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The idyllic, mountainous landscape of Colorado has long been an inspiration to musicians and singers everywhere. Believe it or not, many famous people were born here as well. You might be surprised to find out one of your idols is a Colorado celebrity!
Read on to discover some famous people from Colorado, many of whom you probably didn’t know hailed from the Centennial state.
1. The Fray
Perhaps the most famous musicians from Colorado, The Fray, started out as a church band in Arvada, Colorado. In fact, their famous song, “How to Save a Life,” was based on their experience working as counselors at a religious summer camp. Two of the members also attended Ralston Valley High School, just down the street from their church.
2. Amy Adams
Amy Adams is one of many famous people from Colorado. It’s a little bit hard to believe that this fiery redhead rose to Oscar status from the small city of Castle Rock, Colorado.
3. Earth, Wind, & Fire
The only band on this list arguably more famous than The Fray, most of the members of the disco-era group Earth, Wind, & Fire hail from the capital city of Denver. They lived there when Denver was only half of the size it is today.
4. Tim Allen
Tim Allen also made our list of Colorado celebrities. The Toy Story, Home Improvement, and The Santa Claus comedian started out his life in Denver, having been born there in 1953.
5. Roseanne Barr
Now Roseanne Barr wasn’t originally a Colorado celebrity, but she did spend a large portion of her life there, so we will add her to our list. Most famous for her show Roseanne, this actress was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, before moving to Colorado permanently when she was 18.
6. Paul Whiteman
Once known across the nation as the king of Jazz, Paul Whiteman is one of many famous people from Colorado. Born in Denver, this musician would go on to write the hits “The Japanese Sandman” and “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Although this band has fallen from popularity in recent years, “Don’t Trust Me” was huge in the early ’00s, and 3OH!3 has always been proud to be among the celebrities from Colorado. Even their name is a testament to their origins, as 303 was the original area code for Denver, CO, and the surrounding areas.
8. Duane “Dog” Chapman and Family
If you’ve ever watched Dog the Bounty Hunter, then you probably already know that Duane Chapman and his entire family are celebrities from Colorado. Their famous show takes place in their home state, as well as in Hawaii.
9. Pretty Lights
Pretty Lights, also known as Derek Vincent Smith, is a DJ and singer most well-known for his hit song “Finally Moving.” He hails from the college town of Fort Collins.
10. Kristin Davis
Kristin Davis, an actress on the famed TV show Sex and the City, is one of our Colorado celebrities, hailing from Boulder, Colorado. While she does live in Los Angeles now, we are sure a part of her is always thinking about the view of the flatirons at sunrise.
11. Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra, the singer for the punk band Dead Kennedys, was born in Boulder, Colorado, before later moving to Denver. His real name is Eric Boucher, in case you were concerned about someone actually naming their child Jello (though if it were to happen anywhere, Boulder is the place!).
12. Jon Heder
Fans of Napoleon Dynamite might be surprised to discover that its star, Jon Heder, is one of many famous people from Colorado. He was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, but currently lives in California.
13. Gregg Henry
Known for his roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and Scandal, Gregg Henry was born in Lakewood, Colorado, spending his childhood there before his acting career took off.
14. Tickle Me Pink
Colorado has always been known for its punk rock scene, so it’s no surprise that another alternative band, Tickle Me Pink, started there. The members started in Fort Collins, playing together for three years before disbanding. They are known for their hits “Typical” and “Madeline.”
15. Jesse Carmichael
Though you may not recognize his name, Jesse Carmichael is widely known as the keyboardist for the hit band Maroon 5. Before leaving the state to pursue his musical dreams, Jesse was born in Boulder, Colorado.
16. Tom Ashwood
Tom Ashwood is a player in the NFL, but before he ended up there, he was born in Denver and attended Cherry Creek High School. He has now been a part of three Superbowl-winning teams.
17. Trey Parker
Trey Parker, who is most famous for his creation of the show South Park, was born in Conifer, Colorado, and attended Evergreen High School. Surprisingly, South Park is a real city in Colorado; the old mining town is currently a museum. While South Park the show might not actually be about the town, Trey does add a lot of Colorado locations and facts into the show.
The singer India.Arie was born in Denver, Colorado, with the name India Arie Simpson. Easily one of the most famous people from Colorado, she has won two Grammy Awards, though she has (to date) been nominated for over 16.
19. Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller, the famed founder, and leader of the Glenn Miller Band, was technically born in Iowa. However, his family moved to Colorado when he was just 14, where he would remain for most of his life.
20. Rick Reilly
Next on our list of famous people from Colorado is Rick Reilly, a popular author, and sportswriter who is known across the nation for his career on ESPN as a sports announcer.
21. AnnaSophia Robb
Before starring in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Bridge to Terabithia, AnnaSophia Robb was born in Colorado. She also apparently loves the state, as she still lives there as of 2023.
You might be surprised to find out that the pop-rock band OneRepublic is part of our list of famous people from Colorado. Formed in Colorado Springs, most of the band members were born elsewhere, except for the lead guitarist Zach Filkins, who was born in Colorado Springs.
23. Chief Ouray
Chief Ouray is a famous Native American leader who led the Tabeguache band of the Ute Tribe in the mid-1800s, which lived on the land that would later be divided into Colorado and New Mexico. Formally recognized by the US Government for his leadership abilities, Ouray was one of the few Native Americans to meet three US presidents, Lincoln, Grant, and Hayes, before his death in 1880. He now has a city named after him in Colorado.
24. Breathe Carolina
A famous music duo, both members of Breathe Carolina are Colorado celebrities. The band is composed of Kyle Even and David Schmitt, who were both born and raised in Denver before starting their music career in 2007.
25. Chris Broderick
Most well-known for his work with the metal band Megadeth, Chris Broderick was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado, where he learned to play guitar, piano, and violin before eventually joining up with the band that would make him famous.
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