Famous Family Trees: 35+ Hollywood Stars With Unexpected Familial Bonds

By Sachin P

This article was originally published on whythese

Like in every other industry, it is pretty beneficial to have connections in Hollywood. Though it’s perfectly fine and even recommended to rely on friends, especially in business, nothing beats the ties you have with your family.

Since the entertainment industry is massive, it’s no wonder that quite a number of celebrities are related. And while you may know some of the more prominent relationships like Solange and Beyonce, our article today focuses on lesser-known kin in the business.

The fact that some of them find it better to be discreet about this part of their lives is totally understandable. Wanting to find success on your own merit is something most people can relate to. However, we’re sure that it’s all love among these stars!

Snoop Dogg and Brandy & Ray J

Very few people can say that they haven’t heard of Snoop Dogg. He’s been a huge player in the music industry for decades. Additionally, he runs several successful enterprises that have enabled him to dominate whatever path he takes.

snoopdogg / ig

Brandy and Ray J are siblings, and though it’s not exactly a secret, some people don’t know that they are Snoop Dogg’s cousins. The unquestionably gifted kin all work in the music industry in different capacities and have had tremendous achievements.

John David Washington and Denzel Washington

Even people who claim they don’t love watching movies know this guy. With successes like Malcolm X and Training Day, Denzel Washington’s acting career has experienced many highs. On the other hand, only a few know about his equally talented son, John David Washington.

John David Washington – johndavidwashington / ig | Denzel Washington – @Angels / twitter

Even fewer manage to make that connection when they see him on his massively successful projects like Tenet and Malcolm & Marie. Owing to his unique abilities, we can confidently claim that he is set to achieve great success, just like his dad.

Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem

Kendrick Lamar started off small, but through his hard work, he is now packing stadiums and putting out successive hits. As most of his fans know, he is related to the rapper Baby Keem who’s his cousin. Lamar makes it a point to acknowledge his cousin’s dedication and musical abilities.

pglang / ig

Frankly, it sounds like him. From what we know about him, he sounds like the kind of person you would expect to always be there for his people. The two have collaborated closely, spreading their passion for music all over the globe.

Saweetie and Gabrielle Union

Did you know that the talented singer Saweetie and the renowned actress Gabrielle Union are cousins? Well, now you do. Understandably, when this news broke, fans of both stars were beyond elated! Looks like talent and breathtaking looks run in this family!

femalemusicmayhem / ig

Union disclosed that Saweetie’s grandma is her aunt Joanne. Though the two didn’t spend much time together, thanks to their age gap and Gab’s ascent to stardom, they are now closer than ever. They even got together at Union’s house and shared the happy reunion with their Instagram followers. 

Maya Rudolph and Minnie Riperton

Actress and comedian Maya Rudolph is a well-known fixture of Saturday Night Live. But even before she began her professional life in Hollywood, she was already quite famous. Maya is the child of composer Richard Rudolph and the renowned vocalist Minnie Riperton.

Maya Rudolf – princesstagram / ig | Minnie Riperton – Perfect Angel CD

Sadly, her mom passed away when she was still young. So, her time in the spotlight wasn’t always pleasant. Maya claims that as a child, she constantly felt like the center of attention, and it wasn’t until much later that she understood why.

Rashida Jones and Quincy Jones

Rashida Jones is the daughter of Quincy Jones. Her parents are famous because her mother is Peggy Lipton, a member of The Mod Squad. During one of her interviews, Rashida said she didn’t have a simple childhood and grew up with an unusual perspective on being a celebrity.

rashidajones / ig

That’s because she saw her mom’s early ascent to popularity wane as her father’s star kept shining. She didn’t want anything to do with stardom at first, but, as it often tends to happen with celeb kids, she eventually fell in love with acting.

Bianca Lawson, and Beyoncé & Solange

Hollywood actress Bianca Lawson is well-known for her appearances in the TV shows Pretty Little Liars, Sister Sister, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her parents were Richard Lawson and Denise Gordy, and they got divorced just one year after she was born.

