May is a month that ushers in warmer temperatures, budding flowers, and the fullness of springtime. It’s also the month when many Black celebrities were born.
We’ve put together a list of Black celebrities born in May, including sports players, singers, rappers, and actors. Read on to see if you share a birthday with one of these famous Black celebrities.
1. Marcus Stroman (May 1, 1991)
Baseball pitcher Marcus Stroman was born in New York on May 1, 1991. He played baseball throughout high school and college and obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Duke University in 2016.
Stroman started his professional baseball career in 2014 with the Toronto Blue Jays, when he was drafted 22nd overall. He was later traded to the New York Mets in 2019 and signed a contract with Chicago in 2021.
In 2017 he won a Gold Glove Award and was named the World Baseball Classic Most Valuable Player where he played for the United States national team. He was part of the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland.
2. Busta Rhymes (May 20, 1972)
Rapper and actor Busta Rhymes was born in New York City on May 20, 1972. He started his career working as a guest rapper for other artists, including Tribe Called Quest, the Notorious B.I.G, and Mary J. Blige.
Rhymes rose to fame in the 1990s, releasing his debut solo album, The Coming, in 1996. Hits by Rhymes include Turn It Up/Fire It Up, Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See, Gimme Some More, Touch It, I Know What You Want, and Dangerous.
Rhymes made his acting career debut in 1993 in the comedic thriller Who’s The Man? He also appeared in television shows, including The Wayans Bros., The Steve Harvey Show, and Cosby.
3. Dwayne Johnson (May 2, 1972)
Actor and former pro-wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was born in California on May 2, 1972. His father was pro wrestler Rocky Johnson. Johnson obtained a bachelor’s degree in physiology and criminology from the University of Miami in 1995, where he also played football.
Johnson began his wrestling career the following year and has won 10 world championships. He began his acting career in 2002, playing the lead role in The Scorpion King. Since then, he has appeared in films such as the Fast & Furious and Jumanji series.
Outside of wrestling and acting, Johnson has also worked as a film and television producer, hosted various television shows, and written a memoir.
4. Laverne Cox (May 29, 1972)
Actress Laverne Cox was born in Alabama on May 29, 1972. She studied writing, dance, and acting in Alabama, Indiana, and New York.
She was involved in the show TRANSform Me, becoming the first Black transgender person to both produce and appear on their own show. She is well known for her role as Sophia in the series Orange Is the New Black, for which she was the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Cox is an outspoken advocate for the transgender community and was the first transgender person to grace the cover of Time magazine.
5. James Brown (May 3, 1933)
Singer and musician James Brown was born in South Carolina on May 3, 1933. He began his career in the 1950s and continued to perform until he died in 2006.
Brown’s hit songs included I Got You (I Feel Good), Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud, and Get Up Sex Machine. He has been called the Godfather of Soul and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Brown contributed time and funds to promote education among disadvantaged youth. He also founded the Annual James Brown Turkey and Toys Giveaway to benefit impoverished families–originally, this event assisted those in Georgia; however, it now supports people across the United States.
6. Gladys Knight (May 28, 1944)
Singer Gladys Knight was born in Georgia on May 28, 1944. She is best known for her role in the band The Pips, formed in 1952 while she was still a child. They signed their first recording contract in 1957.
Hit songs include I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Midnight Train to Georgia, and That’s What Friends Are For. Knight has won a total of seven Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Knight has been a supporter of several organizations involved with health research and treatment, including the Minority AIDS Project, the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association.
7. Lisa Lopes (May 27, 1971)
Rapper and singer Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes was born in Philadelphia on May 27, 1971. While she did have a short solo career, she is most famous for her role in the R&B group TLC.
One of the most popular girl groups ever, TLC rose to success in the 1990s. Their debut album came out in 1992, followed two years later by CrazySexyCool, which would become their best-selling album.
TLC songs include No Scrubs, Waterfalls, Creep, and Unpretty. The group has sold over 65 million records worldwide and won four Grammy Awards.
In 2002, Lopes was in Honduras doing charity work and setting up schools for children. She was killed in a car crash when she swerved to avoid colliding with another vehicle. Lopes was 30 years old when she passed away.
8. Ving Rhames (May 12, 1959)
Actor Ving Rhames was born in New York City on May 12, 1959. He attended the State University of New York, where he studied acting, and later graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School.
He started to make a name for himself in acting with the 1991 horror film The People Under the Stairs. Rhames is well known for his role as Marsellus Wallace in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction. He has also appeared in the Mission: Impossible series, Dawn of the Dead, and the television series ER. In 1998, Rhames won a Golden Globe Award for his role in Don King: Only in America.
9. Janet Jackson (May 16, 1966)
Singer, dancer, and actress Janet Jackson was born in Indiana on May 16, 1966. She acted alongside her family in the show The Jacksons, beginning in 1976. She also had roles in Good Times and Different Strokes.
In 1982, Jackson released her self-titled debut album. It was her third album, Control, that brought her success in the music industry. This album included the hits Nasty and What Have You Done for Me Lately.
Jackson would go on to become one of the top-selling music artists of all time, selling over 100 million albums. She has won 11 Billboard Music Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.
Top Black Celebrities Born In May, Final Thoughts
Our list of Black celebrities born in May showcases some of the talent in the film and music industry as well as in sports.
Maybe you have the same birthdate as one of these celebrities. If the stars are in your favor, you may end up being just as successful as they are!