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Famous People Born in January: 10 Black Celebrities


If you’re a January baby, which celebrity do you share a birthday month or date with? There are countless celebs born in the first month. You might know some of them but not others. This is a big deal because we love being in good company and if you believe in the star signs, you might also recognize and understand some behavioral patterns associated with this month. 

Here’s our list of famous people born in January.

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Alicia Keys

spotcovery-Famous People Born in January: 10 Black Celebrities
Alicia Keys performing. Source: Wikimedia licensed by  CC-BY-SA-2.0

Pop singer Alicia Keys joins the list of famous people born in January. She’s one of the most talented American singers and has produced global hits. These include No One, Girl on Fire, and If I Ain’t Got You among others. Keys is married to Swizz Beatz and has two children alongside Beatz’s kids from his previous relationship. 

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Caster Semenya

spotcovery-Famous People Born in January: 10 Black Celebrities
South African runner Caster Semenya. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

Olympic medalist Caster Semenya celebrated her birthday on January 7. She was born in 1991 in Polokwane, South Africa and rose to global fame in 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin. 

Semenya had a difficult time in her athletics career after rules were changed to make athletes like her take testosterone to compete. She’s now written a book about her story. The runner celebrated her birthday alongside her partner Violet Raeboya. 

Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon

Highlights of Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon. Video Credit: House of Highlights

Former basketballer Hakeem was born on 21 January 1963y. He played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors. He’s a two-time NBA champion and had an overall successful career. He now works as an entrepreneur.    

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Michelle Obama

The former First Lady of the United States is one of the famous people born in January. She was born on 17 January 1964 in Chicago Illinois. Michelle is an attorney, and author. She attended Princeton University and Harvard School of Law

Her husband Barack Obama always shows his appreciation toward his wife on her birthday. In an Instagram post, he wrote: “This is what 60 looks like and I can’t wait to see what this decade brings you.”

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Mary J Blige

spotcovery-Famous People Born in January: 10 Black Celebrities
Mary J Blige performing at a state dinner. Source: Wikimedia licensed by Public domain

Mary J Blige is one of the best singers of our time. She celebrates her birthday on January 11. The 53-year-old is behind some of the best hits with tracks like Mr Wrong, I’m Goin Down and I Can Love You. 

She’s won numerous awards, including the Grammy Awards and BET Awards. Aside from acting, Blige is a seasoned actress and has appeared in numerous titles like Empire and Black-ish.

Oprah Winfrey

spotcovery-Famous People Born in January: 10 Black Celebrities
Oprah Winfrey giving a talk. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29. As of 2024, she’ll be 70 years old and has every reason to celebrate. Oprah is a pioneer in the entertainment industry for black people in so many ways. From getting a show to her name to working with the biggest people in Hollywood, she’s done it all and isn’t stopping any time soon. 

Patrice Motsepe

The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is one of the famous people born in January. His big day falls on the 28th and he’ll be turning 62 this year. Motsepe is one of the richest men in Africa with a net worth of $2.6 billion. He owns several businesses like the South African club Mamelodi Sundowns. Little is known of his personal life as he keeps a large part of it private.

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Raila Odinga

On January 7th, the streets of Nairobi were vibrant as Kenyans celebrated Raila Odinga’s birthday. He’s one of the biggest political figures in the country with a faithful following. He was born in 1945 and turned 79 years old. He’s served in various high-profile positions in government and continues to be a force in Kenya’s political landscape.

Sean Paul

spotcovery-Famous People Born in January: 10 Black Celebrities
Sean Paul at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-2.0

Sean Paul was born in the first month of the year in Kingston, Jamaica. He could have been a professional athlete but left his water polo team to pursue a music career. It paid off as he’s now one of the legendary dancehall reggae artists in Jamaica. His hit song Temperature amassed a huge listenership across the world. As of 2024, he’s 51 years old.

Vybz Kartel

Vybz Kartel in prison. Video Credit: VICE TV

Convicted Jamaican musician Vybz Kartel is a January baby. He was born on January 7, 1976. He’s behind some of the best songs from the country including:

  • Wine to the Top
  • Summer Time
  • Coloring This Life

However, he was involved in a few altercations that eventually led to a conviction. In 2011, he was found guilty of the murder of a businessman Barrington Burton. Three years later, he was set to life imprisonment after a second murder conviction. 

These are some of the famous people born in January. Who shares a birthday date with you? From musicians to politicians, there’s a cause for celebration even for those whose birthday falls in other months of the year. 

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