Biancajasminelawson / ig / Beyoncé ? Beyonce / ig

Richard and Tina Knowles (Beyoncé’s mom) were friends for almost thirty years. The two got married in 2015, uniting the two families. As a result, Bianca Lawson became a stepsister to Beyonce and Solange. Now just picture the overall talent and star power this family possesses.

Yara Shahidi and Nas

Yara Shahidi hails from a very reputed and talented family. Her father is an accomplished celebrity photographer, while her mom is a renowned activist who also runs a media company. Though it may not look like it at first, Yara is closely related to the famous rapper Nas.

chocolatemommyluv / ig

The well-known New York rapper comes from a respectable household as well. Nas is related to the stunning actress through her mother, who is his first cousin. On a rather adorable note, Yara was a flower girl at Nas and musician Kelis’ wedding when they got married!

Richard Pryor and Ludacris

Richard Pryor was a legend and a pioneer when it came to stand-up comedy. For those who knew him back then, learning that he is related to the rapper Ludacris may come as a shock. Looks like making it as entertainers is in their blood!

Richard Pryor – photo by Alan Light / wiki commons / CC BY 2.0 | Ludacris – ludacris / ig

Ludacris is not closely related to Pryor. Nevertheless, he has only ever had pleasant things to share regarding the legend. He said that despite never having encountered him, he is undoubtedly among his greatest admirers. If Pryor was still alive today, he would’ve certainly been proud of Luda’s success.

Thandiwe Newton and Nico Parker

Nico Parker quite closely resembles her very talented mother, Westworld star Thandiwe Newton. She currently plays Pedro Pascal’s daughter in the hit series The Last of Us. The 18-year-old has carried on her mother’s artistic legacy since she was a little kid.

thandiwenewton / ig

Because of her parents’ status in the industry, Parker acknowledges that she may have had it a little easier in the business. Although she is appreciative of the connections she’s had from the start, she is willing to put in the effort necessary to distinguish herself from other rising stars.

Janelle Monae and Marsai Martin

Actress and musician Janelle Monae (Knives Out 2: Glass Onion) recently learned that she was related to Marsai Martin, a fellow actor and producer. This revelation happened quite serendipitously in a venue you would least expect to witness family reunions; a Golden Globes after-party!

Marsai Martin – marsaimartin / ig | Janelle Monáe – janellemonae / ig

Marsai expressed her excitement over this reunion because she grew up hearing tales about their connection from her family. We can only imagine how amazing that after-party must have been for the two of them. Since then, they’ve gotten together a couple of times, which, frankly, is so sweet to see.

Lisa Raye McCoy and Da Brat

When celebrities and artists within the rap community have beefs, no one bats an eyelash because it’s part of the job. Bad blood is synonymous with the industry. However, the conflict involving Lisa Raye McCoy and Da Brat went beyond simply being business-related drama.


The two are half-sisters, which explains the intensity of their conflict. Both are the children of hotel magnate and business mogul David McCoy. Fortunately, they were able to reconcile recently. As exciting as beefs can be, especially for creativity, nothing beats the support of family.

Shaquille O’Neal and Bill Bellamy

Did you know that Bill Bellamy is a second cousin to basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal? Like Shaq, Bellamy was also brought up in New Jersey, and the two remain close friends. Bellamy often talks about his cousin and how much of an inspiration he is.

Bill Bellamy – billbellamy / ig | Shaq – John Mathew Smith / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

The two have maintained a cordial and supportive relationship for a long time. This contrasts with a few other celebrities on this listicle who have only recently learned that they were related. Whenever their households come together, their children shoot hoops to pass the time. Naturally!

Fantasia and K-Ci & JoJo

As most of you are aware, Fantasia happens to be quite the gifted vocalist. It’s been over fifteen years, but every time When I See You comes on, we can’t help but belt out the lyrics wherever we are! The songstress claims that she is descended from an artistic family.

And seeing as the legendary duo, K-Ci, and JoJo are her cousins, we can’t help but agree with that statement. Her association with the talented siblings helped her break into the industry. The 2018 Essence Festival saw the whole family take the stage together.

