BLACK VOICES
07/23/2015 03:50 pm ET Updated Jan 18, 2017

23 Black Stars Who Shined On Broadway Through The Years

These actors and actresses slayed the stage!

This post is part of a weekly series celebrating #ThrowbackThursday with reflections of our favorite childhood memories, past pop culture moments and more!

Taye Diggs made his debut on Broadway Wednesday when he hit the stage as Hedwig in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Meanwhile, Brandy -- another of one our favorites -- will soon end her run as Roxie in"Chicago" on August 2. These talented performers are just two among a long list of countless stars who have graced Broadway stages over the years.

From legends like Debbie Allen to younger performers like Keke Palmer, here are 23 black stars that have lit up the "Great White Way" over the years: 

  • Taye Diggs
    Instagram
    Taye Diggs premiered in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" on July 22 as Hedwig, making him the first African-American to star in this role.  
  • Brandy
    Brandy/Instagram
    The songstress plays Roxie Hart in "Chicago." Her last show is scheduled for August 2. 
  • KeKe Palmer
    KeKe Palmer played the <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/keke-palmer-is-first-african-american-cinderella-on
    Andrew H. Walker via Getty Images
    KeKe Palmer played the leading role in "Cinderella," which ran from September 2014 through the beginning of 2015. She was the first African-American to play Cinderella on Broadway.
  • Nene Leakes
    NeNe Leakes <a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/cinderella-to-close-on-broadway-real-housewives-star-nene-leakes-jo
    Charles Sykes/AP
    NeNe Leakes played Cinderella's wicked stepmother "Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella" in 2014. 
  • Billy Porter
    <a href="http://www.playbillvault.com/Person/Detail/106980/Billy-Porter">Billy Porter in his current role</a>&nbsp;as Lola in
    Mike Coppola via Getty Images
    Billy Porter in his current role as Lola in "Kinky Boots," which will run through August 2. Previously, he has starred in "Miss Saigon" (1999) and "Grease" (1994).
  • Denzel Washington
    <a href="http://www.playbillvault.com/Person/Detail/74505/Denzel-Washington">Denzel Washington stared as Walter Lee Younger</
    Robin Marchant via Getty Images
    Denzel Washington stared as Walter Lee Younger in 2014's "A Raisin In The Sun." He also starred in "Fences" in 2010 and "Julius Ceasar" in 2005.
  • James Monroe Iglehart
    <a href="http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/playbill.coms-cue-a-the-genie-of-broadways-aladdin-james-monroe-igleha
    Jemal Countess via Getty Images
    James Monroe Iglehart is Genie in "Aladdin." The show is currently running. 
  • Raven-Symoné
    Raven-Symon&eacute; made her Broadway <a href="http://www.broadway.com/videos/153981/on-the-scene-raven-symone-bows-in-sister
    Theo Wargo via Getty Images
    Raven-Symoné made her Broadway debut as Deloris Van Cartier in 2012's "Sister Act."
  • Toni Braxton

