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  1. Chris Tucker Actor and comedian best known for playing the role of Smokey in Friday, the Rush Hour movies and who topped the charts as the highest paid Hollywood actor in 2007 traces his roots to Angola and Cameroon. Blair Underwood His quest to find out where his family is from first sent him down south. While appearing on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are, Underwood discovered his people on his father’s side are from Cameroon. He and his dad later on made a pilgrimage back to their homeland. Not to be left out, Cardi B is reportedly seeking an escape plan in case of a possible World War between the feuding nations. The 27-year-old rapstress declared she was filing for Nigerian citizenship over fears of a war. The Nigerian government responded favourably to Cardi’s tweets sde.co.ke
  2. Q-Tip One-fourth of the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip has always infused jazz, blues and funk with hip-hop. His DNA testing revealed his ancestors on his mother’s side hail from the Jola tribe in Guinea-Bissau, something he attributes his musicality to since the Jola were known for making an instrument called the lute, a precursor to the banjo. Oprah Winfrey The billionaire media mogul found out on a show called African American Lives that her ancestry traced back to three different countries: Liberia (the Kpelle people), Cameroon (the Bamileke) and Zambia. sde.co.ke
  3. Don Cheadle The Academy Award-nominated actor hails from Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Nebraska and Colorado, but his DNA traces back to Cameroon. The Hotel Rwanda star shares paternal ancestry with the Ewondo ethnic group of the Central African country. On his maternal side, he shares ancestry with the Bamileke, Masa and Tikar people. Whoopi Goldberg She was born and raised in New York City, but her DNA was traced a few years back and indicated she has ancestral roots in Africa. The Sarafina star’s ancestors are from Guinea-Bissau and when she found this out, the tourism ministry of Bissau invited her to visit them but she turned the offer down since she has a fear of flying. sde.co.ke
  4. Chris Rock One of the most successful comedians, Rock found that his roots stem from the Udeme people (Ouldémé) of northern Cameroon. Erykah Badu When the singer and songwriter found out in 2015 that her heritage traces back to Cameroon, she decided to make a trip there. The discovery was one of spiritual enlightenment, according to OkayAfrica, which followed her during the visit. Badu, who is from the Bamileke tribe, met with chiefs and locals during her stay. sde.co.ke
  5. The Black-ish was born and raised in Compton, California but had his DNA tested and showed that he has traces of Bubi people of Equatorial Guinea, and from the Tikar, Hausa, and Fulani people of Cameroon. sde.co.ke
  6. Best known for his role as the gifted cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Preston Burke on Grey’s Anatomy went down the history books as the first African-American to receive Sierra Leonean citizenship in 2008. Washington was born in Houston, Texas, where his parents relocated to Missouri City, Texas. While some celebrities have gotten citizenship rights, others chose to trace their roots and know their ancestral homes, using ancestry and genealogical databases. Unsurprisingly, many found their lineage back in Africa. sde.co.ke
  7. Last year Elba was given the citizenship of his father’s native Sierra Leone. The famed international show celebrity was brought up in east London before finding fame in America. He is best known for playing Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), drug trafficker Stringer Bell on the HBO series The Wire, and DCI John Luther on the BBC One series Luther. sde.co.ke
  8. In May 2019, the American comedian and actress became a full citizen of Eritrea, the birthplace of her father, who moved to the United States as a refugee before she was born. Brought up in the United States, she always identified herself as American with Eritrean parentage. She first visited Eritrea in 2018 to bury her father, Tsihaye Reda Haddish. sde.co.ke
  9. Like many African-Americans, the actor wanted to discover his ancestry and he found them deeply rooted in Gabon. After finding his roots, Jackson visited Gabon, where he met with the president, Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba. Jackson was given Gabonese citizenship and passport. sde.co.ke
  10. He became the latest celebrity to acquire the citizenship of an African country. The Atlanta rapper and actor early last week confirmed his new Gabonese citizenship in an Instagram post from Libreville. His wife, Eudoxie Mbouguiengue, is from Gabon. Over the holidays, the rapper and his family also visited Ghana for The Year of Return, where they spent New Year’s Eve. sde.co.ke
  11. Since his death, Jackson has been profiled in multiple biographies and inspired the creation of two Cirque du Soleil shows. He was posthumously honored with the 2018 Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Legacy Award for Humanitarian Service, with children Paris and Prince Michael accepting on his behalf. Michael Jackson's Posthumous Wealth Jackson's debts have been settled thanks to his earlier investment in the Sony/ATV Music catalog, which includes the publishing rights for songs of such industry heavyweights as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift. The Jackson estate sold its share of Sony/ATV in 2016 for $750 million, and two years later the estate received another $287.5 million for its stake in EMI Music Publishing. Additionally, the King of Pop proved to have earning power that lasted well past his final days. In October 2017, Forbes announced that Jackson had topped the publication's list of top-earning dead celebrities for the fifth straight year, racking in a whopping $75 million. 'This Is It' Documentary A documentary of Jackson's preparations for his final tour, entitled This Is It, was released in October 2009. The film, which features a compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of its star, made $23 million in its opening weekend and skyrocketed to No. 1 at the box office. This Is It would go on to make $261 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing concert film of all time. 'Curtain Call' On June 25, 2018, A&E commemorated the ninth anniversary of the artist's shocking death by airing Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call. That day, numerous fans took to social media to pay tribute to the King of Pop, with Brooke Shields and Naomi Campbell among the celebrities who remembered their old friend. 