The state of Alabama has no shortage of famous faces and names to boast of. Helena, Alabama has contributed its fair share of those famous personalities. It started as a coal mining little town in the 1800s but grew and had a huge impact in the steel industry in Birmingham, Alabama. Its survived the depression and a tornado that destroyed the town in 1933. However Helena rose up out of the ashes and has produced some of the world’s greatest names. Here are some of the famous people that have come out of Helena, Alabama.
Born Vonetta Jeffreys in 1973, Vonetta Flowers was the first African American to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. She won the gold medal in bobsleding in the 2002 winter Olympics. Although she was was born in Birmingham, Alabama, she resides in Helena, with her family. The Olympic gold medalist has been awarded the best U.S. Olympian ESPY award as well as the BET Sportswoman of the Year award.
A resident of Helena, Alabama since she was four years old, Rebecca Luker is a recording artist and an actress as well. She has been on Broadway and has had roles in TV and in movies. Her Soprano voice has landed her parts in broadway productions like Phantom of the Opera, Sound of Music, Cinderella and Mary Poppins. She has received three nominations for the Tony Awards in addition to being inducted into the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame. She was also awarded the Distinguished Artist of the Year award by the Alabama State council on Arts.
Bo Bice was the runner up in the fourth season of the American Idols. Although he lost to Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice was a musician even before he auditioned for the American Idols. in his honor the Govenor of Alabama, Bob Riley, declared the 24th of may as the Bo Bice day. He has release solo albums and albums with his bands over the years. He has his own record label known as Sugar Money. He performed the song “Sweet Home Alabama” in his home town of Helena after Idols. He also wed his girlfriend Caroline Fischer in Helena.
CeDell Davis is one of the most prolific guitar players of all time. The native of of Helena, Alabama worked on a plantation with his family when he was a young boy. Davis suffered from physical handicaps that greatly influenced the lyrics he wrote. As a child he had polio which greatly affected his left hand. As a result, he developed a style of playing the guitar using a knife. He played mainly in nightclubs and it was here that he was trampled by a crowd during a police raid. He broke both his legs in the incident and was confined to a wheel chair. Undeterred he went on to produce timeless Albums like “feel like doin’ something wrong” and “the best of CeDell Davis”
Looking at the people mentioned above, undoubtedly Helena, Alabama has produced some of the greatest talents the world has ever seen. We can be sure it is not the end.
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