Cousins. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. But when you’re a filthy rich celebrity, I’m sure you’ll be fine either way. Let’s keep it real. At some point, we have all wished for at least one rich and famous relative. I mean, who doesn’t want bragging rights or a possible inheritance? That “way to go, champ” graduation card from your uncle Dave could have been a Mercedes Benz for all you know; if only he were a movie star.
But for some celebrities, that wish is everyday reality. All throughout the entertainment industry, we have witnessed famous celebrities and their famous relatives carry on the talent and legacy, such as Julia and Emma Roberts, the Baldwin brothers, and Wayans family. But, on the other hand, we have been force-fed gossip about famous kinfolk and are left wondering why they are even famous (*side-eyes the Kardashian clan*). However, these famous cousins on the list have individually made a name for themselves; some not even realizing they were related until later on in their career.
You may want to look up your family tree after reading this article. You just might be distant cousins with somebody famous!
10. Damon Dash and Stacey Dash
Roc-a-fella’s very own and Clueless‘ finest, Damon Dash and Stacey Dash come in at number 10. The Dash’s, who have previously been mistaken as brother and sister, are in fact first cousins who grew up in New York together. The two remained close throughout the years, even after they broke through the entertainment industry. However, since their glory days, Stacey dash has stirred a lot of controversy, especially in the Black community, with her political views. As a result, Damon distanced himself from Stacey and now the two hardly speak. That must make for one awkward family reunion. Yikes!
9. Jenny McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy
Number nine on the list are first cousins Jenny McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy. These two astonishing actresses have several big film productions under their belt, such as John Tucker Must Die, Charlie’s Angels and Bridesmaids. Jenny confirmed that the two were cousins via Twitter when she congratulated Melissa on her 2011 Emmy. Jenny’s public display of cousinly-love didn’t stop there, though. Jenny has made it known that she is not shy of defending her older cousin and telling Melissa’s critics what they should do with their opinion. Now, that’s what we call family.
8. Angelina Jolie and Hillary Clinton
Feminists and girl-power advocates alike can cheer for this one. Who would have known that actress Angelina Jolie and political figure Hillary Clinton were cousins?! This is true. According to Washington genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner, the two are ninth cousins, twice removed through Jean Cusson; a Quebec native who died in 1718. But the family tree doesn’t stop there for Clinton. The politician has been linked to being distant cousins of Madonna, Celine Dion and even Alanis Morissette. It is clear to see that nothing but powerful women run through this family tree.
7. Lady Gaga and Madonna
Pop-divas Lady Gaga and Madonna come in at number seven. I guess their family ties would explain why the two are very similar. According to a specialist from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, it was discovered that the two are ninth cousins, once removed. Their ancestral history show the two singers are related through a French farming couple who moved to Quebec in the 1600s. There have been constant comparisons of the two stars, some even stating that Gaga ripped off Madonna. Looks like those prior feuds weren’t a matter of Gaga trying to replicate Madonna, but only a matter of her looking up to her big cousin is all. Awww!
6. Bill Bellamy and Shaquille O’Neal
Coming in at number six on this list are second cousins: comedian Billy Bellamy and retired NBA superstar Shaquille O Neal. Given both their well-known sense of humor, this does not come as much of a surprise. The two even share a relatively close relationship; Bellamy stating that he talks to Shaq all the time. But of course, being the comedian and older cousin that he is, Bellamy had to add the fact that he barely understands Shaq when they do talk—poking fun at the basketball player’s infamous muffled voice. We see who has the jokes now!
5. Al Roker and Lenny Kravitz
What do a television host/weather forecast reporter and a rock star have in common? Well, for Al Roker and Lenny Kravitz the answer would have to be their grandparents. Al Roker is late actress Roxie Roker’s cousin- who just so happens to be Kravitz’s mother. This makes the TV host and rock star first cousins, once removed. When asked what he thinks about the two being cousins, Roker simply responded by saying, “The kids think it’s cool”.
4. Brandy, Ray-J and Snoop Dogg
Coming in at number four are Brandy, Ray-J and Snoop Dogg. These three are unmistakably family-oriented. We all found out singer/actress Brandy and little bro rapper Ray-J, were related back in UPN’s glory days of Moesha. We also know that Snoop Dogg refers to several industry artists as his nephews. The trio kept quiet about being cousins until Snoop spilled the beans in a 2006 MTV interview; stating that it was never really a big deal to them. Well, I guess now ‘cuz’ has a harmless meaning whenever Ray-J and Brandy refer to their cousin Snoop Dogg.
3. Justin Bieber, Ryan Gosling, Celine Dion, and Avril Lavigne
Justin Bieber. The name alone stirs up mixed opinions throughout the world. You either love him or you hate him. However for actor Ryan Gosling, Grammy award winning singer Celine Dion, and punk-rocker Avril Lavigne, it looks like they have no choice but to love him, because, well, he’s family now.
All four Canadians have ancestral ties from over 400 years ago. The ‘Biebs’ and Dion are 10th cousins, three times removed through French emigre Jacques Vezina and Marie Boisdon, a French coupe born in the early 1600’s. Bieber, Gosling and Lavigne, have ties back to Mathurin Roy and Marguerite Bire, a couple born in France back in the 1600s. Now, teenagers can fall even more in love knowing their crushes Gosling and Bieber are 11th cousins, once removed. Last but not least, the teen idol is also 12th cousin of singer Avril Lavigne.
2. Ellen DeGeneres and Kate Middleton
Though on totally opposite ends of the royal monarchy, it has been researched that comedian Ellen DeGeneres and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, are 15th cousins, but cousins nonetheless. In preparation for the Royal wedding, DeGeneres received a letter from the New England Genealogical Society stating that the two are related through a man name Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife Agnes Gascoigne, who lived in the United Kingdom in the 1500’s. With a royal connection like that, it is no wonder why Ellen amusingly anticipated her Royal Wedding invitation. Don’t worry Ellen, we’re still wondering what happened to our invite as well.
1. Brad Pitt and Barack Obama
Coming in at number 1 are U.S. President Barack Obama and Benjamin Button actor Brad Pitt. Can’t you see the resemblance? According to The New England Historic Genealogical Society, the POTUS and Pitt are ninth cousins through Edwin Hickman; a Virginia native who died in 1769.
But Pitt isn’t the only famous figure you’d be surprised who was related to Obama. As if politics weren’t a headache already, it has been studied that Obama is distant cousins with George W. Bush. The two are 10th cousins, once removed, through Samuel Hinkley of Cape Cod from the 1600s. Well, given the poor reputation Bush gained in office, it is no wonder why Obama never mentioned they were cousins.
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