Viola Davis and Mike Colter

We are certain this one came as a surprise for most of you, but it’s true. Mike Colter and Viola are related. They didn’t even know it themselves until recently. While Mike Colter boasts several good acting performances under his belt, Viola happens to be a legend.

violadavis / ig / coltermikecolter / ig

The outstanding stars only learned that they were related in 2019. Prior to that, they hadn’t met, but their relatives would talk about them at reunions. The duo has enjoyed getting acquainted since making this happy discovery, and their friendship has grown since then.

Steve Harvey and Lori Harvey

Most people are not surprised by this one as it is relatively well known. As a leading businesswoman and influencer, Lori Harvey is quite popular in the pop culture scene. She is the adopted child of Steve Harvey, the famed comic and Family Feud host.

loriharvey / ig / Steve Harvey ? iamsteveharveytv / ig

When Steve wed Marjorie, Lori’s mom, he adopted her. The remainder of the Harvey children’s occupational choices may have kept you from knowing much about them, but Lori made the decision to seek a profession in showbiz and is doing quite well.

Pharrell and Timbaland

Many fans are unaware that these two individuals are related. Pharrell and Timbaland are both renowned producers and artists who have achieved success after success. While marketing his mixtape a few years ago, Timbaland surprised everyone by announcing that Pharrell was his cousin.

Pharrell Williams – Shawn Ahmed / wiki commons / CC BY 2.0 | Timbaland – timbaland / ig

The grandmothers of both mega-producers were related. Unlike some celebs on our list, the cousins got to know one another while growing up. Hence, it stands to reason that they began their careers in the music business together as the hip-hop group S.B.I.

Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad

In Grey’s Anatomy, Debbie Allen plays “Dr. Catherine Fox,” while Phylicia Rashad played the role of “Carol Clarke” in the smash drama series This is Us. While most people are familiar with these illustrious Hollywood names, many are unaware that they are siblings.

msdebbieallen / twitter

The sisters grew up in Houston, Texas. They are the children of Vivian Ayers, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet. Both have consistently shown support for one another’s professional endeavors. Even though it’s a competitive business, they have always succeeded largely because of their relationship.

Omar Gooding and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Unlike most entries in this article, this one is not that hard to figure out. The duo has distinctly similar facial traits if you examine them closely. Cuba and his brother Omar Gooding have been featured in films and television programs for years.

omargooding / ig / Cuba Gooding ? cubagoodingjr / ig

They constantly assist one another because they are siblings working in the same industry. Omar even helped Cuba land his debut role. It’s hardly surprising that both brothers succeeded in their chosen industry, given the fact that their parents are also in the entertainment sector.

Redfoo and Berry Gordy Jr.

LMFAO used to rock the charts back in the early 2010s. Even though the duo isn’t dominating the charts now, their singles Party Rock Anthem and I’m Sexy and I know it have always been hugely popular. That said, this connection is something most people don’t know.

Redfoo of LMFAO / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Berry Gordy ? Kingkongphoto / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Redfoo’s father is Berry Gordy, the man who founded Motown Records. He established bands such as the Jackson 5 and the Supremes. He is also Sky Blu’s grandfather, another member of the group. Their lifelong pursuits were undoubtedly impacted by the tunes they grew up listening to.

Benzino and Coi Leray

Coi Leray’s path to stardom didn’t come out of nowhere. You will be astonished to learn who she is linked to, given her familial ties in the field. Remember the hit single Rock the Party by Benzino? Well, Coi is the daughter of Benzino.


Benzino was also the co-owner of Source Magazine. As such, he has many valuable ties within the music business, given that the publication frequently covers current events, particularly in the rap scene. Sadly, the relationship between them hasn’t been that good for a while.

RuPaul and Senator Cory Booker

Senator Cory Booker and RuPaul of RuPaul’s Drag Race happen to be related to each other. They may sound like the last people you would link together, but it’s true. The best part is that they are actually quite fond of one another.

CoryBooker / twitter

During an episode of his popular show, RuPaul introduced the senator as his cousin. Though many assumed he was kidding, he insisted that they had only learned of this connection in 2020. Unsurprisingly, it happened on the popular shoe, Finding Your Roots.

