Let’s face it, celebrities have a way of making the world that much closer. We see them on the screen, and something about their presence and their charisma make us want to root for them. Below is a short list of celebrities who once claimed Washington, D.C. as their home.
First up is Wale, a rapper from Washington, D.C. who signed on to Maybach Music Group record label founded by Rick Ross. Wale’s homecoming to D.C. last night for an exclusive concert was part of Billboard and 1800 Tequila‘s three-part concert series called “Back To The Block”. And it was a major moment for D.C. and hip-hop. Take a look for yourselves.
Wale first became popular in his neighborhood where his song “Dig Dug” became a hit. Originally, Wale went to school for football but left for academic reasons and started doing music. He got signed to Allido Records in 2007 and put out a few mixtapes. He later signed to Interscope Records for $1.3 million and recorded his debut album “Attention Deficit” where he truly began the start to his music career. He continues to put out new music yearly and just released a song called “My PYT”.
Next on the list is Regina Hall.
Hall was raised in D.C. where she lived with her mother and father. She went to college at Fordham University and later got her master’s degree at New York University in Journalism. She had dreams of becoming a writer and being an impactful person in society. She began her career in entertainment when she made an appearance on Sadat X’s 1996 album Wild Cowboys on the track, “The Interview.” She gained recognition as Candy in “The Best Man” and also in “Scary Movie” (as well as the sequels). She is currently filming “When the Bough Breaks” and will be released September 16, 2016.
Looking for syndicated celebrities, we turn to Christopher Meloni.
Meloni was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in the D.C. area during his younger years. He played football in a private high school in Alexandria, Virginia and later went on to study acting at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Upon graduation, Meloni went to New York to continue his studies at the Neighborhood Playhouse with Sanford Meisner. His first well-known role was as the son of a Mafia Don in the thriller film “Bound”. He’s best known for starring in the show “Law and Order: SVU”. Currently, Meloni is continuing to play the role of a slave trader on the show “Underground”. The show premiered earlier this year and the show will return in 2017 for Season 2.
Another D.C. native on television is Taraji P. Henson.
Born in Southeast D.C., Henson didn’t begin acting until her college years. She originally went to school at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and studied Electrical Engineering. Once she realized acting was her true passion, Henson decided to transfer to Howard University. The movie “Baby Boy” was the breakthrough role of her career. She later starred in the film “Hustle and Flow” where she acted alongside Terrance Howard. The two are now starring in Fox’s hit show “Empire” where Taraji plays the role of Cookie Lyon.
There are many other celebrities who share D.C. as their hometown, and we encourage you to let us know who your favorites are.
Editorial contribution by Montana Couser
Written by: Gigi Smith
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Gigi Smith is the chief editor of DC Life Magazine, a publication specializing in cultural diversity for social change in the nation's capital.