Mississippi is a state in the United States’ southern region. It is also home to one of North America’s most extended river systems, the Mississippi River. The state is also well-known for its musical roots, cotton plantations, and delectable cuisine.
In addition to its natural resources, Mississippi is also blessed with an extensive list of human resources. It is the birthplace of American blues music and home to many talented musicians like Rick Ross, Britney Spears, Elvis Presley, and lots more.
This article contains all you need to know about Mississippi’s top 15 most famous people. Carefully read through!
Top 15 Most Influential People In Mississippi
The people listed below are the most influential people in Mississippi, recognized based on their popularity, achievements, and community service.
1. Elvis Presley
First on our list of the most influential people in Mississippi is Elvis Presley. Presley is an American singer and actor born in Tupelo, Mississippi (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977). He resettled in Memphis, Tennessee, with his family when he was 13.
Elvis Presley started his music career in 1954, recording at Sun Records with a renowned producer, Sam Phillips, who wanted to sell African-American music to a broader audience.
He is most known for his contribution to the Western music genre of Rock and Roll. Presley, often known as the “King of Rock and Roll,” pioneered rockabilly, a fusion of rhythm & blues and country music. His performing approach was a mix of intensity and seductive sensuality.
Presley’s handsome looks and fantastic stage performances bought him a time in Hollywood, where he featured in several movies and also composed music soundtracks.
You can also check his complete profile on Wikipedia.
2. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist. She was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi.
Winfrey is known for her Chicago-based chat show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the biggest television show of its kind in history and lasted in national broadcasting for 25 years from 1986 to 2011.
Oprah Winfrey was the richest African American of the twentieth century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire, and she is regarded as the greatest black philanthropist in American history.
Winfrey was born into poverty to a teenage single mother in rural Mississippi and reared in inner-city Milwaukee. She claims she was assaulted as a kid and early adolescent and became pregnant at the age of 14; her son was delivered prematurely and died in infancy.
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3. Lacey Chabert
Lacey Nicole Chabert was born in Purvis, Mississippi, on September 30, 1982. She is an American actress, voice actress, and singer.
Chabert got her first role as an actress, playing Erica Kane’s daughter on All My Children Soap Opera. She was the third actress to play Bianca Montgomery from 1992 until 1993. Chabert rose to notoriety as a young actor after landing her first major part as Claudia Salinger in the television drama Party of Five (1994–2000).
Since her grand appearance in 27 Hallmark Channel films, Chabert has been referred to as the ‘Queen of Hallmark Christmas Movies’ by The New York Post and other media sources.
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4. James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones is an American actor, born in Arkabutla, Mississippi, on January 17, 1931. He is one of the most renowned and versatile American actors. Jones made his acting debut in 1957 and won many awards including a Tony Award for his role in the Great White Hope. He also won a Golden Globe Award for the play’s film adaptation.
Jones has been described as having “one of the most well-known voices in show business, a stirring basso profondo that has added grit and gravity” to his efforts, including live-action acting, voice acting, and commercial voice-overs. He received a Grammy Award for Great American Documents in 1970.
Jones fought stuttering as a youngster through poetry, public speaking, and acting, even though it lasted several years.
5. William Faulkner
William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi on September 2, 1897.
Faulkner is renowned for his publication of Malcolm Cowley’s The Portable Faulkner and is being awarded the 1949 Noble Prize in Literature. He is the only Mississippi-born Nobel laureate. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), grabbed the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
6. Jamie Lynn Spears
Next on our list of famous people in Mississippi is Jamie Lynn Marie Spears, born in McComb, Mississippi, on April 4, 1991. She is a singer and actress.
Spears is famous for her starring role as Zoey Brooks in the Nickelodeon teen series Zoey 1010, from 2005 to 2008. Afterward, Spears was recruited as a regular series in Netflix’s forthcoming romance drama, Sweet Magnolias, in July 2019.
In 2013, Spears kickstarted her career in country music. She dropped her debut single, “How Could I Want More,” along with her debut EP, The Journey.
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7. Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), known by his pen name Tennessee Williams, was born in Columbus, Mississippi. He is a famous American playwright.
After years of anonymity, he rose to prominence at the age of 33 with the triumph of The Glass Menagerie (1944) in New York City. This drama mirrored his miserable familial background. It was the first of many hits, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), and The Night of the Iguana (1960). (1961).
Williams is undoubtedly one of the leading playwrights of 20th-century American drama and one of Mississippi’s most influential people.
8. Fred Armisen
Next on our list of famous people in Mississippi is Fred Armisen. Fereydun Robert “Fred” Armisen is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician born on December 4, 1966, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Armisen has featured characters in comedy films, including EuroTrip, Anchorman, and Cop Out. With his comedy partner Carrie Brownstein, Armisen is the co-creator and co-star of the IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia.
Armisen founded ThunderAnt.com, a website that shows the comedy sketches created with Brownstein. He is also the bandleader and frequent drummer for the Late Night with Seth Meyers house band, The 8G Band.
Armisen received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014. He has also received two Peabody Awards, one in 2008 as a member of the cast of Saturday Night Live’s political comedy and another in 2011 for Portlandia.
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9. Jimmy Hart
James Ray Hart is one of the most influential people in Mississippi. He was born on January 1, 1943, in Jackson Mississippi. Hart is popularly known and is an American professional wrestling manager, executive, composer, and musician presently contracted as a Legends with WWE.
He is most known for his contributions to the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling, where he earned the moniker “The Mouth of the South.”
