Actors & Musicians
Kentucky is the birthplace of Bluegrass music, a genre that has become internationally recognized for its unique sound. Though many Kentuckians have become famous with their Bluegrass music, as this list demonstrates, Bluegrass is not the only way to tune into success as an entertainer. Scroll through the list below to learn about a few of Kentucky's famous actors, singers, directors, and musicians.
The asterisk (*) symbol next to a name means that the individual was not born in Kentucky.
Backstreet Boys Two of the popular boy-band's members are Kentucky natives: Brian Littrell (1972-Present) and Kevin Richardson (1972-Present).
John Carpenter (1948-Present) Producer, director and writer of horror movies.
Steven Curtis Chapman (1962-Present) Christian music singer.
George Clooney (1961- Present) Academy Award winning actor, screenwriter, director, and activist.
Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002) Singing star on radio and in motion pictures including the perennial favorite, White Christmas. Received a Grammy award in 2002 for lifetime achievement.
Billy Ray Cyrus (1961-Present) Country singer best known for his song “Achy Breaky Heart.”
Johnny Depp (1963-Present) Academy Award nominated actor.
The Everley Brothers Don(1937-Present) and Phil(1939-Present) Country and rockabilly singers who have sold over 35 million records and have had 15 number one singles.
Haven Gillespie (1888-1975) Wrote more than one thousand popular songs including “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Nancy Green (1834-1923) The original Aunt Jemima.
Ashley Judd (1968-Present) Actress, activist, and daughter of famous country singer Naomi Judd.
The Judds Naomi (1946-Present) and Wynonna (1964-Present) Country music singers who won four Grammy’s and over 30 country music awards.
Patty Loveless (1957-Present) Country music singer.
Loretta Lynn (1935-Present) Country singer and songwriter. Most famous for her song, “The Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
Bill Monroe (1911-1996) Known as, “The Father of Bluegrass Music” credited for perfecting the bluegrass music style.
John Michael Montgomery (1965-Present) Award-winning country music singer.
The Osborne Brothers Bobby (1931-Present) and Sonny (1937-Present). Created more national chart records than any other Bluegrass band.
Joan Osborne (1962-Present) Singer-songwriter with seven Grammy nominations.
Gus Van Sant (1952-Present) Director, photographer, musician and author. Most widely known as the director of Good Will Hunting.
Dwight Yoakam (1956-Present) Country music singer.