I may be hallucinating, but it seems as though a disproportionate number of celebrities hail from my home state of Michigan. So just for the heck of it, I decided to come up with a list – this is not meant to be exhaustive, and if you can think of any I’ve overlooked (I’m sure there are loads), I’d love to hear about them. Okay, so off the top of my head:
Madonna Madge was born in Bay City, Michigan and later moved with her family to Pontiac. Oddly, while I was going to school at MSU, I met a guy whose brother attended her high school at the same time she did. Apparently, she had asked him to a school dance and he turned her down because he thought she was too weird. He deeply regrets that decision. I don’t think I need to waste blogging space expounding on all her many singing, dancing and acting/directing accomplishments.
Iggy Pop The Iggster was born in Muskegon, Michigan in 1947. Best known for his band Iggy and the Stooges, it seems like he’s been kicking around the music business since the Stone Age (he resembles a cave man as well, don’t you think?).
Eminem Marshall Mathers was actually born in Missouri, though he attended high school in Warren, Michigan and his movie, 8 Mile is set in Detroit where he made his name as a rapper. Eminem is also known as a record producer and actor.
Kid Rock Robert Ritchie was born in Romeo Michigan, which is a suburb or Detroit. He’s best known as a singer and musician, though his turbulent relationship with Pamela Anderson has tended to overshadow his success at times. One of my favorite songs is All Summer Long.
Stevie Wonder An Incredibly successful singer/songwriter who was born in Saginaw but attended the Michigan School for the Blind after signing with Motown. Accomplishments: too numerous to list here.
Which leads me to Motown. The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, the Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Supremes, the Temptations, the Commodores, Bobby Darin, the Jackson 5, the Pointer Sisters, Smokey Robinson, the Four Seasons…the vast majority of these and many other Motown greats came from Detroit. Gareth and I visited the Motown Museum the last time we were there, which consisted of two two-story houses joined together to create Motown Studios. My friend Maria couldn’t understand why Gareth wanted to go so badly but he still gets excited talking about how great it was to see the birthplace of Motown.
And let’s not forget: Bob Seger, Alice Cooper Ted Nugent, Jack White of the White Stripes, and so on.
I’m sure by now you’re thinking: What? Only musicians? Well, of course not:
Francis Ford Coppola was born in Detroit and went on to become a famous director and screenwriter of movies such as The Godfather movies, Apocolypse Now and many more.
Tim Allen, comedian and star of Home Improvement and lots of kids’ movies, grew up and went to university in Michigan. Home Improvement was set in suburban Detroit.
There are hundreds more that could be added here. Who’s your favorite celebrity Michigander?