He has professionally managed many wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart (no relation) and Jim Neidhart (The Hart Foundation), Jerry “The King” Lawler, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Irwin R. Schyster, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, The Mountie, Dino Bravo, Earthquake, Typhoon, the Nasty Boys, The Giant, and The Honky Tonk Man.
Jimmy Hart was a member of the rock band, The Gentrys, best known for their 1965 top five Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Keep on Dancing.”
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10. Diane Ladd
Diane Ladd (born November 29, 1935) is a film director, producer, and author from Laurel, Mississippi. She has played nearly 120 different characters in films and television shows.
Ladd received the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the 1974 film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Diane Ladd went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series for Alice (1980-81), as well as Oscar nominations for Wild at Heart (1990) and Rambling Rose (1991). (1991). Chinatown (1974), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), Primary Colors (1998), 28 Days (2000), and American Cowslip are among her other cinematic performances (2008).
Ladd is the ex-wife of actor Bruce Dern and the mother of actress Laura Dern.
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11. Sela Ward
Sela Ward rose to fame through her renowned works as an author and producer. Born on July 11, 1956, Ward started her career life as a storyboard artist in New York City. While working as a storyboard artist for multimedia presentations, she started modelling to augment her income. Later, she was recruited by WAihelmina agency, where she featured in TV commercials.
Sela Ward is known for her contribution in a lengthy list of credits, including roles in popular movies, such as Gone Girl and The Day After Tomorrow. She’s also appeared in several TV series, including Sisters – for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award. She stands today as one of the most influential people in Mississippi.
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11. Britney Spears
The known American pop star was born in McComb Mississippi. Britney Spears is one of the greatest pop artists from the west.
Spears was just eight years old when she was taken to an audition for ‘The Mickey Mouse Club,’ and it wasn’t until her second try that she was cast in the program. Many agencies and labels recognized Spears’ ability after that.
Her debut album, ‘…Baby One More Time,’ was released in 1999 and became an instant worldwide phenomenon, making Spears the most popular and successful adolescent solo artist in the world. She went on to release several additional successful studio albums after that.
She has won several accolades and recognition for her works, including seven ‘Billboard Music Awards,’ 15 ‘Guinness World Records,’ a ‘Grammy Award’ the inaugural ‘Radio Disney Icon Award,’ and six ‘MTV Video Music Awards.’
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12. Sam Cooke
Samuel Cooke, or Sam Cooke as he was professionally known, was a legendary American vocalist, songwriter, recording artist, and businessman. He was renowned for his contributions to music and nicknamed the “King of Soul.”
As a champion in the music industry, Sam Cooke went on to influence other famous musicians like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Rod Stewart, Bobby Womack, Billy Preston, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown.
After his death on December 11, 1964, three songs were posthumously released. Some of his hit songs are ‘Chain Gang,’ ‘You Send Me,’ ‘Cupid,’ ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ ‘Wonderful World,’ and ‘Twistin’ the Night Away.’
In addition to music, he also actively participated in the ‘Civil Rights Movement.’
13. Rick Ross
William Leonard Roberts II, popularly known as Rick Ross, is a famous American rap artist and record label owner.
He has successfully released six studio albums. Rick Ross is the founder of the renowned Maybach Music Group and other founding members like Wale, Meek Mill, and French Montana.
Ross was into street music from a very young age, courtesy of growing up in an impoverished area north of Miami.
Rick Ross dropped out of college to pursue his dream of being a great rap musician, but he also allegedly became involved in the drug trafficking business. Ross worked as a correctional officer for a few years before obtaining his first record deal.
His first commercially released single, ‘Hustlin’,’ made him a star by being certified gold, and it was because of this success, he was able to get a record deal with Jay-Def Z’s Records.
Throughout his career, he has collaborated with many notable rap and R&B musicians, including Ne-Yo, R Kelly, Flo-Rida, Diddy, and others.
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14. Gerald McRaney
Gerald Lee McRaney (born August 19, 1947) is an American television and movie actor from Collins, Mississippi. McRaney is one of the most popular stars of the TV series Simon & Simon, Major Dad, and Promised Land.
He received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He most recently appeared as Barlow Connally in the A&E series Longmire.
15. Ike Turner
Izear Luster “Ike” Turner Jr. (November 5, 1931 – December 12, 2007) was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer.
Turner started playing piano and guitar from the early age of eight. As a teenager, he formed a music group, the Kings of Rhythm. As he progressed, he employed the group as his backing band for the rest of his life. Turner’s first recording, “Rocket 88” (1951) (credited to “Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats”), is deemed a contender for the distinction of “first rock and roll song.”
An early pioneer of fifties rock and roll, Turner is known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s with his then-wife Tina Turner in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.
FAQs On Mississippi
Tennessee Williams is one of the most famous people from Mississippi. He is the greatest playwright of the 20th century.
Mississippi is well-known as the origin of American blues music and as the home of many brilliant artists. It is also well-known for its excellent soil, which helps it to be an agricultural powerhouse. Lastly, their catfish farming sector is booming.
Mississippi is a nice place to reside. The state is full of communities that have topped the chart for livability, safety, employment development, and other factors.
Mississippi income taxes have no tax schedule. Mississippi has a tiered taxation system.
Now it’s your turn. If you want to be in the history books as one of the most influential people in your state, you must first master the act of exerting positive influence in your local community through your selfless actions and by being the best in your field.
- ranker.com – Famous People From Mississippi
- thefamouspeople.com – Famous People From Mississippi
- onlyinyourstate.com– 10 Famous People You May Or May Not Realize Are From Mississippi
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