The Squeeze  

The Squeeze
Our Favorite Florida Celebrities

It may be our alacrity to boast about our home state, but we couldn’t help but notice that a lot of famous people come from Florida! So what could it be? Is it some magical combination of heat, humidity, and bug repellent that seeps into the soil and produces star hormones? Are we gleaning some mysterious juju from the Bermuda Triangle? Is NASA using the same top-secret technology it employs to control the weather and blasting us with specialized electromagnetic X-factor radiowaves?

Okay, maybe it’s not so conspiratorial. MAYBE it’s just that humans with great tans are bound to succeed. And speaking of tans so bold they lean conspiratorial, there is no better segue to introduce Florida’s most famous pop star–

Ariana Grande
Hailing from Boca Raton, Grande has been bursting through the ranks of stardom from a young age. As Nickelodeon’s Cat Valentine, she proved a winsome actor, but her four-octave vocal range, pop sensibilities, and knack for punching up a Late Night talk show spot made her an icon.

Jim Morrison 
We’ve all seen Oliver Stone’s ode to his favorite sixties rock band, The Doors, right? You know, the one where he spends two hours and twenty-one minutes mythologizing Jim Morrison as the Dionysis of the Sunset Strip? Well, it’s wild to think this rock God attended the nation’s number one party college, Florida State University. Any Floridian agrees, Jim, People Are Strange indeed. 

Eva Mendes
Ryan Gosling might be the biggest movie star in the world right now. But there would be no Ken and no Fall Guy without the support of his loving wife and phenom actress in her own right, Eva Mendes. From Training Day to A Place Beyond the Pines, this Miami queen has been making us proud since the nineties.

Debbie Harry 
You might think of the “Heart of Glass” singer as a staple of the New York and London punk scene, but Debbie Harry was born in Miami, Florida. Okay, she was adopted at a young age and raised in Jersey, but we like to think it’s that recessive Florida gene that made Debbie the princess of punk. 

Angela Basset 
With her silver screen portrayal of Tina Turner, Angela Basset emerged as a staying presence in Hollywood. Raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, she would constantly find ways to get her groove back--most recently as the Queen of Wakanda.

Tom Petty
Some think of the Gators (think mascot, not scales) when they think of Gainesville. But if you’re an old soul, Americana rock n’ roller at heart, you might grow misty-eyed remembering G-ville’s own free faller, Tom Petty. You’re right, Tom. We don’t know how it feels to be king. But we hope you’ll tell us one day. 🧡

Flo Rida
No mistaking this one. Tramar Lacel Dillard has come a long way from Carol City. Tracking a whopping 33 million monthly listeners with hits with Sia, David Guetta, T-Pain, and more, Flo Rida has let his home state pride show from the very beginning. 

Wesley Snipes
Does anyone else watch Passenger 57 at least twice a year? Other than some pesky tax evasion issues, Wesley Snipes is a beaming example of movie star magnetism and martial arts machismo. 

Sidney Poitier 
In 1964, Poitier was the first Black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. A trail-blazing diplomat and seminal figure in the civil rights movement, this Miami-born thespian icon is a cynosure of human achievement. 

Bob Ross
Attending art fairs was a formative part of any Floridian’s childhood. And who else can commemorate our state’s legacy of landscape nostalgia other than Daytona Beach’s own Bob Ross? Thank you for all your happy little trees.

And this is barely tapping the well of Florida stardom. Remember, if you protect your skin and nurture that radiant glow, your star will rise next.