Top 10 Most Famous North Carolina Celebrities: Famous People From NC

Top 10 Most Famous North Carolina Celebrities: Famous People From NC
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

North Carolina is a state that thrives on college basketball (UNC vs. Duke, anyone?) and is moving closer and closer to legalized mobile North Carolina sports betting on March 11. It's also home to the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets and the Carolina Hurricanes. 

While there's no shortage of a sports scene in the state, North Carolina also has a lot of famous celebrities. Some of them are beloved, some of them less so. decided to take a hyper-localized approach to see which celebrities raised in the state of North Carolina have been discussed the most in the past year and came up with a Top 10. There are some new names in the mix like singer Luke Combs, some familiar faces such as Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry, and a bunch of other entertainers who have made their mark in recent years. 

Methodology: utilized a weighted system between Keywords Explorer and Google Trends to look at the most searched North Carolina celebrities over the past 12 months. Once we found both statistics, they were averaged to determine the Top 10. North Carolina celebrity was defined as a person who resided in North Carolina in their formative childhood and teenage years for over 10 years. Celebrity was broken down to include only actors/actresses, singer/songwriters, TV personalities, comedians, dancers, athletes and social media influencers.

Keep in mind: keeps a close eye on all things sports betting in the state, and we will soon be home to the best North Carolina sports betting promos.

Most Well-Known North Carolina Celebrities

CelebrityHometown CitySearch Volume in Past Year
1. Michael JordanWilmington922K
2. Stephen CurryCharlotte916K
3. Hunter SchaferRaleigh834K
4. DaBabyCharlotte814K
5. Zion WilliamsonSalisbury657K
6. Luke CombsCharlotte441K
7. MrBeastGreenville428K
8. Chris PaulWinston-Salem419K
9. Zach GalifianakisNorth Wilkesboro363K
10. J. ColeFayetteville343K

Michael Jordan Still Looms Large

At No. 1 on the list is former Hornets owner Michael Jordan, who starred at UNC in the early 1980s before going on to become the NBA's GOAT (sorry, LeBron James) with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan owned the Hornets since 2010 before becoming a minority investor ahead of the 2023-2024 season after selling to a new group, but that is far from his only endeavor off the court in retirement. 

As part of the Nascar playoffs, he also has fielded a NASCAR Cup Series team since 2021, built his own private golf club in Florida and helped bring Netflix' award-winning "The Last Dance" to life. Jordan has also made several notable philanthropy donations in recent years to social justice causes and the medical field.

While Jordan slightly outpaced No. 2 Stephen Curry in our rankings, his reign could potentially come to an end in the near future as he takes a backseat to the Hornets new majority owners.

Best of The Rest

Curry, the current Warrior who has won 4 NBA titles, came in at No. 2. The Charlotte native is still remembered fondly for his sharpshooting at Davidson, where he guided the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in 2008. Curry's father Dell is also the second all-time Hornets scoring leader, and still calls Hornets games on Bally Sports South. Safe to say, the Curry family is popular in the Queen City, and Steph's brother Seth is now a Hornet himself.

In the rest of the list, we have actress Hunter Schafer, a scene-stealer on HBO's popular "Euphoria." Additional appearances in this list include rapper DaBaby, former Duke forward Zion Williamson and singer Luke Combs, among others. 

And how about some honorable mentions? Falling just outside the top 10 were singer-songwriter Eric Church, actor Ken Jeong, actor Drew Starkey, singer-songwriter Randy Travis and actress Madison Bailey.

Famous People From North Carolina FAQs



Thomas Leary is an editor and writer for, with a focus on the Panthers, Hornets and college sports. He previously worked at Sports Business Journal.

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