Metro Atlanta Boasts A Number Of Famous High School Graduates | WABE 90.1 FM

Metro Atlanta Boasts A Number Of Famous High School Graduates

Oct 8, 2015

When it comes to famous high school graduates, metro Atlanta is a gold mine. The number of artists, actors and musicians who went to school in the area and then went on to major recording or movie careers is significant.

They’ve won Oscars, Grammy’s, VMA’s, Golden Globes and more. 

1. Usher

Grammy Award-winning singer and dancer Usher Terry Raymond IV may have been born in Dallas, Texas, and spent much of his youth in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but his family moved to metro Atlanta where Usher graduated from North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

2. Julia Roberts

Academy Award-winning actress Julia Roberts was born and raised in Smyrna, Georgia, where she graduated from Campbell High School. She also attended Georgia State University, but headed off to New York for super stardom before graduating. Roberts, the highest paid actress throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, is also a movie producer.

3. Monica

Monica Denise Brown, known as Monica, was born and raised in College Park, Georgia, where she graduated from North Clayton High School. Rapper 2 Chainz also went to North Clayton. Monica has been performing since she was 11 years old and was ranked by Billboard in 2010 at No. 24 on the list of Top R&B and Hip-Hop Artists of the past 25 years.

Chris “Ludacris” Bridges performs at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska.
Credit Arctic Warrior / flickr.com/arcticwarrior

4. Ludacris

Rapper and actor Christopher Brian Bridges, also known as Ludacris, was born in Illinois, but his family moved to Atlanta where the soon-to-be famous rapper graduated from Banneker High School in College Park, Georgia, and Georgia State University. His breakthrough 2000 album “Back for the First Time” went platinum.

5. Jasmine Guy

An actress known for her work in movies and TV, Jasmine Guy made a name for herself playing the snobby Whitley Gilbert on the popular sitcom “A Different World,” which ran from 1987 to 1993. She is a graduate of Northside High School, now North Atlanta High School.

Andre 3000 grew up in the Atlanta area and attended both Northside High School and Tri-Cities High School.
Credit Ultra 5280 / flickr.com/ultra5280/

6. Andre 3000

Andre Lauren Benjamin, known as Andre 3000, is a rapper, songwriter and actor who is best known as part of the hip-hop duo Outkast along with Big Boi. Andre 3000 grew up in the Atlanta area. He attended both Northside High School and Tri-Cities High School.

7. Ryan Seacrest

Emmy Award-winning Georgian Ryan Seacrest, host of the talent competition American Idol, grew up in Dunwoody, Georgia. He graduated from Dunwoody High School and went on to study journalism at the University of Georgia, but left college to move to Hollywood where the rest is history.

Ryan Seacrest graduated from Dunwoody High School.
Credit Jyle Dupuis / flickr.com/photos/jyledupuis

8. Gladys Knight

Gladys Kinght is the singer for the R&B group Gladys Knight and the Pips, and she's an actress. Knight graduated from Archer High School. In Atlanta, her restaurant Gladys Knight's Signature Chicken and Waffles is among the favorite soul food restaurants in town.  

9. Jeff Foxworthy

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy was born and raised in metro Atlanta. He’s a graduate of Hapeville High School.
Credit Anirudh Koul / flickr.com/photos/anirudhkou

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy was born in Atlanta and graduated from Hapeville High School. Foxworthy attended Georgia Tech, but did not graduate. Instead he went on to work at IBM for several years before winning a comedy contest and becoming a successful comedian.

10. Ciara

Ciara Princess Harris is a singer, songwriter and actress, among other talents, and although she was born in Texas, she moved to the Atlanta area as a teenager. Ciara is a graduate of Riverdale High School.

10. Ty Pennington

He’s one of the most famous carpenters and design experts in the U.S., and Ty Pennington hails from Georgia. He grew up in Marietta and graduated from Sprayberry High School.
Credit Josh Hallett / flickr.com/photos/hyku

One of the most well-known carpenters in America, Tygert Burton "Ty" Pennington grew up in Marietta, Georgia, in suburban Atlanta. He attended Sprayberry High School in Marietta; then he enrolled in Kennesaw State University. He graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta and also attended the Atlanta College of Art.

11. Future

Hip-hop artist and rapper Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, known by the stage name Future, was born in Atlanta and called the city’s Kirkwood neighborhood home. Future attended Columbia High School, before going on to sign a major label record deal.

Actor and comedian Chris Tucker was raised in Decatur, Georgia, and graduated from Columbia High.
Credit flickr.com/photos/cfccreates

12. Chris Tucker

Actor and comedian Chris Tucker was raised in Decatur, Georgia. Tucker graduated from Columbia High School in Decatur before moving to Los Angeles where he eventually hit it big in acting and comedy.

13. Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook is an opera singer who performed at President Harry Truman’s inauguration and for other U.S. presidents, as well, and the Queen of England in 1998. She is a graduate of Girls High School in Atlanta.

14. Julian “Nipsey” Russell

Nipsy Russell was a popular comedian, singer and dancer during the 1960s and '70s.  Russell is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School.

Possibly the most famous drag queen in the U.S., RuPaul moved to Atlanta as a teenager and attended the North Atlanta School of Performing Arts to study theater.
Credit David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

16. RuPaul

RuPaul, possibly the most famous drag queen in the U.S., is also an actor and model. She was born Andre Charles in San Diego, California, but moved to Atlanta as a teenager and attended the North Atlanta School of Performing Arts to study theater.

17. T.I.

Rapper T.I., born Clifford Joseph Harris in Atlanta, calls Bankhead home. The songwriter and music producer went to Douglass High School, but dropped out before graduating. T.I. is also a published author. He's written two novels so far.

T.I. performs live at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sept. 21, 2012.
Credit Matt Arena / flickr.com/mattarena88

WABE’s Charles Jones and Alison Guillory contributed to this report.