15 Things You Should Know About Moonlight Star Janelle Monaé by Terry Carter

Janelle Monaé is no rookie in this business. The 31-year-old entertainer released her first studio album in 2003 as an independent artist under her own record label, Wondaland Arts Society. Janelle went on to become a six-time Grammy nominated artist, and in 2016 The Electric Lady reached for even bigger heights when she signed on to star in the scientific biopic Hidden Figures alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer, and in Moonlight, a coming-of-age drama which won best picture at the Oscars this year. Keep reading to discover 15 other facts you need to know about one of Hollywood’s rising stars.


  1. Janelle only wears black and white clothing as a tribute to her working class parents who wore uniforms for work.
  2. She only released 500 copies of her debut albumThe Audition.
  3. Diddy discovered her music on Myspace before signing her to his Bad Boy record label in 2006.
  4. She was mentored by the late Prince. After his passing in 2016, Janelle wrote on Instagram, “This world just doesn’t feel the same without you.”
  5. She’s a huge fan of Tim Burton and cites the director as an inspiration.
  1. She’s a CoverGirl. In 2012, Janelle officially signed on as a spokeswoman for the beauty brand.
  2. She has an alter-ego named Cindi Mayweather.
  3. She’s best friends with Solange Knowles. “So thankful for our sisterhood,” she wrote on Instagram for Solange’s 30th birthday.
  4. She was nominated for best-supporting actress at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards for her performance in Hidden Figures.
  5. Her other film, Moonlightwon best motion picture, drama at the 2017 Golden Globes.
  1. She is featured on Fun’s 2012 hit “We Are Young”. If you listen closely, you’ll hear Janelle’s vocals in the background.
  2. Janelle received an award for achievement in arts and media from Harvard University’s Women’s Center in 2014.
  3. The Obamas are fond of her. Janelle teamed up with Michelle Obama to promote her Let Girls Learn initiative, which secures access to education for young women globally.
  4. She is a fierce supporter of the LGBTQ community. Janelle has been a very outspoken advocate over the years.
  5. She has an official day named after her in her hometown of Boston, MA.

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