Stacey Dash and Damon Dash

Sharing a surname doesn’t always mean you’re related (take Denzel and Kerry Washington, for example). But it is the case for Stacey and Damon Dash. Stacey is known for her work on the TV series Single Ladies and the movie Clueless.

official.Stacey dash / ig / Damon Dash ? duskopoppington / ig

Though the two are first cousins, their families sadly don’t get along very well at the moment. They were originally very close, but thanks to online disputes and especially due to the fact they hold opposing views on politics, their relationship soured.

Ludacris and Monica

Monica happens to be a gifted rapper and musician. She’s most famous for the smash hit The Boy is Mine, which she co-wrote with the singer Brandy. It turns out that she has very close ties to Ludacris, who is among the industry’s most well-known rappers.

Monica / facebook

The two musicians are related to each other by marriage as a result of Monica’s mother’s union with Ludacris’s uncle. That said, they knew each other as kids, as both families were close. Before fame, they were simply Mo and Christopher Bridges, and we suspect that that’s still the case.

Lenny Kravitz and Al Roker

When it comes to forecasting the weather, Al Roker is one of the best. Though you are unlikely to believe that this man is related to the talented artist Lenny Kravitz, that just so happens to be the case! Al and Kravitz are second cousins.

lennykravitz / ig / Al Roker ? alroker / ig

They are related thanks to Roxie Roker, Lenny’s mom. Roxie was Al’s first cousin. In an interview from 2011 with Today, Kravitz revealed their connection by stating that they both share a great-great-grandfather hailing from the Bahamas. This family really was destined for fame.

Coco Jones and Mike Jones

Singer and actress Coco Jones gained prominence for her work in Bel-Air (the remake of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). She has an array of songs and has appeared in several television shows and films. As some people know, Mike and Javonda Jones are her parents.


Mike competed in the NFL for more than nine seasons. From the moment his daughter got her first job on Disney’s Let It Shine till now, the former NFL defensive lineman has consistently been a supporter of her professional ambitions.  

Young Dolph and Juice WRLD

Rappers from all around the world flocked online to send messages of sympathy to Juice WRLD’s family after his devastating demise in 2019. Young Dolph was among the rappers who expressed their shock and heartbreak over the news. He revealed that Juice WRLD had been his younger cousin.

Young Dolph ? Own work/wiki commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 Juice WRLD ? Andy Jones/wiki commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

What makes this revelation even more tragic is that Young Dolph also passed away in 2021. Even though the two never had a shared childhood, their extended families were acquainted. It’s so unfortunate that they couldn’t enjoy more time together in the industry.  

Yung Baby Tate and Dionne Farris

Yung Baby Tate has reached great heights in the music scene. Fans were curious about her right from the minute she began generating a buzz. As expected in the era of technology we currently live in, it didn’t take long for them to learn that her mom is the well-known singer Dionne Farris.

@thedionnefarris / tiktok

Dionne is also a producer and an actress, apart from being a singer. David Ryan Harris, a fellow musician, happens to be the biological father of Yung Baby Tate. But it should be noted that it was her mother who primarily raised her into the woman she is today.

Steve Harris and Wood Harris

Steve and Wood Harris are siblings. These two hail from Chicago’s west side. They experienced a relatively conventional childhood seeing as their mom worked as a garment maker and a substitute teacher while their dad drove a bus. Life had its challenges, as you could expect.

ArsenioHall / twitter

Despite having been in countless television shows and films, the two performers had not previously appeared in a movie together until 50 Cent’s Starz blockbuster show BMF. The two brothers have enjoyed successful careers, and both their parents sure are happy.

Spike Lee and Baron Davis

Spike Lee is a man of many talents. He is well-known for his roles in a variety of films and television programs. The reputed filmmaker was born in Atlanta and has helmed over 20 films. Despite having been in the profession for ages, he’s still as energetic as ever.

officialspikelee / ig / Baron Davis ? iambarondavis / ig

Spike is always vocal about his views when watching games from the courtside. But since his 2nd cousin Baron Davis joined The New York Knicks, things have been considerably awkward. On the plus side, every time he attends Baron’s games, it’s like a fun cousin hangout!

