Top famous Houstonians (and Houston celebrities we claim as our own) | Coast To Coast

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Top famous Houstonians (and Houston celebrities we claim as our own) | Coast To Coast


So many talented people have come out of Houston (or spent formative years here) and gone on to do great things. From Grammy-winning singers to blockbuster movie stars, we’ve produced more than our fair share of celebrities. And we’re proud to call them our own! Think Hilary Duff, Michael Strahan, Jennifer Garner, Anna Nichole Smith, Kenny Rogers, Patrick Swayze, Howard Hughes, Jim Parsons, Randy and Dennis Quaid, Megan Thee Stallion, Simone Biles, Nolan Ryan, JJ Watt (yes, he’s ours!) and many others.

If you think about it, Houston has been the breeding ground for a lot of famous faces. From astronauts to actors to athletes, we’ve got ’em all. We’re proud of our homegrown Houston celebrities, and we love to see our talent succeed on the national stage. Here are some of the most famous Houstonians (and a few honorary Houstonians) that we claim as our own.

Renee Zellweger

One of the most successful actresses of her generation, Renee Zellweger was born in Katy, Texas and raised in Houston. After attending the University of Texas, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She made her breakout film appearance in 1996’s Jerry Maguire and went on to star in a string of hit movies, including the Bridget Jones franchise and the popular rom-coms Cinderella Man and Miss Congeniality. Zellweger is also a two-time Academy Award winner, taking home Oscars for Best Supporting Actress in 2004’s Cold Mountain and Best Actress in 2019’s Judy.

Beyonce Knowles

Another hugely successful entertainer with Houston roots is Beyonce Knowles. Born and raised in Houston, she first rose to fame as a member of the R&B group Destiny’s Child. As a solo artist, she has sold over 150 million records and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In addition to her singing career, Beyonce is also an accomplished actress, having starred in such films as Dreamgirls and The Lion King remake. She is married to fellow Houstonian and rap superstar Jay-Z, with whom she has three children.

Houston Harden

One of the most popular players in the NBA today, James Harden was born and raised in Lakewood Village, a suburb of Houston. He played college basketball at Arizona State before being drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2012 and has been with the team ever since. A six-time All-Star and two-time MVP, Harden is widely considered one of the best players in the league and has helped lead the Rockets to several deep playoff runs over the past few years. Conclusion: These are just a few of the many famous people who have called Houston home at one point or another.

Neil Armstrong

We can thank Houston for Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. He was followed by dozens of other astronauts who called Houston home, including Jim Lovell (the commander of Apollo 13) and Sally Ride (the first American woman in space).

Lyle Lovett

Singer-songwriter and actor A native of Klein, Texas (a suburb of Houston), Lyle Lovett is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actor. Lovett has recorded 14 albums and appeared in such films as Short Cuts, ThePlayer, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He currently lives in Austin but still claims Houston as his home.

Ryan Murphy

Television producer, screenwriter, director, and author Murphy was born in Indianapolis but moved to Spring (a suburb of Houston) when he was young. He is the creator of such popular television shows as American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud, Glee, Pose, 9-1-1, and The Politician. Murphy currently resides in Los Angeles but remains proud of his Houston roots.

Kirstin Maldonado

Native Houstonian and part of the musical group Pentatonix, Kirstin Maldonado was born and raised right here in H-town. She grew up singing in her church choir and eventually attended The University of Oklahoma on a full scholarship before auditioning for Pentatonix. Kirstin and her bandmates have won three Grammy Awards and their YouTube channel has over 14 million subscribers. Not bad for a girl from Houston!

Bun B

If you’re a fan of rap music, then you definitely know Bun B. He is one half of the legendary duo UGK (Underground Kingz) from Port Arthur, Texas. UGK has been making music together since 1987 and is responsible for putting southern rap on the map. They’ve collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Jay-Z, Outkast, and Missy Elliott. Bun B has also carved out a successful solo career and is considered one of the pioneers of southern rap.

JP Walker

You might not know his name, but chances are you’ve seen JP Walker’s face before. A professional snowboarder, Walker has appeared in dozens of magazines and videos over the course of his career. He is best known for his appearances in the “X-Games” and Jones Snowboards’ film “Deeper.” In addition to being an accomplished snowboarder, Walker is also a successful entrepreneur; he has his own line of clothing and shoes called DCP (Dallas Cotton Mills).


Lizzo is a singer, rapper, and flutist who got her start in Houston’s underground hip hop scene. She released her first album in 2013 but didn’t gain widespread recognition until 2016 with her third album “Coconut Oil.” Lizzo’s unique blend of R&B, hip hop, and soul has earned her critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase. In 2019, she won three Grammy Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Traditional R&B Performance, and Best Rap Performance.

Mattress Mack

If you’re not from H-Town, you may not have heard of this guy and wonder why he made our list of Houston celebrities, but he’s definitely worth knowing. Around here, we just love our Mattress Mack! Jim McIngvale (“Mattress Mack”) is the owner of Gallery Furniture, a chain of furniture stores based in Houston. He first gained notoriety for his unique promotional style; Mattress Mack is known for outlandish stunts like giving away free cars and hosting concerts at his furniture store locations. He also gained attention for his philanthropic efforts; following Hurricane Harvey, Mattress Mack opened up his store locations as shelters for those displaced by the floodwaters. His generosity and community spirit have made him one of Houston’s most recognizable faces.

Slim Thug

Slim Thug first came onto the rap scene with his appearance on Mike Jones’ 2005 hit single “Still Tippin’.” Since then, he has gone on to release several solo albums and collaborate with some of the biggest names in rap, including T.I., UGK, Paul Wall, and Chamillionaire. In addition to being a successful musician, Slim Thug is also a actor and entrepreneur; he has his own line of 808 Unique fashion apparel and opened Boss Life Construction Company in 2008.

Houston is home to some seriously talented people! From Grammy-winning musicians to world-famous athletes to successful entrepreneurs, our city has produced more than its fair share of celebrities. So while the world over knows Houston, Texas, as the energy capital of the world, look again! We have more Houston celebrities in the making as we speak.


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