Some world stars proudly boast about being “magyar” when they meet another person from Hungary, even if the Hungarian ancestor in their family line was their great-great-grandmother – who was half Hungarian and half of another nationality. Still, there are many Hungarian performers and celebrities of Hungarian origin out there who have achieved international fame. In this post, we will list a few of them.
The singer was raised by a single mother who was born into a Hungarian family, a fact of which she is proud, so much so that the singer’s famous stage name is also Hungarian. Pebe Sebert – who used to work as a songwriter and even composed songs for Dolly Parton – told in a TikTok video that she came up with the name Kesha for her daughter, which was originally derived from a Hungarian surname. Sebert made a minor change though to make it easier to pronounce in English. The surname she mentions in the video is probably “Kecse”, according to the Hungarian commenters.
Born Tamás Erdélyi in Budapest in 1949, the famed rockstar is the son of a Jewish photographer couple who survived the Holocaust hiding from Nazis, according to Index.hu. The family left the country after the ’56 revolution and settled in the Bronx in 1957. As a high school student, he played guitar in garage bands and later took on studio gigs, even working on Jimi Hendrix’s 1970 album. He eventually joined the Ramones band as a drummer and played on their first three albums. He is also credited with the song I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend and wrote a major part of the legendary Blitzkrieg Bop.
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane was born in New Jersey in 1994. The singer is the winner of numerous Billboard Awards and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards in her career. Her ancestry is not the easiest to trace back. Halsey’s father is African-American and has Irish ancestry, while her mother is half Hungarian and half Italian. Her maternal grandfather came from a family in Vas County, their surname was Jakab.
Although Five Finger Death Punch may not be known to a large crowd in Hungary, they are one of the best-selling heavy metal bands in the world. In recent years, they have gained such a huge fan base that they are now fighting with Metallica for the TOP 1 in the sales charts. The band was founded by a Hungarian guy, Zoltán Báthory, who decided to leave the country at the age of 17 and try his luck in the USA. Since then, he has become known not only as the founder of the multi-platinum band but also as a martial arts champion and a Pentagon expert on weapons combat.
You might be surprised to learn that one of the most famous escape artists, the Great Houdini was Hungarian. He was born in 1874 as Erik Weisz in Budapest and immigrated to the US with his family when he was four years old. He changed his name to Harry Houdini when he started performing as a magician. His straight jacket escapes and rope escapes became known worldwide.
Whenever Barrymore bumps into a fellow Hungarian, she is quick to mention that one of her parents is from Hungary, so she is basically a Hungarian, too. The actress’s mother, Ildikó Makó, was born to Hungarian parents in a German refugee camp during WWII.