Monday, June 19, marks World Sickle Cell Day, observed annually to increase awareness and public understanding of the disease that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports affects an estimated 100,000 Americans, including some of our favorite stars of past and present.

Here are seven celebrities who have the disease or suffered from it.

Larenz Tate

Larenz Tate smiling at Ebony

The Love Jones actor is a national spokesman for sickle cell disease awareness, telling WebMD, “It’s really important to know if you carry the disease … If you can prevent the disease, you can really make a difference in someone’s life.”

Tionne ‘T- Boz’ Watkins

The TLC member has sickle cell anemia and has served as the spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, according to Biography.

Tiki Barber

Tiki Barber smiles at camera

The former NFL baller launched a national health education campaign, Be Sickle Smart, to raise awareness about the disease that disproportionately affects African-Americans.


Prodigy of Mobb suffered from sickle cell
Photo Credit: Rap Radar / CBS Radio

The late Mobb Deep MC was diagnosed with sickle cell disease as an infant, according to Rap-Up.

Paul Williams of The Temptations

Williams suffered from sickle cell anemia, which he would often self-medicate with alcohol when in too much pain to perform, according to U Discover Music.

Miles Davis

Miles Davis posing, one of many celebrities with sickle cell
Jazz trumpeter and orchestra leader, Miles Davis models one of his full-length coats, this one lined in fur, 1971. (Moneta Sleet, Jr./Ebony Collection)

The legendary Jazz musician was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia in 1961, according to his biography written by Jennifer Warner.

Santonio Holmes

Santonio Holmes in an NFL jersey

Not only does the Super Bowl champ suffer from sickle cell anemia, but his son also carries the trait. This led him to create the III & Long Foundation “to raise awareness to help fight Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and provide financial support and treatment options for families affected by the disease.”


Learn more about sickle cell anemia here.