Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

People Who Made an Impact on the Entertainment Industry

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

This Black History Month, I want to focus on black people who have contributed immensely to entertainment history.

Let us start with Hip Hop’s first grandmother Sylvia Robinson. She produced the first ever commercially successful rap record, “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. She was a singer and music producer. She also co-founded the first hip-hop record label, Sugar Hill Records, with her husband. Some of her hits were “Pillow Talk,” “Give It Up In Vain,” “Love is Strange,” “Sweet Stuff,” and “It’s Good to be the Queen.”

Next, we are going to take a look at Nat King Cole, who was the first black American male to host a TV show. He was a renowned singer and jazz pianist. His TV show was called “The Nat King Cole Show” and a couple of his songs are “Unforgettable Smile” and “L-O-V-E.”

Then, we have Bryant Gumbel. He became the first black person to host a network morning show in 1981. He is best known fo rhis 15 year job on NBC’s Today as a co-host. He also was a sportscaster hosting major league baseball, national football, and college basketball.

The last people we are going to look at are Hattie McDaniel and Sidney Poitier — well, the last people before my opinion comes into play Hattie McDaniel became the first black woman to win an Oscar for a supporting role in “Gone With the Wind.” Only 24 years later, Sidney Poitier became the first black man to win an Oscar for a leading role in “Lilies of the Field.”

For more information on these people and more people in black history, check out this article.

I also want to talk about people in the entertainment industry, who have personally made an impact on me.

First person I’m going to start off with is Martin Lawrence. He was a household name for my family, and his show “Martin” was something we saw as a really big step in the right direction.

Then, if you were watching the Super Bowl, you know I’m going to say Rihanna. Rihanna has been such a unique person when it comes to her music and the way she withholds herself. I have always admired Rihanna and hoped to one day, I’d be able to meet her, work with her or partake in anything that involves her considering the impact that she has made on my life.

Now, even though I don’t agree with all the decisions, this person makes, Nicki Minaj will always be the original. Growing up and listening to Nicki showed me what confidence I had to have as a black woman. Today, I will still stand and say thank you Nicki for doing that.

The next person I want to bring up is not a person to be played with. Zendaya, you are amazing. Zendaya does it all. She sings, she acts, she models and she dances. I have strived to be similar to her. I still want to remember that I am my own person, but if I had to choose a person to be, it would be Zendaya.

The last person I want to bring up is a person who I know personally. His name is Nathaniel. He has written music, and his story to me is a very unique one. I don’t think I would understand production and music like I do now if it weren’t for him. So, if you would like to show him some love, you could stream his song “Don’t Suffer in Silence.” I think this song is something that everyone has experienced at least once in their life. He is a downright amazing person. 

To the black community, continue to grow and thrive. We may only have one month, but legacies and history are forever. We will not forget the people who got us to where we are today. 

Jasmyn Burton

Bradley U '26

I am a freshman theater performance major, thinking about minoring in African American and music studies. I joined her campus because I wanted an outlet to write more about what I want instead of the essays we are forced to write in college. I plan to stay in Her Campus for my full college career.