Famous Singers, Entertainers, and Stars from East Texas
A number of famous, notable singers, songwriters, entertainers and Hollywood stars are from Tyler or the surrounding East Texas region.
And there are a number of well-known athletes and sports stars from East Texas as well.
We enjoy and appreciate the talents and accomplishments of these famous people and stars!
Lee Ann Womack
Born in Jacksonville, Texas, Lee Ann Womack has become one of country music's leading singers.
Lee Ann Womack in "I Hope You Dance"
After graduating from Jacksonville High School, her career quickly took off and has included hit songs such as "I Hope You Dance", "A Little Past Little Rock", "I'll Think of a Reason Later", and her recent release "There Is a God".
Lee Ann was the featured performer at the 23rd annual Tyler Cattle Baron's Gala held in June of 2010 in Tyler, Texas at the Park of East Texas, a 240-acre multipurpose development off Texas Highway 31. The event each year benefits the American Cancer Society.
On November 27, 2014, she sang a spirited "Star Spangled Banner" at the opening of the NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
She appeared most recently in Tyler on April 30, 2011, in a concert in downtown Tyler. The proceeds from the concert benefit the Humane Society of East Texas and Miss Lambert's MuttNation Foundation, which supports animal shelters and other related programs. Concerts in previous years have raised more than $300,000 for the Humane Society of East Texas.
Miranda Lambert on the cover of IN Magazine in 2010
Lambert’s four wins in November of 2014 give the 30-year-old singer a total of 11 CMA trophies throughout her career, putting her ahead of any other female act. Lambert’s fifth consecutive win for female vocalist of the year Wednesday beat a record set by herself, Reba McEntire and Martina McBride. Lambert also took home album of the year for Platinum, single of the year for “Automatic” and music event of the year for “We Were Us” with Keith Urban.
Christopher Dwayne Tomlin is a contemporary Christian music artist, worship leader, and songwriter from Grand Saline. He was awarded Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2006, 2007 (along with Artist of the Year), and 2008 GMA Dove Awards, and a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2012. He has sold over 7 million records.
Chris Tomlin’s music of choice while growing up was country. Then, while recovering from mono, Chris' father gave him his first guitar and he began branching out from just the honky-tonk he had been interested in. By age 14, Chris had written his first worship song.
In November of 2011, Chris released a compilation of some of his favorite worship songs throughout the years. The album was entitled "How Great Is Our God: The Essential Collection".
Read more about Chris, his work, albums and tour dates at the official Chris Tomlin website
This popular Hollywood actor was born in Uvalde, Texas, on November 6, 1969, and lived in Longview and attended Longview High School.
Matthew first notable role was in the coming of age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993), and later went on to appear in films such as the slasher Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), the legal thriller A Time to Kill (1996), Steven Spielberg's historical drama Amistad (1997), the science fiction drama Contact (1997), the comedy EDtv (1999) and the war film U-571 (2000).
In the 2000s, he became best known for starring in romantic comedies including The Wedding Planner (2001), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), Failure to Launch (2006), Fool's Gold (2008) and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009).
Since 2010 he has moved away from romantic comedies and has had roles in the films The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), Bernie (2011), Killer Joe (2011), The Paperboy (2012), Mud (2012), Magic Mike (2012), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), and Interstellar (2014).
McConaughey achieved further success in 2013 for portraying a cowboy diagnosed with AIDS in the biographical film Dallas Buyers Club, which earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama, among other awards and nominations.
In April 2014, Time magazine included McConaughey in its annual TIME 100 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World."
Margo Martindale starred in the hit series "Justified" on the FX channel, playing the Emmy-nominated role as Mags Bennett. Margo was born on July 18, 1951 in Jacksonville Texas, and graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1969.
Margo then attended Long Morris College in Jacksonville. She has appeared in numerous movies including "Dead Man Walking" and "Lorenzo's Oil". She also appeared on Broadway in the play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", and in the TV series "Lonesome Dove".
Margo won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, on September 18, 2011 for her role in "Justified." In her acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards show, Margo told the audience "Sometimes things just take time. But with time comes appreciation."
Don Henley (Photo courtesy of www.EaglesBand.com)
Well known for hits such as "The Boys of Summer", Don Henley was born in Gilmer, Texas on July 22, 1947, and lived for a while in Linden, Texas. He recorded other hits such as "All She Wants to Do is Dance" and "The End of Innocence".
Don also gained widespread fame as the drummer and lead vocalist of The Eagles, with whom he recorded songs such as "Hotel California", "One of These Nights", "Witchy Woman", "Tequila Sunrise", and "Take It Easy".
Don is part of the highly successful "History of the Eagles" tour in 2014 and 2015.
This well known Hollywood actress was born in Quitman, Texas. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as country star Loretta Lynn in the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter. She has been nominated for an Oscar a total of six times.
This pop singer, born in Fort Worth, Texas, released a string of countrypolitan-styled hit songs throughout the 1980s. Morris is known for the 1983 ballad "The Wind Beneath My Wings", although his credits include more than twenty-five other chart singles on the Billboard country charts, including five No. 1 hits. He has performed at KE Bushman's in Tyler.
This famous crooner from the 1950s, 60s and 70s was born in Gilmer, Texas on September 30, 1935, and moved to San Francisco, California as a young boy. Everyone from that era remembers "Chances Are", "It's Not for Me to Say", "The Twelfth of Never", "A Certain Smile", and his rendition of "O Holy Night".
Neal McCoy (Photo courtesy of www.NealMccoy.com)
Mathis has recorded over 130 albums, with several dozen of his albums reaching gold or platinum status, and 73 making the Billboard charts. Johnny has sold more than 180 million records worldwide.
This well known and popular country music singer was born in Jacksonville, Texas. Neal has released ten studio albums on various labels, and has released 34 singles to country radio.
He has earned platinum albums and a gold album and has had a number of Top Ten hits.
Neal also supports his own charity organization: East Texas Angel Network, which is committed to the enhancement of the lives of children of East Texas who are living with terminal or life-threatening diseases.
Raised in nearby Rusk, Texas, and the singer of hits such as "North to Alaska", "The Battle of New Orleans", and "Sink the Bismarck".
He attended Lon Morris College in Jacksonville.
A popular actress born in Henderson, Texas, Sandy grew up in Tyler.
She attended Robert E. Lee High School and Tyler Junior College.
This well known Broadway performer, actor, singer, theater director, producer and choreographer was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1939. He attended Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, and received a BS degree from the University of Texas in Austin.
K. T. Oslin
This well known country singer, songwriter, and actress was born in Crossett, Arkansas in 1942, and later moved to Houston. She attended Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas.