of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”—NeNe, Sheree, Lisa, Kim and DeShawn—entertain millions with their opulent lifestyles and small-town drama on Bravo’s breakout reality series. Now meet other movers and shakers in the southern city.

Check out our interviews and photos of other Atlanta housewives »

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Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas was born and raised in Atlanta. She joined TLC members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes after the group’s original third member left the group. As a hip-pop trio, the ladies were a triple threat and went on to be one of the most successful female groups of all time. Thomas has kept busy with several ventures, including having her own line of handbags.

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The Reverend Bernice King carries on the torch of the rich legacy of her late father, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She celebrated with a crowd of Obama supporters on election night at the family’s home church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Atlanta.

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Singer Shamari Fears from the R&B group Blaque grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta before joining the group managed by the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and appearing in the film “Bring It On.” In 2006 she married Ronnie DeVoe from New Edition in the city.

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Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam attended Atlanta’s Spelman College and made the city her home after graduating. Though she will always be our beloved Rudy from “The Cosby Show,” the petite beauty continues to expand her acting career, costarring in fellow Atlanta resident Tyler Perry’s show “The House of Payne” and his upcoming film “Madea Goes to Jail.”

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Fashionista Tameka Foster made a name for herself providing style tips to celebrities and got more than she bargained for when she took on Usher as a client. The two married last year in Atlanta and welcomed their first son together, Usher V, last November.

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Singer and performer Ciara became the face of Atlanta’s energetic new music scene with her debut single, “Goodies.” With her back-breaking dance moves and A-girl swagger, she proudly represents her city.

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Diddy and OutKast have both given their stamp of approval for singer Janelle Monáe. The eclectic Kansas City native, who dropped her album “Metropolis: The Chase Suite” in August, jump-started her career with a cult following of Atlanta’s college students before signing to Bad Boy and appearing in the Atlanta Ballet.

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Mayor Shirley Franklin told Atlanta citizens, “If you make me mayor, I’ll make you proud,” when campaigning for the office seven years ago. She is now in her second term as the city’s first female mayor and the first Black woman to hold the office in a major city in the south.

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R&B girl group Xscape—LaTocha Scott, Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle—helped producer Jermaine Dupri put the spotlight on Atlanta under his So So Def Records. The hometown ladies released three albums together and continue to call the city home. Cottle is engaged to Atlanta rapper T.I. and the two welcomed a second son earlier this year.

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Actress Nicole Ari Parker enjoys a relaxed lifestyle in the laid-back town with husband and former “Soul Food” series costar Boris Kodjoe and their two children.

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Songtress Monica was born and raised in the ATL and reps the College Park area. She became the youngest recording artist to have two hits back to back on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at age 15.

Read more about Monica »

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