EXCLUSIVE: ‘Creed’ Actress/Vocalist Tessa Thompson Names Her Top 5 Singers Dead Or Alive


Tessa Thompson has made a name for herself in Hollywood by giving stellar performances in films such as Mississippi Damned, For Colored Girls, Dear White People, Selma, and the critically acclaimed boxing movie Creed. While Thompson is becoming a familiar face in motion pictures, the 32-year-old California native has also established herself as a music artist with the band Caught A Ghost.

Creed director Ryan Coogler tapped Thompson to star opposite Michael B. Jordan in the Rocky spin-off. The award winning actress plays local Philadelphia singer-songwriter Bianca. Thompson also contributed to three songs on the film’s star-studded soundtrack.

After revealing she drew inspiration from artists like Aaliyah, FKA twigs, Kelela, Pink, and Grimes for her portrayal of Bianca, AllHipHop.com asked Tessa Thompson to share her personal five favorite singers dead or alive.

[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Tessa Thompson Discusses Her Role In ‘Creed’ & The Film’s Historic Fighting Scene]

Janelle Monáe

I’m going to give a shout out to my friend Janelle Monáe. She is fantastically talented. I got the chance to give her an award [at The Center’s 18th Annual Women’s Event]. She sang her a capella rendition of “Smile” in a room for some friends, and she just killed it.

Tessa Thompson + Janelle Monáe

Stevie Wonder

I think Stevie Wonder is one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time. I don’t think I need to give a reason why [I chose him] – everyone knows that. [laughs]

Joni Mitchell

I’ve been listening to Joni Mitchell since I was about 16. I’m in Canada right now, and that’s cool because Joni Mitchell is Canadian.

Tessa As Prince
Nailed It: Tessa Dressed As Prince For Halloween


I was him for Halloween. I like his music – which is the most infectious music – but also his persona and the way it teaches us gender is just a lucid thing. I love that about him.

David Bowie

Finally, David Bowie. Yeah, that’s a good group of singers. They’re all impeccably well dressed too. [laughs]

[ALSO READ: CREED The Movie: A Knockout Not To Be Missed]

Creed is playing in theaters nationwide.

Follow Tessa Thompson on Twitter @TThompsonYES and Instagram @tessamaethompson.

Follow the Creed movie on Twitter @creedmovie and Instagram @creedmovie.

Stream the Creed soundtrack below.