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Celebs We Bet You Didn’t Know Were Related

Brandy is related to Snoop Dogg? Ciara is kin to Derek Jeter? The family cookouts of more than 30 famous folks must be very interesting indeed!

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photo gif of celebs who are related
AARP (Getty Images, 8)
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Did you know that “Black-ish” actress Marsai Martin and singer/actress Janelle Monáe are cousins? Both are super-creative go-getters but couldn't be more different in style and career path. I'd love to see them work together on something. This discovery made me wonder: Are there more celebs that are related but may be low-key about publicizing family stuff? We decided to take a deep dive into the world of Black celebrity relatives. Here is what we uncovered. Some of these are connections you may already know, but many of them, we’ll bet, you didn’t.

Yara Shahidi and Nas

Max Mara Celebrates Yara Shahidi At The 2023 WIF Max Mara Face Of The Future Award Recipient Cocktail Event
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Max Mara

“Black-ish” and “Grown-ish “actress Yara Shahidi and hip-hop star Nas are related. Shahidi’s mom, actress Keri Shahidi, and Nas are first cousins and very close. The rapper speaks highly of Keri and credits her for being there for him during some tough times.

Niecy Nash, Danielle Brooks and Sterling K. Brown

“Dahmer” and “Reno 911” actress Niecy Nash announced on Instagram in January that Oscar-nominated actors Danielle Brooks (“The Color Purple”) and Sterling K. Brown (“American Fiction” “Roc”) are her “real cousins!” “Yes! We are blood related! REAL cousins!,” she said on Instagram. “I’m so proud of my fam!”

Lenny Kravitz, Roxie Roker and Al Roker

Rock star Lenny Kravitz is the son of late actress Roxie Roker who played half of one of TV’s first interracial couples, The Willis’ on “The Jeffersons.” But did you know that famous TV weatherman Al Roker is Roxie Roker’s cousin?

Mike Colter and Viola Davis

“Luke Cage” star Mike Colter and EGOT actress Viola Davis are second cousins. Both were born in St. Matthews, South Carolina. They have known that they were related for some time but due to their busy schedules had not met until 2019, when they made time to sit down for coffee.

Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick and Leontyne Price

Dionne Warwick And Whitney Houston
Mark Sullivan/WireImage/Getty Images

I’ve always heard that Whitney Houston referred to Dionne Warwick her aunt but never thought they were actually related. It turns out that Whitney’s mom, gospel great Cissy Houston, and Warwick’s late mother are sisters. Opera legend Leontyne Price is a cousin of theirs.

RuPaul and Senator Cory Booker

Andre “RuPaul” Charles brought New Jersey Senator Cory Booker onto his hit show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” during the season13 finale, during which the lawmaker announced that RuPaul was his cousin. They found out they were related on PBS’ “Finding Your Roots” in 2020.

Rashida and Kidada Jones, Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton

Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of Sony Pictures Classics' "Celeste and Jesse Forever" - After Party
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

“Parks and Rec” and “Black AF” comedic actress Rashida Jones and her sister, actress Kidada Jones (“Thicker Than Water,” “Black & White”) are the daughters of super-producer Quincy Jones and the late actress (“Twin Peaks,” “The Mod Squad”) and model Peggy Lipton.

John David Washington and Denzel Washington

Celebrities Visit Broadway - November 2022
Bruce Glikas/WireImage/Getty Images

“BlackkKlansman” star John David Washington is the oldest son of Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington and his wife, actress Pauletta Washington (“Philadelphia,” Antwone Fisher,” “Genius”).

Steve Harris and Wood Harris

Actor Steve Harris, who we all loved to hate in Tyler Perry’s “Diary of A Mad Black Woman,” is actor Wood Harris’ older brother. The pair grew up together in Chicago. Wood Harris is best known from the HBO series “The Wire.” The two appeared on screen together for the first time on Starz’s “BMF.”

Ludacris and Monica

Unspoken Angels Charity Event For Domestic Violence Awareness Month With Founder Eudoxie Bridges
Prince Williams/WireImage/Getty Images

Rap icon and “Fast & Furious” actor Ludacris is related by marriage to R&B singer Monica. Her stepfather, Reverend Edward Best, is Ludacris’ uncle.

Brandy, Ray J and Snoop Dogg

Singers Brandy and Ray J are, of course, siblings. But did you know that rap icon Snoop Dogg is their first cousin?

Maya Rudolph and Minnie Riperton

Actress, comedian and “Saturday Night Live” alum Maya Rudolph is the daughter of the late Minnie Riperton, a 70’s songstress with a unique five and a half-octave soprano voice. Rudolph is also a talented singer. I love her impressions of Beyoncé on Saturday Night Live.

Nas and Tracy Morgan

2004 VH1 Hip Hop Honors - Audience and Backstage
Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Rapper Nas and comedian Tracy Morgan found out that they were third cousins on PBS’s “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates.

Whoopi Goldberg and Tony Gonzales

EGOT actress and “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg also learned that she and Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzales were cousins while appearing on “Finding Your Roots.”

Ciara and Derek Jeter

“Finding Your Roots” also revealed that “One, Two Step” singer Ciara and baseball legend Derek Jeter are cousins.

Stacy Dash and Damon Dash

Shizue handbags Oscar preview
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

“Clueless” actress and political commentator Stacey Dash and rap mogul Damon Dash grew up together in Bronx, New York and are first cousins. The recording executive cast Dash in a few of his early music videos.

Da Brat and LisaRaye McCoy

"Skinned" Atlanta Screening
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Rapper, reality star and “Dish Nation” host Da Brat and actress LisaRaye McCoy (“All of Us”) are half-sisters. The two grew up together in Chicago and are still close. LisaRaye has even appeared in episodes of the WeTv reality show “Da Brat Loves Judy.”

Bianca Lawson and Beyoncé

Bianca Lawson, who plays Darla, Ralph Angel’s wife on OWN’s “Queen Sugar” is Beyoncé’s stepsister. Lawson’s father is actor Richard Lawson who married Bey’s Mom Tina Knowles in 2015. The couple divorced in 2023.

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