Vitiligo is known to be the most common chronic skin disorder across races or ethnicities. Since the exact cause of the same is not known, no amount of fame or money can guard anyone against it.
The good news is most of the music artists with vitiligo did not let it shut down their chances for success. They have carried on and even reached the heights of creativity in their respective music. Their response to vitiligo is inspirational for anyone who’s facing a setback or indulging in self-pity. Read about these music artists who did not let vitiligo affect their musical dreams.
1. Michael Jackson
Perhaps the most widely known name included in the list of famous people with vitiligo, Michael first revealed his long-held secret (vitiligo) to the public in the early 90s. The King of Pop considered depigmentation therapy to turn his then blotchy skin white patches into even skin tone, which attracted massive (often negative) public attention.
While we all remember Jackson’s signature moves and music, we can’t deny the controversial publicity he had to engage with over his ever-changing skin color. The autopsy reports after Jackson’s death (2009) confirmed that he had vitiligo. Since he was also diagnosed with Lupus, the music legend turned whiter sooner than others.
2. Rigo Tovar
Rigoberto Tovar García, popularly known as Rigo Tovar, fused electric guitars, synthesizers and rock melody with traditional Mexican music to invent his own music style. The singer was diagnosed with vitiligo later in his adult life.
During his exceptionally successful career, Rigo broke several attendance records in his home country Mexico. Throughout Latin America, he sold over 30 million albums. No wonder if he continues to influence countless artists of all genres, even today.
Mark Althavean Andrews enjoyed a successful musical career, both as a solo singer and as the lead singer for Dru Hill, an R&B band. Well known by his stage name Sisqó, the “Thong Song” fame singer was diagnosed with stress-induced eczema and vitiligo during the promotions of his film Snowdogs.
4. Krizz Kaliko
A talented rapper singer and songwriter, Samuel William Christopher Watson certainly made vitiligo his strength by naming his debut album after the chronic skin disorder. In 2008, the same album peaked at number 19 on the Top Independent Albums. The American artist who often contributes to albums put out by Tech N9ne is better known by his stage name Krizz Kaliko.
5. Don Alder
Don is a gifted fingerstyle guitarist who has won all the top Modern Guitar Competitions in the world. Frequently referred to as the “Hendrix” of Acoustic Guitar, he has revolutionized the music world by blending traditional finger-style work with extended techniques. This has led to, him signing multiple endorsement deals with major manufacturers, including Yamaha Guitars.
A compassionate friend, Don famously took a ‘2.5 years break’ from his busy music career to help his friend, Rick Hansen, tour around the world in a wheelchair.
6. Countess Vaughn
If you grew up watching American television, you would probably know who Countess Vaughn is. Originally discovered on “Star Search”, Vaughn was known for her great ability to sing. The singer who’s also a successful TV actress now recently disclosed to a fan on social media that she is living with vitiligo.
Vaughn first sang on Star Search in 1988 and later went on to act in many popular TV shows.
7. Mikey Foster
Mikey along with Scootie Anderson founded a band named Social House. He was recently featured in the music video of Ariana Grande’s recent smash hit “Boyfriend”. Mikey Foster who is also known as Mike Foster has prominent white patches on his hands, nose, and lips.
8. Ramy Gamal
The Egyptian musician and singer recently disclosed on social media that he has been living with vitiligo for a year now. Many known singers, including Nancy Ajram and Tamer Hosny, sent Ramy a message of support.
9. Saran Thompson
A bilingual rapper (English and Japanese), Saran makes music that promotes positivity and integrity. Widely known as S-Wrap, the spoken word performer has carved a niche for him in a short span of time. So far, the Nashville native has toured and performed in the U.S., Japan, Uganda, and Rwanda. He intends to speak life and positivity through his music and artistry.
10. Marcus Haran
A rising hip-hop sensation, producer, and beatboxer, Marcus is indeed a man of many talents. He has converted his traumatic childhood and anxieties from having vitiligo into music therapy. His work in music is inspired by the vast symbolism of planets in the universe. The Toronto-based music artist is a living reminder that true creativity is sometimes liberated by vitiligo.
11. Shante Artis
A Rapper, songwriter and a Youtuber, Shante aka LUV has carved a niche for herself with her skillful wordplay and creative stories. Also known as the Rapping Housewife, the Portsmouth (Virginia) native began rapping and performing at the age of 11. The artist has reordered over 200 recorded songs, having multiple mix-tapes in the pipeline.
The “Famous Vitiligans” (Music Artists Edition) list has been compiled from various online as well as offline references. If you detect any discrepancy, do care to write to us at reachus@uniteforvitiligo. We will amend the entry.