    #AfterMidnight 🎤

    A photo posted by Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) on

    Instagram
    Toni Braxton made her Broadway debut as Belle in "Beauty and the Beast" in 1998. She's also taken the lead in "Aida" and performed alongside singer Babyface during "After Midnight" in 2014.
  • Deborah Cox
    In 2013, Deborah Cox <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Deborah-Cox/">starred as the feisty Lucy</a>&nbsp;in "Jekyl
    Manny Carabel via Getty Images
    In 2013, Deborah Cox starred as the feisty Lucy in "Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical." Her leading Broadway debut was in 2014 as Aida. 
  • Sean "Diddy" Combs
    <a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/sean-p.-diddy-combs-to-star-in-a-raisin-in-the-sun-revival-116931">Diddy hit th
    Reuters Photographer / Reuters
    Diddy hit the Broadway stage in 2004 as Walter Lee in "A Raisin in the Sun."
  • Debbie Allen
    <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Debbie-Allen/">Debbie Allen is a Broadway legend </a>with titles under her belt
    Bryan Bedder via Getty Images
    Debbie Allen is a Broadway legend with titles under her belt like "Sweet Charity" (1986), "West Side Story" (1980), "Alice" (1978), "Ain’t Misbehavin’" (1978) and more. She also directed "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (2008) and choreographed "Carrie" (1988).
  • Leslie Uggams
    Making her debut in "Hallelujah, Baby!," Leslie Uggams' legacy on Broadway <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Lesli
    John Lamparski via Getty Images
    Making her debut in "Hallelujah, Baby!," Leslie Uggams' legacy on Broadway extends from 1967 to 2005.
  • Vanessa Williams
    <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Vanessa-Williams/">Vanessa Williams's first Broadway performance </a>was in "Dea
    Robin Marchant via Getty Images
    Vanessa Williams's first Broadway performance was in "Death and the King's Horseman" in 1987. Since then, she has conquered roles in "Mule Bone" (1991), "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1993), "The Trip to Bountiful" (2013), "After Midnight" (2013) and more.
  • Cicely Tyson
    Cicely Tyson made&nbsp;her first Broadway performance in "Jolly's Progress" in 1959. Since then, she's appeared in seven&nbsp
    Robin Marchant via Getty Images
    Cicely Tyson made her first Broadway performance in "Jolly's Progress" in 1959. Since then, she's appeared in seven Broadway performances. She's slated to return to the stage in "The Gin Game" starring as Fonsia Dorsey this October
  • Viola Davis
    Viola Davis <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Viola-Davis/">made her Broadway debut</a>&nbsp;as Vera in the 1996 p
    Jemal Countess via Getty Images
    Viola Davis made her Broadway debut as Vera in the 1996 play, "Seven Guitars." Her most recent role was Rose in "Fences," opposite of Denzel Washington in 2010. 
  • Fantasia Barrino
    Fantasia made her <a href="http://www.broadway.com/buzz/stars/fantasia-barrino/profile/">broadway debut as Celie</a>&nbsp;in
    Bryan Bedder via Getty Images
    Fantasia made her broadway debut as Celie in "The Color Purple" in 2007. She returned to the stage in "After Midnight" in 2014.
  • Phylicia Rashad
    Like her good friend Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad has also&nbsp;<a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Phylicia-Rashad
    Bryan Bedder via Getty Images
    Like her good friend Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad has also left her mark on Broadway with roles in "The Wiz" (1975), "Dreamgirls" (1981), "A Raisin in the Sun" (2004) and more.
  • Condola Rashad
    <a href="http://www.playbillvault.com/Person/Detail/120856/Condola-Rashad">Condola Rashad,</a>&nbsp;Phylicia Rashad's daughte
    Rob Kim via Getty Images
    Condola Rashad, Phylicia Rashad's daughter, starred as Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" in 2013. 
  • Audra McDonald
    The list of Audra McDonald's Broadway <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Audra-McDonald/">credits are endless</a>.
    Andrew H. Walker via Getty Images
    The list of Audra McDonald's Broadway credits are endless. She made her debut in 1994 starring in the role of Carrie Pipperidge in "Carousel." Her most recent performance was the leading role in 2014's "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill." 
  • Brian McKnight
    Singer <a href="http://www.playbillvault.com/Person/Detail/111012/Brian-McKnight">Brian McKnight showed his moves</a>&nbsp;as
    Duffy-Marie Arnoult via Getty Images
    Singer Brian McKnight showed his moves as Billy Flynn in "Chicago" in 2007.
  • Angie Stone
    <a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/grammy-nominee-angie-stone-to-join-broadways-chicago-112416/print">Angie Stone
    Moses Robinson via Getty Images
    Angie Stone starred in "Chicago" as Matron “Mama” Morton alongside Brian McKnight in 2003. 
  • Nikki M. James
    Nikki M. James&nbsp;is best known for her roles in "Les Mis&eacute;rables" which she starred in&nbsp;earlier this year and "T
    Frazer Harrison via Getty Images
    Nikki M. James is best known for her roles in "Les Misérables" which she starred in earlier this year and "The Book of Mormon" in 2011, the latter of which landed her a Tony award.

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
Vogue's Black Covers
CONVERSATIONS