JET 40 Under 40: Artists & Entertainers

Who says you have to be a certain age to make a difference? The movers and shakers on our second annual 40 Under 40 list are influencing the world in powerful ways. Whether it’s through entrepreneurship, activism, entertainment or athletics, these young Black professionals are killing the game.

Keke Palmer, 21, actress

The Akeelah and the Bee star’s BET talkie Just Keke made Palmer the youngest talk show host in TV history. Now you can catch her on stage as Broadway’s first Black Cinderella.

Camille A. Brown, 34, dancer & choreographer

This award-winning choreographer celebrates African-American humor and “the mask” Black performers wear in her provocative show “Mr. TOL E. RAncE,” which has been seen around the world and at New York’s famed Lincoln Center.

Todrick Hall, 29, choreographer & YouTube star

After appearing on Broadway and American Idol, Hall packed his bags and headed to Hollywood. His YouTube videos quickly went viral, and Hall was tapped by Beyoncé to help choreograph her video for “Blow.”

Danielle Brooks, 25, actress

This Juilliard grad is best known for her role as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Brooks recently took home the statue for Breakthrough Actress at this year’s Young Hollywood Awards.

Lil Rel, 34, comedian

Named one of the hottest new comics to watch, Milton “Lil Rel” Howery knew he wanted to be a comic at 11. This fall, he’ll star on TruTV’s new sketch comedy show “Friends of the People.”

DJ Kiss, 33, party rocker

JaKissa Taylor-Semple has spun records for stars like Madonna, Jamie Foxx, and Naomi Campbell. But when she’s not rocking parties for Hollywood’s biggest names, DJ Kiss gets the party started for fashion’s most venerable designers.

Lena Waithe, 30, writer & producer

Between producing the award-winning film Dear White People, writing for FOX’s Bones, and landing a pilot deal with BET for TWENTIES, it’s no wonder Waithe has been called one to watch.

Schoolboy Q, 27, rapper

Schoolboy Q quickly made a name for himself by working with hip-hop heavyweights Kendrick Lamar and The Alchemist. In February, Q dropped his major-label debut, Oxymoron, which was number-one on the Billboard 200.

Chadwick Boseman, 37, actor

In 2013, Boseman brought Jackie Robinson’s story to life in 42, and this year he portrayed James Brown in Get On Up! Up next? He’ll transform into an Egyptian deity in Gods of Egypt. 

Hebru Brantley, 33, ARTIST

Known for his public murals, Brantley’s work commands upward of $100,000 per piece, and he counts Jay Z, Carmelo Anthony, and entrepreneur Matthew Pritzker among his clients.

Missed our previous posts? Check out JET’s 40 Under 40 activists, entrepreneurs and athletes!