It may not seem like it upon first glance, but singer/actress Janelle Monáe and actress/producer Marsai Martin have several things in common
They’re both actresses on the small and big screen, with Martin holding it down as the sassy Diane Johnson on ABC’s “black-ish” and Monáe set to appear on the upcoming season of Amazon’s “Homecoming.” Plus, they’ve each appeared in critically praised films, with Martin’s starring role in “Little” and Monáe’s turn in “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight.” The stars are also known for their impeccable red carpet styles, of which Martin has admitted to taking inspiration from Monáe. However, the pair are more alike than just being entertainment and fashion juggernauts. In fact, they’re actually kin.
Marsai Martin (left) and Janelle Monáe (right). (Photos: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Chrysalis Butterfly Ball, Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
Monáe and Martin discovered they’re cousins and recently discussed meeting one another for the first time several years earlier in the September issue of InStyle magazine.
“Janelle, do you remember when we first met? It was at that Golden Globes after-party a while back. I was so eager to say hello because, as it turns out, we’re related,” Martin recalled.
“Yes, my love! We’re cousins on cousins on cousins. You were with your mom, and she was naming members of my family, and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness!’” Monáe remembered. “I don’t meet many people who know about my small community in Kansas City, Kansas. It was the best news because I’m such a fan of you and your role on ‘Black-ish.’”
While this pair of celebrity relatives may come as a surprise, they are far from the only set of relatives who have both made a name for themselves in Tinseltown.
Snoop Dogg became a hit rapper in the early 1990s, around the same time that his younger cousin, singer Brandy, would make her mark on the R&B chart with her eponymous debut album. Similarily, 2004 “American Idol” singer Fantasia and fellow R&B crooners K-Ci & JoJo are also are cousins who all hail from North Carolina. On the non-musical side, actors Wood Harris and Steve Harris are brothers, each of them having roles on TV and film with starring roles in films such as “Remember the Titans” and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” respectively.