The Islands of Trinidad and Tobago have produced their fair share of celebrities. Below are some of the most famous people who were born in Trinidad and Tobago
Onika Tanya Miraj, better known as Nicki Minaj was born on December 8, 1982 in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She is an American rapper, singer, song-writer and actress. Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday (2010), peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and spawned the top-ten single “Super Bass”. During that time, Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously charting on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Her second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), also topped the chart and its lead single, “Starships”, peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Minaj’s colorful costumes, wigs and clothing has given her recognition as a fashion icon. In April 2013, Minaj became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with over 44 appearances.
Billy Ocean was born as Leslie Charles in Fyzabad, Trinidad and Tobago. Billy Ocean is best known for his 1984 album, Suddenly and its main single, “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)”. The song’s title and lyrics were changed for different regions, such that the song is also known as “African Queen” or “European Queen”. The song won Ocean the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 1985 Grammy Awards. He had another international smash with the number-one single, “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car”.
Miss Universe 1998
Wendy Fitzwilliam, born Wendy Marcelle Fitzwilliam on October 4, 1972 in Diego Martin, Trindad and Tobago. She is a beauty pageant titleholder who, in 1998, won Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe, became the second Miss Universe in history from Trinidad and Tobago, and was the third woman of African heritage to capture the Miss Universe crown. She was the international spokesperson for Clear Essence Skin Care and made several notable television appearances having hosted segments of “Wild On…” for E! Entertainment Television and the Miss Universe Special for the same network. She made appearances on “Live with Regis and Kathy Lee”, “The Magic Hour”, “Politically Incorrect”, “The O’Reilly Factor”, CNN’s “Talk Back Live”, Trinidad and Tobago Carnival” for BET, “The Johnny Cockran Show” on Court TV, Soca Monarch Finals for CNMG with Danny Glover and Chris Tucker, among others.
Machel Montano, born 24 November 1974, in Trinidad and Tobago is an international soca singer, record producer and songwriter. He is the front-man of the popular soca band The HD Family, and is noted for his high energy, fast-paced, and often unpredictable on-stage performances. During his career, which spans more than 30 years, he has recorded several songs alongside many of Caribbean music’s most popular acts, such as Lerone Guy of St Anthony’s College, Alison Hinds, Beenie Man, Calypso Rose, Burning Flames, Drupatee, Wyclef Jean, Canibus, Red Rat, Shaggy, Sparrow, Denise Belfon, Ken Marlon Charles (KMC), Destra, Walker Hornung, Vybz Kartel, Mohombi, G-Unit, Black Stalin, David Rudder, Buju Banton, Mr. Vegas, Doug E. Fresh, Pitbull, Busta Rhymes and many others. In 1987 he was the youngest finalist to ever win the Caribbean Song Festival. He now stands as one of the most well-known soca acts in the world, using his leverage as an artist able to sell out shows.
Brian Charles Lara, born 2 May 1969, in Trinidad and Tobago is a former West Indian international cricket player. Brian Lara is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest cricketers of all-time. He topped the Test batting rankings on several occasions and holds several cricketing records, including the record for the highest individual score in first-class cricket, with 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994, which is the only quintuple hundred in first-class cricket history. Lara also holds the record for the highest individual score in a Test innings after scoring 400 not out against England at Antigua in 2004. He is the only batsman to have ever scored a hundred, a double century, a triple century, a quadruple century and a quintuple century in first class games over the course of a senior career. Lara also holds the test record of scoring the highest number of runs in a single over in a Test match, when he scored 28 runs off an over by Robin Peterson of South Africa in 2003. In his honor, the capital has renamed “independence Square” to “Brian Lara Promenade”.
Slinger Francisco, better known as Mighty Sparrow, is a calypso singer, songwriter, and guitarist Known as the “Calypso King of the World”, he is one of the best-known and most successful calypsonians. He has won Trinidad’s Carnival Road March competition eight times, Calypso King/Monarch eight times, and has twice won the Calypso King of Kings title.