Famous Native American Celebrities You Wouldn’t Have Guessed – PowWows.com

Famous Native American Celebrities You Wouldn’t Have Guessed – PowWows.com

Posted By PowWows.com October 1st, 2018 Last Updated on: November 25th, 2019

Last Updated on

Last updated on November 25th, 2019


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Native American culture and heritage lines spectrums from valleys to dense cities, and is prevalent in all walks of life—many musicians, CEO’s, and actors all have ties to the nation’s first people, and it’s not uncommon for some to find out their extraordinary lineage later in life.

Over 5 million people across the United States are of Native American descent, and many celebrities come from lines of deep Native American ancestry—and are especially proud of their heritage.

Here are 8 stars you wouldn’t have thought harbored even a trace of Native American pedigree.



Jimi Hendrix

Rock n’ roll musician Jimi Hendrix had a swath of genealogical diversity—from slaves to slave owners—which included being a quarter Cherokee via his grandmother, Zenora “Nora” Rose Moore.

Carrie Underwood

Underwood, a Grammy winner and America’s darling, is listed as Creek Indian at the Five Civilized Tribe Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Underwood was an active participant in Native American groups in college.

Billy Bob Thornton

Mr. Thornton, who grew up in the backcountry of Arkansas with no running water or electricity, happens to be one quarter Choctaw Indian via his mother’s side, along with English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.

Benjamin Bratt

Born in Peru, Benjamin’s mother Eldy is a member of the Quechua, an ethnic group indigenous to South America. Eldy participated in Native American activism, including the groundbreaking takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969.

Elvis Presley

Even though the singer is 1/32nd Native American, a full-blooded great-great-great grandmother named Morning White Dove links Elvis to the Cherokee tribe. Morning White Dove married an American settler in Tennessee in 1818.

Jessica Alba

The famed actress found out when interviewing on Lopez Tonight that she is 13% Native American via her mother’s Quebecois ancestry—a lesser number than she had originally anticipated.

Kristen Chenoweth

The Tony Award-winning actress was adopted and grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and is one-quarter Cherokee by her biological parents.

Anthony Kiedis

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer’s grandmother was part Mohican, and he honors his heritage with many of his tattoos pointing to his Native American ancestry, including a large Haida Thunderbird along his back.


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8 thoughts on “Famous Native American Celebrities You Wouldn’t Have Guessed – PowWows.com

  1. Kathy James says:

    Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian in El Centro, California, on May 20, 1946. Her father, John Sarkisian, was an Armenian-American truck driver with drug and gambling problems; her mother, Georgia Holt (born Jackie Jean Crouch), was an occasional model and bit-part actress who was Irish, English, German, and Cherokee ancestry

  2. There are so many who had tribal ancestors in their lineage. Roy Rogers, Kay Starr and Dennis Weaver had two tribes in their ancestry. John Phillips, (Mamas and the Papas) had a full-blooded Cherokee grandmother. Della Reese had a full-blooded Cherokee mother.
    Athletes of Native American ancestry would include some in baseball; football; hockey; gold; track and field, for a few. They were in dance, particularly the 5 ballerinas from Oklahoma, who were prominent in the ’40s and ’50s. Modern male ballet dancer, but recently retired, a Mr. Soto of Navajo/Puerto Rican background, who wrote an autobiography. These are a few.

      • Adalberto Massa says:

        I thought Benjamin Bratt was also part Puerto Rican, giving him Taino ancestors as well. Am i mistaken?

    • Everett Sena says:

      Thank You for your E-Mails. I’m so happy to reply to my Native brother & sisters . We must support each other& love one another. Peace with you one & all.

  3. Jai Kiera says:

    Alba is actually 1/4 native american. It was on finding your roots. She looks exactly like her grandmother who was half native american. Both gorgeous.

  4. Yvonne D. Simmons says:

    I am seeking to find out the name of my great grandmother’s native American mother, who returned to the Cherokee Nation in the 1830s. There is a lot of information about our ancestors birth and ethnicity that is undocumented.

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