Asian-Pacific American Celebrities
Asia Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated throughout the month of May in honor of generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders across America who have enriched history with their incredible accomplishments in the United States.
According to the Asia-Pacific US Federal Council, this year’s theme, which celebrates “Advancing Leadership Through Collaboration,” highlights the efforts of members of the AAPI community within the federal and DC governments. Last year, Florence Pan became the first Asian American woman to serve as a federal district court judge in Washington, DC, during the Biden administration. Democrats also confirmed U.S. District Judge Lucy Haeran Koh as U.S. Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Koh became the first Korean American woman and only the third Asian American woman appointed to a federal appeals court.
Cynthia Choi, the co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, told NPR she hopes Americans use the month to help de-stigmatize some of the harmful tropes surrounding the Asian community that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and Trump supporters. angry in 2020. The community has been rocked by a devastating number of resulting hate crimes.
“Our history is also filled with incredible stories of resilience, perseverance, determination, to fight for our basic rights,” Choi said. “It’s a celebration of our history, our culture…and all the different ways our community has truly demonstrated that we’re not just here to stay, we’re part of this fabric – part of this country.”
The AAPI community has also made a host of amazing contributions in the areas of art, music, and film, and we know a ton who deserve their flowers during this special month. Here are some AAPI celebrities who demonstrate excellence and leadership in their respective fields.
The ‘Icy Chain’ hitmaker is of half Filipino and Chinese descent on his mother’s side while his father is African American.
Saweetie has dominated the music world for the past two years. In 2019, the California native released her second EP Ice, who achieved success thanks to his hit “My Type”.
The star’s next album pretty female dog music is slated for 2022 and fans have already gotten a taste of the project with singles like “Tap In” and “Best Friend” featuring Doja Cat.
During an interview with Essence in March 2021, Saweetie told the outlet that she started a nonprofit with her grandmother called Ice Baby Foundation, where she plans to help community members. AAPI affected by hate crimes.
2. Jhene Aiko
Jhené Aiko’s mother is of Dominican and Japanese descent while his father is of Native American, African American, and German Jewish descent. The star’s music is just as rich and diverse as her heritage. With hits like “The Worst” and “Triggered”, Aiko has become an unstoppable force in the music industry.
Now, she’s using her massive platform to raise awareness for wellness and mental health causes.
Earlier this month, the City of Los Angeles named Aiko the official ambassador for “Mental Health Is Health Month” which will now be celebrated every May.
Aiko gushed at the opportunity as she accepted the huge honor at City Hall, opening up about her own personal mental health journey.
“When I first started writing and making music, it was my personal therapy to help me through things,” she said, according to Complex. “I didn’t know about therapy, I didn’t know much about mental illness or depression or anxiety. And I just found that turning my pain and suffering into an art form, turning it into art, really helped me out.
Source: Kelis x Sample the World
“Milkshake” will forever live on in the fabric of American musical culture as the greatest track in history, thanks to Kelis. Last year, the star, who is half Chinese, Puerto Rican and African American, hit fans with a new dance floor move called “Midnight Snacks.”
4. Kimora Lee Simmons
Kimora Lee Simmons brought innovation and style to the fashion world as CEO of Baby Phat in 2010, and the company is still going strong under her leadership. The lively business tycoon’s mother is half-Korean-Japanese and his father is African-American.
Cassie’s mother is of African American, Mexican, and Caribbean descent while her father is Filipino.
Her music career exploded when record producer Ryan Leslie discovered her in 2004. She then signed with NextSelection Lifestyle group where she released her hit song ‘Me & U’.
Tyson Beckford rose to fame in the 90s as a model for high fashion brands like Ralph Lauren. He was also the host of the two seasons of the program Bravo Make me a model. The half-Chinese-Jamaican stud also appeared in a few movies like 2001’s ‘Zoolander’ and 2005’s ‘Into The Blue’.
Now, at 51, the smoking hot model has ventured out to pursue more of her passions. In 2020, Beckford launched its new cologne line Orion Skye.
She won a Soul Train Award and two Grammys for her infectious R&B hits at just 24. HER, real name Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, has become a true artist of our time and her lyrics often speak to the social and political issues unfolding in today’s world.
In January 2021, HER’s single “Fight for You” appeared on the soundtrack of Judas and the Black Messiah which called for social justice as police brutality and hate crimes soared across America.
“The verses, just talking about the struggle and talking about that pain and what it’s like to fight for someone or something,” the half-Filipino, half-Black singer told the LA Times in an interview.
“I know there are a lot of people in my life who support me and give me purpose. And I know that there are certain things that I do, that I do for them, whether it’s my mother or someone else that I love.
8. Karrueche Tran
Source: Brandon Hicks
Karrueche has done it all! From acting in TV shows like Claws and BET Games that people play to pose for high fashion advertisements, all thanks to securing a big modeling contract with the prestigious Wilhelmina modeling agency.
Last year, Karrueche made history after becoming the first AAPI woman to win a Daytime Emmy for her role as Vivian Johnson-Garrett on POPSTAR! televisions The Bay. The Los Angeles native won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress in a Daytime Fiction Program.
The 33-year-old celebrity is of Vietnamese and Jamaican descent.
9. Naomi Osaka
The four-time Grand Slam champion showed the world in 2021 that it’s okay to put your mental health first after dropping out of the French Open to take care of herself. Osaka has spoken openly about her issues with depression and anxiety.
While she may be getting more attention for her fearlessness and leadership, the 24-year-old Haitian-Japanese beauty told PEOPLE in a recent interview that she’s “happy it’s given others the opportunity to express myself also even if it was not my intention or what I expected. It started a conversation that I think we all needed to start having.
10. Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell began her modeling career at the age of 15 and has established herself as one of the most recognizable and in-demand models of the past four decades, even now at 51 she is still serving up looks on the runway.
Campbell is of Afro-Jamaican descent, as well as Chinese-Jamaican ancestry.