Houston, Texas has produced some of the most famous recording artists, actors, and others who have been nationally, and internationally, recognized for their talents. Of course, everyone knows about Beyonce, who proudly represents H-Town, but there are several other famous faces from the city that many don't know about. Here are some of Houston’s most famous celebrities.
Michelle Williams is the only member of the girl group Destiny’s Child who was not raised in Houston, Texas. The rest of the ladies called the city home before they began climbing the ranks as one of the most famous musical groups of all time. Kelly Rowland was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but moved to Houston with her mother at 8-years-old. Beyonce and Kelly Rowland met in elementary school, before befriending LaTavia Roberson. Soon After, LaToya Luckett joined the band of friends and the then-preteens quickly formed a six-member girl band named Girl’s Tyme. Shortly after that, the group was trimmed down to four members and renamed Destiny’s Child. Luckett and Roberson were eventually replaced by Williams and Farrah Franklin in 2000.
Wesley Wales Anderson, better known simply as Wes Anderson, is known for his eccentric filmmaking style, as well as his movies’ dynamic and distinctive visual and narrative choices. The famous director, whose major films have always featured Bill Murray, came from humble beginnings. He was born in Houston as the second of three boys. Both his brothers went on to be successful as well, with Anderson’s oldest brother becoming a physician and his younger brother becoming an artist, whose work has been featured in some of Anderson’s films, such as The Royal Tenenbaums. Though he’s gone on to live in New York for much of his adult life, Anderson received his education in Texas, graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in philosophy in 1990.
Disney darling Hilary Duff, of Lizzie McGuire fame, is another celebrity that hails from the great state of Texas. She and her older sister, Haylie, were born in Houston. Their father owned a chain of convenience stores, so the sisters split their time between Houston and San Antonio growing up. Eventually, both girls became interested in joining show business and since they’d already shown great talent in dance, acting, and singing, they were able to convince their mom to move with them to California to pursue their dreams. After landing several early successes, including her starring role as Wendy in Casper Meets Wendy, Duff landed a dream gig as the star of Disney’s Lizzie McGuire in 2000.
Though Jennifer Garner is definitely a proud citizen of Charleston, West Virginia, she, too, was originally from Houston, Texas. At 3-years-old, Garner and the rest of her family, which included her father, mother, and two sisters, packed up and moved to the rolling hills of West Virginia. After Garner graduated from high school, she left the state to attend college in Ohio where she developed a love for the theatrical arts. This love eventually led her to move to Los Angeles, California, where her dreams of becoming a renowned actress came true.
Renée Zellweger is one of the most iconic All-American girls in Hollywood, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Judy actress also hails from Houston, Texas. She actually is from Katy, a suburb of the city. While attending high school, Zellweger was very active in school activities and was even a cheerleader. After she graduated, she stuck around Texas, studying at the University of Texas at Austin. Zellweger caught the acting bug and began appearing in film productions in Texas, including a small role in the iconic Dazed & Confused which filmed in Austin with Texas-born actors, like Matthew McConaughey. Zellweger eventually relocated to Los Angeles, where she got her big break starring opposite Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire.
Though Lizzo, birth name Melissa Viviene Jefferson, was born in Detroit, Michigan, she and her family moved to Houston, Texas when the rapper/singer was only 10-years-old. Once she graduated from high school, she went on to study classical music with an emphasis on the flute at the University of Houston. After college, and the death of her father, Lizzo suffered a series of hardships that resulted in the artist living out of her car for a period of time while trying to make her break into the music industry. She eventually moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and a few years after she relocated, she got the opportunity to work with a Minnesotan legend: Prince. After several more years of hard work, Lizzo finally enjoyed commercial success with her song “Truth Hurts.”
Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons is another proud son of Texas. The actor was born in Houston, Texas in 1973. Parsons was determined from a young age to become an actor, and just like Lizzo, he attended the University of Houston, though he earned a degree in theater. Clearly the stage held a special place in Parsons’ heart, and he moved to New York City to pursue his dreams of stardom and, like so many before him, got his start in Off-Broadway productions. His success there eventually led to Parsons branching out to television roles and his wildly successful CBS series, Big Bang Theory.
Did Kenny Rogers ever let anyone forget that he was from Texas? The legendary country music star, who was also famous for his songwriting talents, acting, and record producing, was one of eight children born in Houston to Lucille and Edward Rogers. Rogers is another alumnus of the University of Houston. His career spanned decades, which just shows how incredibly talented Rogers was. He passed away earlier this year from natural causes on March 20, 2020, and was greatly mourned by both his fans and many others who called him a friend.
Born Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, Megan Thee Stallion was born in Texas and raised in the southside of Houston. Her mother was also a rapper, which heavily influenced a young Megan and while attending Prairie View A&M University in 2013, Megan began her own career as a rapper. She found a passionate fanbase online, which helped push her to commercial success only a few short years later.
Travis Scott was born Jacques Bermon Webster II and lived with his grandmother in the South Park neighborhood in Houston for several years of his young life. He soon moved back in with his parents to a suburb of Houston before attending the University of Texas-San Antonio for a little over a year. Scott dropped out during his sophomore year and moved to New York City to pursue his musical career. The gamble took a long time to pay off, but it eventually did so in droves. Scott won the 2019 Billboard Music Award for Top Streaming Song (Audio) in recognition of his song “Sicko Mode.” He also shares a daughter with reality star and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner.
There must be something in the water in Houston because the Texas town keeps churning out some of the most talented stars around. It’s almost certain that even more talented people from H-Town are just waiting to be discovered. Who will be in the next group of talented Houstonites rise to fame?