Influential people from Memphis

Justin Timberlake


Timberlake first found fame as a member of boy-band N Sync before going on to forge a hugely successful solo career in his own right – though Timberlake also courted some controversy for his role in Janet Jackson’s infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ at the 2004 Superbowl. Since then, Timberlake has released one other album, before concentrating largely on his acting career, appearing in the acclaimed The Social Network in 2010.

Louis Williams

Pro Basketball player Williams plays for the Philadelphia 76ers, and in the 2011-12 season pulled off the feat of leading the team for scoring, with 14.9 points per game – despite not beginning a single game for the team. Williams just missed out on the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award for that season. Aside from Basketball, Williams is also a hip hop fan, having recorded several tracks featuring him rapping.

Willie Herenton

Willie Herenton

The first ever African-American mayor of Memphis is currently serving his fourth term in the city, having previously worked as a schools superintendent in the city. Before that Herenton made his living as a boxer, and his combative approach to city hall suggest the slugger has lost none of his appetite for a tear-up.

Lawrence Jackson

The President and COO of Dollar General corp is routinely described as the most powerful African-American corporate figure in the whole of the Tennessee state. Jackson’s corporation oversees thousands of stores which are typically located in African-American neighbourhoods – leading to Jackson being named as one of the most powerful black executives in America, according to Fortune magazine.

Demarcus LoveDemarcus Love Memphis

The 23-year-old Love’s business idea is Choomogo, a kiosk where people can recharge their mobile phones when they’re out and about. The first of these kiosks has already been opened at a bar and gig venue in Memphis, and further units are set to be installed around university campuses in the coming months. The concept has already seen Love win an Innovator of the Year award.

Morgan Freeman

The prominent black actor might be getting on in years but his influence remains enormous; Freeman is an Oscar-winner and veteran of dozens of films, from acclaimed pieces like The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven and Seven to daffier works such as Evan Almighty, where he played God.

Al Green

Al Green

Another old timer from Memphis is Al Green, the famed gospel and soul singer who was named in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of all Time at No. 66 back in 2005. The man with the honeyed vocals has sold over 20 million records, and is also an ordained minister who continues to deliver sermons to this day.

Patrick Lanshawe

Better known as Lil Wyte, this 29-year-old rapper has already released six albums and he is known for his quick fire delivery, which has been likened to machine gun fire. As Lanshawe himself puts it, his lyrical flow is ‘complex’. His latest release, Syke, has just been released, while Lanshawe will also guest on the forthcoming Insane Clowne Posse release.

Christopher Golson

Christopher Golson

Known to the public by the name Drumma Boy, Golson is a record producer and rapper whose work with artists like Chris Brown, Kanye West and TinieTempah have made him one of the hottest young talents in hip hop. Golson has won awards for his production work, and has also released his own mixtape, Welcome II My City.

Kerry Crawford-Trisler

This blogger has helped to keep people up to date with all of Memphis’ cultural highlights, through her I Love Memphis blog. Working alongside the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau she founded a site which currently enjoys 13,000 page views a month. Whether it’s places to visit for food, music or just fun, Crawford-Trisler is on top of all things Memphis.

Tam Tran

Tam Tran

This young photographer was born in Vietnam before emigrating to Memphis at the age of six. A few years ago she was a struggling artist who worked part time as a graphic designer; now her work has been chosen for inclusion at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.

KentuckerAudley

Independent film-maker Audley first came to prominence when Filmmaker Magazine flagged him up as one of the 25 New Faces in Independent Film a few years ago. He is currently working on post-production on Open Five 2, and will also be appearing as an actor in the same movie. Respected publications have waxed lyrical about Audley’s films, with Variety describing Open five as “More focused than many of its brethren…thesping is faultless”.

Dan Treharne

Dan Treharne

The Creative Director at True South Studios, Treharne returned to Memphis after completing his Masters in film studies from the University of Southern California. While he admits he’d like to make a feature film, for now he has worked primarily as a documentary maker, putting together socially conscious projects about school reform and the decline in US students’ education standards.


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