Aldis Hodge and Edwin Hodge

Aldis Hodge became a known name after his portrayal of DC’s “Hawkman” in the movie Black Adam. But who knew he had a brother in the business named Edwin Hodge? The two gifted actors were raised in North Carolina and discovered a passion for performing at a young age.

Aldis_hodge / ig

Aldis is the youngest, while Edwin is the eldest. Interstingly, they both made their Hollywood debut in the movie Die Hard With A Vengeance. Edwin eventually went on to star in the first three Purge films, while Aldis got roles in films like What Women Want and Straight Outta Compton.

Christopher Martin and Martin Lawrence

Everybody knows Martin Lawrence. He is a comedy legend! Though it may not be common knowledge, he and rapper and actor Christopher Martin happen to be distant cousins. These two collaborated on the film House Party, in which they played family members.

martinlawrence / ig / Christopher ?Play? Martin ? the_playgroundz / ig

They were the ideal candidates for the role because the storyline of the movie was influenced by their friendship and close relationship in real life. It must have been quite enjoyable for the two Hollywood celebrities to collaborate on this assignment.

Mason Gooding and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Actor Mason Gooding is no novice to the movie industry. Given that he is the grandchild of Cuba Gooding Sr. and the child of Cuba Gooding Jr., he has many connections in the entertainment world. Mason discovered the importance of performing and creating art quite young.

masonthegooding / ig / Cuba Gooding ? cubagoodingjr / ig

He realized that he could help out his neighborhood and those who live in it greatly. The fact that he delighted in the craft was just an added bonus. Mason happens to be one of those celebrities who constantly attributes his achievement to the help of his family.

Stevie Wonder and the Jackson Family

The Jacksons are a well-known musical family that spawned the global icon Michael Jackson. Were you aware, though, that they were Stevie Wonder’s relatives? The celebrated artist is, in fact, their cousin. That is according to Janet Jackson, who revealed this in an interview.

The Jacksons ? CBS Television / Stevie / wiki commons public domain

Apparently, Stevie is their first cousin. Can you imagine what it’s like growing up in a family full of certified legends? Something tells us that though you’d grow up surrounded by amazing music and one-of-a-kind experiences, there has to be a level of pressure that comes with it. 

Nia Long and Sommore

Nia Long and Sommore are half-siblings. But like some of the celebrities on this list, they barely ever interacted as kids. Despite having the same father, the two stars were not close with one another while when they were younger.

iamnialong / ig / Sommore ? sommore / ig

Sadly, misfortune is what drew the two half-siblings closer. In 2020, their dad Doughtry Long passed away, which meant they needed to come around to comfort one another. Over the course of time, they have gotten closer and have even posted pictures of one another on social media.  

Brian J. White and JoJo White

On television, Brian J. White is a well-known name. He has acted in several films and television programs across several networks. He has a tight relationship with his dad, Joseph Henry White, also known as JoJo White to Boston Celtics supporters. JoJo is a legendary basketball player.

Jo Jo White ? Unknown author / wiki commons / public domain | Brian J. White-wbls1075nyc / wiki commons / CC BY 3.

The two have reportedly become much closer since Brian became a dad in 2014. Brian claims that he now talks with his father about what it’s like to be a parent, as well as the challenges and hardships involved in the process.

Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick

Grammy Award-winning musician Dionne Warwick began her career as an acclaimed gospel singer. Throughout her career, she has gone on to sell nearly one million recordings. Did you know that she is connected in some way with the wonderful Whitney Houston?

Celebrity photo / Dionne Warwick ? therealdionnew / ig

Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick were related by blood. That is because their mothers happened to be sisters. Even though the global pop star’s sad death rocked this iconic singing family, they continue to pay tribute to her legacy today.  

Alex Isley and Ernie Isley

Due to her tremendous abilities that she started exhibiting while she was quite young, you may already be familiar with Alex Isley. Owing to the kind of home she grew up in, she was pulled to singing as a kid. Her father, Ernie Isley, is a well-known member of The Isley Brothers.

