Everyone knows that Dolly Parton grew up in Tennessee, Brad Pitt was an Oklahoma baby, and one-time “country” gal Taylor Swift was raised in Pennsylvania. But there are so many more stars from interesting and unknown hometowns that deserve a little recognition.
Get ready to learn about the less-known cities and states that some of our favorite celebrities call home.
Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is a long way from the Hunger Games franchise. She’s 31 years old, she’s married to a man named Cooke Maroney, and she’s pregnant with her first child! Although she’s been laying low for the last few years, she’s making a comeback with the 2021 film Don’t Look Up alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lawrence was born in Indian Hills, Kentucky, a town of about 2,968 people. Indian Hills sits just south of the Ohio River on the north side of the state. Indian Hills is a nice place to raise kids and build a career. As of the 2000 census, the city had one of the highest average incomes in the United States.
If Jennifer Lawrence had never traveled with her family to New York City for a vacation when she was 14 years old, she may never have been discovered and brought to Hollywood!
The incredibly talented John Legend was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1978. His mother was a seamstress, and his father worked at a factory in town. In 2020, Legend told Dax Shepard on an episode of the podcast Armchair Expert that he can’t imagine being as successful as he is if he didn’t have the upbringing he did.
Springfield was founded in 1801. The city is located about 45 miles west of Columbus. The 2020 census found that the city had a total population of about 59,000.
Growing up in Springfield, church was a big part of Legend’s family life. “The church is one of those places where you can still be exposed to a lot of music and music particularly in a black church is so central to the experience that R&B singers are always going to come from there,” Legend said.
John Legend isn’t the only star to have grown up in Springfield, but he’s probably the only one whose photo made the paper the day he was born. How did he do it? Well, it just so happened that the Springfield hospital where John was born had just started allowing kids to visit their baby siblings along with their parents. A photo of newborn John getting a visit from his dad and older brother ran in the paper, and a star was made.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker, age 56, was born in Nelsonville, Ohio, in 1965. Nelsonville is located southeast of Columbus, and it has an estimated population of about 5,130. SJP had seven brothers and sisters, so her family struggled to make ends meet in their small town.
Parker told People in 2017 that growing up with so many siblings meant they weren’t able to have Christmas celebrations or birthday parties every year. However, she still looks fondly upon her childhood and the time she spent growing up in her hometown. “I wouldn’t change any of it, for anything,” she said. “For the most part, we had everything we needed. Not always, but for the most part.”
Parker began taking lessons in singing and ballet as a child, and she loved it so much that her family eventually moved to the much bigger Cincinnati so she could chase her dreams.
SJP isn’t Nelsonville’s only connection to Hollywood. Interestingly, it is also the setting of a 1985 film called Mischief. There was also a commercial for Wheel of Fortune set in Nelsonville. It starred Pat Sajak and Vanna White parading around the town’s public square.
41-year-old actor Channing Tatum was raised in the city of Cullman, Alabama. The population there today is estimated to be close to 19,000. It lies about 50 miles north of Birmingham, and it has a rich history. Before Europeans colonized the area, Cullman was located in the territory of the Cherokee Nation.
Channing Tatum’s family ended up moving to Pascagoula, Mississippi when he was six years old, but his hometown will always be Cullman.
This Alabama city is also the hometown of several NFL players, scientists, politicians, and singer/songwriters. No wonder Cullman has been ranked in Bloomberg Businessweek’s “50 Best Places to Raise Your Kids” list. They might grow up to be a star!
Pink was born in the city of Doylsetown, Pennsylvania, in 1979. She fell in love with music there, and she even participated in her school’s Battle of the Bands competition with her first group, Middleground. She was only 14 when she started performing in clubs in Philadelphia, which is located a little over an hour’s drive south of Doylsetown.
Doylsetown is a great place for college students who attend places like Cairn University, Delaware Valley University, and Penn State Abington. There are plenty of great restaurants, as well as super cool sights like the Fonthill Castle, the Mercer Museum, and the 67-acre Pearl S. Buck Estate.
Pink went to Central Buck High School West in Doylestown before she got her first big break at the age of 17, which led her to move to Atlanta. In 2021, the Central Buck High School Choir honored Pink by covering her song “What About Us,” which they promoted with a music video filmed on campus in Doylestown.
Pink ended up sharing the music video in Twitter, writing, “It brought me to tears! You all sound amazing and I’m totally overwhelmed with love.”