Celebrities who grew up in South Florida

If you grew up in South Florida, you may be familiar with a few well-known figures who are frequently associated with the region. Perhaps you may have heard of Mr. Worldwide? The Rock? Rick Ross? Still, there are many more celebrities who have spent a significant portion of their formative years here. The effect of seeing them on the big screen or listening to their music is increased when you figure out they have walked down Eighth Street or spent sweltering days on South Beach. 

So, here we present you with five of those famous artists who grew up in the 305.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp’s name has recently been seen in tabloids often because of his messy and highly publicized divorce from Amber Heard, but he has been a beloved household name for decades. What you may not have known about this infamous actor is that his adolescent roots are here in South Florida. He was born in Kentucky in 1963, but moved to Miramar with his family when he was seven. While living here, he attended Henry D. Perry Middle School and Miramar High. He left when he was 18 for California, where he could chase his dreams. Depp’s breakout role was as Glen Lantz in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” but one of his most famous characters is Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. He won a Golden Globe in 2008 for his performance in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and a Screen Actors Guild in 2004 for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and continues to star in blockbuster films.

Bella Thorne 

Disney star Annabella Avery “Bella” Thorne was born in Pembroke Pines in 1997. She went to Pembroke Lakes Elementary school. She started in the entertainment industry from a very young age, appearing in her first magazine spread at just six weeks old. Later, she moved to LA to further pursue her acting career. At 13, she got her co-star role on the hit Disney show “Shake It Up” as Cece, alongside Zendaya. Now she is known for her fiery red hair, and personality to match. Thorne is still acting, appearing in a variety of rom-coms and comedy thrillers, such as “The Babysitter” and “The Duff.”


Camila Cabello

The Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello was born in Cuba in 1997, for five years she and her family moved around between Mexico and Havana. In 2003 she relocated to Miami with her mom, Sinuhe. Cabello attended Pinecrest Elementary School and, later, Palmetto Senior High School. While Cabello was always involved in the music department at her schools, it wasn’t until high school that she decided to try out for the television competition, “The X Factor.” This completely changed her life by kicking off her music career. Between 2012 and 2016, she was a member of the group Fifth Harmony. Right after Cabello had her solo debut with “Crying in the Club.” This amazing artist has won a total of 18 honors in just 11 months of a solo career, had over 50 certifications as a multi-platinum artist, and sold over 17 million albums. Cabello took her career to another level by starring in movies such as the newest version of Cinderella and TV shows. The star is always trying to show off where she comes from, in most of her interviews she states “305 till I die.” 

Dominic Fike

Florida boy, Dominic Fike, has an interesting and unique rise to fame. Fike was born in Naples in 1995 to humble beginnings. A boy with a passion – he wrote, produced, and recorded his first demo tape “Don’t Forget About Me, Demos” in 2017 as an independent artist at 21 and uploaded it onto Soundcloud. From this EP came “3 Nights,” an instant internet hit. All of this he achieved… while on house arrest (he would later go to jail for violating the house arrest sentence). The buzz surrounding the demo started a bidding war between labels that ultimately got him his contract with Columbia Records. Now, he is reaching a higher level of fame after landing a leading role in the second season of the Emmy-winning HBO show “Euphoria” in 2021. Even as he grows more recognition, he is a performer who always acknowledges where he came from. In his song “Florida” from his first studio album, “What Could Possibly Go Wrong,” Fike explains how he changed with fame, but he is still the same boy who just had a dream, a good amount of talent, and a ton of ambition. “I’m a Southern Florida boy,” he sings. “From a sunken place to the top. And looking at all that we accomplished, everything that you talked about.” His second studio album is greatly anticipated by fans.

Ariana Grande

Pop RnB sensation Ariana Grande is one of the biggest names in music today. She’s had a long and continually successful career in the limelight. Although she is Cali bond now, her roots start here in South Florida where she was born in Boca Raton in 1993. She lived there for the majority of her childhood, and still has a family home in the area. Grande began on Broadway before hitting it off as a child star in the Nickelodeon series “Victorious.” After making it big on the stage and on the small screen, she made the jump that would bring her millions and eternal fame… singing. Grande’s first single was “The Way” ft. Mac Miller from her debut album “Yours Truly.” Now a Grammy-winning, multi-platinum recording, Billboard-topping, ‘dangerous woman’ she is a gem of Florida for sure. 

Olivia Guthrie is a Junior at Florida International University currently majoring in Journalism with a minor in Religious Studies. She hopes, upon graduation, to be a journalist living in a big city making video-based media. She hopes through her work she can help educate the public on issues they are facing.

Estefani Calandriello is a Junior majoring in Digital Communications and Media specializing in Broadcasting at Florida International University. She has a strong sense of enthusiasm and loves to travel and take pictures. Her desired job is to work in the entertainment industry.