Ernie Isley / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 2.0 Alex Isley ? lovealexisley / ig

The Isley Brothers was a legendary soul trio. It’s obvious that this well-known group was instrumental in influencing little Alex’s aspirations and ambitions. Like many other traits and talents, it seems that music is often passed down from one generation to the next.

Donna Summer and Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown is, in fact, related to disco diva Donna Summer. This is something a lot of fans are unaware of. Though she is not really a close cousin, it is apparent that they both adored music sufficiently to pursue it and succeed in it.

Szyszka2812 ? Own work / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 4.0Bobby Brown ? kingbobbybrown / ig

Bobby and Whitney Houston met because of music. In the 1970s, Summer attained global prominence, but she sadly lost a battle with cancer in 2012. She has expressed her admiration for Whitney Houston as well as the impact she left behind in the music industry.

MC Lyte and Charles Hamilton

The moniker “MC Lyte” should be familiar to anyone who was born in the 1990s or the early 2000s. That’s because she is a well-known and respected figure in the world of music. Her vocal prowess rivals that of the majority of comparable female as well as male performers.

mclyte / ig / Charles Hamilton ? billboard

Many people were not shocked when her cousin Charles Hamilton said that he wanted to rap and create music as well. Initially, he was in a good place, but after being apprehended in 2010, he was forced to take a break from the business.  

Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter are among the NBA’s most prospective talents. Though some people feel that they were unable to realize their true potential after missing out on an NBA title, their reputations as outstanding players are still solid.

mrvincecarter15 / ig / Tracy McGrady ? TracyMcGrady / facebook

The fact that both renowned athletes are relatives confirms that talent runs in the blood. The duo are second cousins, as was revealed by Carter’s grandmother. Although they’re only linked by marriage, both are quite close despite not knowing one other growing up.  

Quincy Brown and Al. B Sure

Actor and vocalist Quincy Brown is as gifted as they come. The famous model Kim Porter, who tragically passed away a few years ago, was his mom. The young celebrity and his dad, R&B musician Al B Sure, have been estranged for many years.

officialalbsure / ig / Quincy Brown ? Quincy / ig

But lately, the relationship between both father and son has improved. They even routinely eat dinner together and are trying to make their connection better. Quincy has made the decision to concentrate solely on his music career right now and is thus on a break from acting.

Eniko Hart and Jordyn Craig

Kevin Hart, the renowned comedian, and actor, is married to Eniko Hart. Born Eniko Parish, she wed Hart in August 2016 in a lovely ceremony. That said, a lot of individuals are unaware of Eniko’s family history in the entertainment industry.

enikohart / ig / Jordyn Craig ? alleyesonjordyc / ig

She has a connection to Jordyn Craig, Tristan Thompson’s first wife. If your thoughts ran into the whole Jordyn, Tristan, and Khloe fiasco, you’re right; we meant that Jordyn. Eniko remained by her cousin’s side during the horrible scandal and defended her, as any family member should.

Roxie Roker and Lenny Kravitz

Roxie Roker is the mother of the talented singer Lenny Kravitz. She is well known for the role she played in the classic sitcom The Jeffersons. Roxie was only 66 years old when she was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1995.

CrooklynKnight7 / Reddit

She was Al Roker’s first cousin, as we previously mentioned in another slide. Al wasn’t even aware of the familial link till much later in life, yet as you can imagine, he was overjoyed to learn that he is related to such amazing artists.  

Marques Houston and J-Boog

Actor and singer Marques Houston is well-known for his stint with the R&B group Immature. He is related to the ’90s artist, J-boog. The two musicians are said to be cousins. Jerry Afemata, or J-Boog, is currently trending, but not for very good reasons.

Marques Houston ? marqueshouston / ig / J Boog ? yarmama.com

Due to their perceived resemblance, most people mistakenly believe that Houston and the famous musician Omarion are related, but that is not the case. As successful RnB stars during the 1990s, the cousins collaborated for a considerable amount of time.