'Michael Jackson: One' in Las Vegas In August 2018, fans celebrated the Michael Jackson Diamond Celebration at Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, which featured a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: One. 'Leaving Neverland' Documentary Accusations of sexual abuse against Jackson resurfaced in early 2019 with the airing of Leaving Neverland at the Sundance Film Festival and then on HBO. The four-hour documentary explores the recollections of two men who describe how the pop star lured them into his orbit as boys, gaining the trust of their parents, before coercing them into sexual activities in hotel rooms and at his Neverland Ranch. The documentary drew harsh criticism from Jackson's supporters, who pointed out that both men had previously testified that no abuse ever happened. The Jackson estate, meanwhile, called the two accusers "serial perjurers" and launched a $100 million lawsuit against HBO. biography.com
  12. Wrongful Death Lawsuit In 2013, the Jackson family launched a wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live, the entertainment company that promoted Jackson's planned comeback series in 2009. They believed that the company had failed to effectively protect the singer while he was under Conrad Murray's care. One of their lawyers, Brian Panish, discussed AEG's alleged wrongdoing in the trial's opening statements on April 29, 2013: "They wanted to be No. 1 at all costs," he said. "We're not looking for any sympathy ... we're looking for truth and justice." Jackson family lawyers sought up to $1.5 billion — an estimation of what Jackson could have earned to that point — but in October 2013, a jury determined that AEG wasn't responsible for the singer's death. "Although Michael Jackson's death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live's making," said company lawyer Marvin S. Putnam. biography.com
  13. Funeral and Memorial On July 7, 2009, a televised memorial was held for fans of the "King of Pop" at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. While 17,500 free tickets were issued to fans via lottery, an estimated 1 billion viewers watched the memorial on TV or online. Jackson's death resulted in an outpouring of public grief and sympathy. Memorials were erected around the world, including one at the arena where he was set to perform and another at his childhood home in Gary, Indiana. The Jackson family held a private funeral on September 3, 2009, at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, for immediate family members and 200 guests. Celebrity mourners included Jackson's ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, and actress Elizabeth Taylor. biography.com
  14. Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50 after suffering a cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. CPR attempts failed and he was rushed to the hospital, where he died later that morning. In February 2010, an official coroner's report revealed Jackson's cause of death was acute propofol intoxication, or a lethal overdose on a prescription drug cocktail including the sedatives midazolam, diazepam and lidocaine. Aided by his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson had been taking sedative drugs to help him sleep at night. Murray told police that he believed Jackson had developed a particular addiction to propofol, which Jackson referred to as his "milk." Murray reportedly administered propofol by IV in the evenings, in 50-milligram dosages, and was attempting to wean the pop star off the drug around the time of his death. A police investigation revealed that Murray was not licensed to prescribe most controlled drugs in the state of California. The steps he had taken to save Jackson also came under scrutiny, as evidence showed that the standard of care for administering propofol had not been met, and the recommended equipment for patient monitoring, precision dosing and resuscitation had not been present. As a result, Jackson's death was ruled a homicide. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on November 7, 2011, earning a maximum prison sentence of four years. biography.com
  15. By the turn of the century, Jackson was increasingly becoming known for his eccentricities, which included wearing a surgical mask in public. In 2002, Jackson made headlines when he seemed confused and disoriented on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards. In 2002, he received enormous criticism for dangling his baby son, Blanket, over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin, Germany. In a later interview, Jackson explained that "We were waiting for thousands of fans down below, and they were chanting they wanted to see my child, so I was kind enough to let them see. I was doing something out of innocence." In the aftermath of his 2005 trial for child molestation, Jackson's reputation was effectively destroyed and his finances were in shambles. He soon found refuge in his friendship with Bahrain's Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who helped the pop star pay his legal and utility bills, and invited him to his country as a personal guest. In Bahrain, the prince took care of the singer's expenses and built a recording studio for him. In return, Jackson allegedly promised to collaborate on a new album for Al-Khalifa's record label, write an autobiography and create a stage play. The completed work never materialized, however, and Jackson soon faced a $7 million lawsuit from his friend for reneging on his promises. In even greater financial straits, Jackson defaulted on the $24.5 million loan owed on his Neverland Ranch in 2008. Unable to part with cherished keepsakes, including the crystal gloves he used in performances, Jackson sued to block the auction of some of his personal items from the home the following year. Around this same time, the largely reclusive Jackson announced that he would be performing a series of concerts as his "final curtain call." Despite all of the allegations and stories of odd behavior, Jackson remained a figure of great interest, as demonstrated by the strong response to his concert plans. Set to appear at the O2 Arena in London, England, beginning July 8, 2009, Jackson saw all of the tickets to his "This Is It" tour sell out in only four hours. Sadly, Jackson would never get to experience the anticipated success of his comeback tour, as he died in June of that same year. biography.com
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