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13 Most Famous People In Memphis

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Keen to find out about the most famous people in Memphis? You’ve just struck gold with this article! Here, I’ll shine a spotlight on the legendary personalities that Memphis, Tennessee, has contributed to the world. Are you ready to learn about their stories? Let’s get into them:

List of 13 Most Famous People in Memphis

Here’s a look at 13 famous people in Memphis who have impacted their respective fields:

1. Elvis Presley

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Tzali

Elvis Presley, the undisputed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, is arguably the most iconic figure associated with Memphis. His blend of country music with rhythm and blues pioneered a new sound that catapulted him to international fame. Hence, he became one of the most famous people in Memphis.

Elvis’ Graceland mansion in Memphis has become a pilgrimage site for fans, illustrating his lasting impact on music and culture. His contributions to music were recognised with multiple awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

2. B.B. King

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: John Mathew Smith

Riley B. ‘B.B.’ King is a legendary blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter and one of the most famous people in Memphis. Known for his expressive singing and guitar playing, his style has influenced countless musicians. His renowned live performances at the Beale Street clubs in Memphis helped to revitalise the blues genre. He received numerous accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, reflecting his monumental career.

3. Morgan Freeman

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Georges Biard

Morgan Freeman is one of the most respected figures in Hollywood and one of the most famous people in Memphis. He spent significant parts of his life in Memphis. His acting career spans over five decades, featuring roles in critically acclaimed films such as ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ for which he won an Academy Award. His deep, authoritative voice and dignified presence have made him a household name.

4. Justin Timberlake

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Georges Biard

Justin Timberlake is a multifaceted entertainer known for his contributions to music, acting, and business. He rose to fame as a member of the boy band ‘NSYNC before launching a successful solo career. His innovative approach to pop music has earned him numerous awards, including several Grammy Awards. Timberlake’s work in film and television further showcases his broad range of talents.

5. Isaac Hayes

13 Most Famous People in Memphis

Isaac Hayes is a songwriter, musician, and actor and one of the most famous people in Memphis. He was instrumental in shaping the soul music genre. His work with Stax Records in Memphis contributed to the development of Southern soul music. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his work on the ‘Shaft’ soundtrack, demonstrating his versatility and creativity.

6. Aretha Franklin

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Atlantic Records

The ‘Queen of Soul,’ Aretha Franklin, was born in Memphis. Her powerful voice and emotive performances have made her one of the most influential musicians of all time. Her music, characterised by its depth and expressiveness, has earned her 18 Grammy Awards. This makes her one of the most famous people in Memphis.

Aretha Franklin’s impact on music and culture stretches far beyond her collection of Grammy Awards; she was a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement, using her voice not just for entertainment but as a tool for social change. Her rendition of ‘Respect’ became an anthem for civil rights and feminist movements, encapsulating her role as a beacon of empowerment.

7. Al Green

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Kingkongphoto

Reverend Al Green is renowned for his soulful voice and emotive performances. His hits, including ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ have become timeless classics. His transition from secular music to gospel showcases his versatility and deep connection to his roots in Memphis. His contributions to music have been recognised with numerous awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

8. Booker T. Jones

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Bryan Ledgard

Booker T. Jones is a musician, songwriter, and producer and one of the most famous people in Memphis. He is best known as the frontman of the band Booker T. & the M.G.’s. His work at Stax Records in Memphis helped define the sound of Southern soul music. 

His contributions to music have been acknowledged with multiple Grammy Awards, highlighting Memphis’s role in shaping his illustrious career.

9. Cybill Shepherd

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Petr Novák, Wikipedia

Cybill Shepherd is an actress, singer, and former model. She gained fame through her roles in films such as ‘The Last Picture Show’ and the television series ‘Moonlighting.’ Her work in entertainment has been acclaimed, showcasing the city’s influence on her development as an artist and making her one of the most famous people in Memphis.

10. Kathy Bates

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Gage Skidmore

Kathy Bates, an award-winning actress recognised for her depth and versatility, has made a significant mark in Hollywood. Her role in ‘Misery’ earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress, showcasing her talent for portraying complex characters with intense psychological depth. 

Beyond ‘Misery,’ Bates’ diverse career spans film, television, and stage, including standout performances in ‘American Horror Story’ and various theatrical productions. Her ability to seamlessly transition between genres and mediums has established her as one of Hollywood’s most respected performers.

11. Ginnifer Goodwin

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: David Shankbone

Ginnifer Goodwin is known for her roles in television and film, including ‘Big Love’ and ‘Once Upon a Time.’

In ‘Big Love,’ she portrayed the complex character of Margene Heffman, navigating the intricacies of life within a polygamous family. This role showcased her ability to bring depth and empathy to her characters, earning her critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase.

Following her success in ‘Big Love,’ she took on the role of Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard in Once Upon a Time, a fantasy series that reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern setting. Her portrayal added layers of strength and resilience to the iconic character, further affirming her versatility.

12. Jerry Lawler

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: Super Festivals

Jerry Lawler, affectionately known as ‘The King’ in the world of professional wrestling, has carved out a legendary status that transcends the boundaries of the wrestling ring. His career, spanning several decades, has seen him don the roles of wrestler, commentator, and even promoter, making him a multifaceted figure in sports entertainment. His in-ring prowess, characterised by his charismatic personality and dynamic wrestling style, has endeared him to fans worldwide.

13. Johnny Cash

13 Most Famous People in Memphis
Source: CBS Television

Johnny Cash’s era at Sun Records was pivotal, shaping his unique blend of country, rockabilly, and blues, and cementing his influence on music. His deep, emotive voice and compelling storytelling resonated across genres, making him a country legend. Cash’s songs, rich with themes of life’s struggles and redemption, appealed widely, contributing significantly to the rockabilly movement and bridging country with rock ‘n’ roll. His legacy, through influential Sun Records tracks, continues to inspire across genres, marking him as a musical icon with a lasting impact on the music industry.

Famous People in Memphis and Their Substantial Contributions

The famous people in Memphis have made substantial contributions to their respective fields. From the soulful sounds of its musicians to the compelling performances of its actors, Memphis has proven time and again that it is a breeding ground for extraordinary talent. If you enjoyed this article on the most famous people in Memphis, I am sure you will love exploring the following topics too:

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