Famous South Africans
Civil Rights Activist, World Leader, Journalist / 1918 -
Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Track and Field Athlete / 1986 -
Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner," is a South African sprint runner who became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics in 2012. In 2013, Pistorius admitted to shooting and killing his girlfriend, South African model Reeva Steenkamp.
Animal Rights Activist, Film Actress, Television Actress / 1975 -
Charlize Theron is a South African-born actress, best known for her roles in such films as North Country and Monster, for which she won an Academy Award.
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profile name: Nelson Mandela profile occupation: Civil Rights Activist, World Leader, Journalist
profile id: 20910935
profile name: Oscar Pistorius profile occupation: Track and Field Athlete
profile id: 9512516
profile name: Desmond Tutu profile occupation: Archbishop
profile id: 262727
profile name: Jacob Zuma profile occupation: World Leader
profile id: 9397037
profile name: Winnie Mandela profile occupation: Activist, Government Official
profile id: 9542564
profile name: Charlize Theron profile occupation: Animal Rights Activist, Film Actress, Television Actress
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Explore our collection of 2013 Oscar nominees, which includes actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and Hugh Jackman; actresses Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts and Jennifer Lawrence; directors Benh Zeitlin and Steven Spielberg; and many more. Find out who will be vying for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's prestigious honor, and view full biographies, videos and photos, only on Biography.com.
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Since its emergence in the American South in the early 19th century, country music has evolved into one of the most popular mainstream musical genres. Modern-day country musicians, such as Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Taylor Swift, maintain steadfast fan bases and turn huge profits with their albums.
But country musicians weren’t always pop culture superstars; in the 1920s, U.S. immigrants formed the backbone of what was known as “hillbilly music.” Their explorations of the rural experience, from the depths of poverty to the height of pastoral life, became the voice of a growing, but often ignored, American subculture. These relatively unknown musicians influenced the later standout stars of country music, including Johnny Cash, Dale Evans and Hank Williams.
And the rise of country music is far from over. Its ever-changing sound—an amalgam of folk, gospel, rockabilly, bluegrass, and even urban rock—continues to pave the way for new musical innovators.
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