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