African Star: Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1938-1997) -Fela Kuti, the Nigerian-born artist and activist is credited with the creation of Afro-beat. Inspired by America's black power movement, Kuti fought for political justice through his music and was continually persecuted by the Nigerian government for it. A play on his life just opened on Broadway produced in part by Jay Z and Will Smith.
Tennis Star: Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) - Arthur Ashe was a phenomenal tennis player and a thoughtful humanitarian. Ashe received a tennis scholarship to UCLA in 1963, and by 1975 was the No. 1 tennis player in the world. He won three grand slam tournaments and championed social causes until his death. Today, the U.S. Open is played at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Greg Gibson, AP
Queen's Star: Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) - Freddie Mercury was a British pop superstar and lead singer of the group, Queen, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Mercury, an Indian of Parsi descent, was a brilliant songwriter credited with iconic anthems such as "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Somebody to Love," and "We Are the Champions."
Rap Star: Eazy-E (1963-1995) - Eazy-E (born Eric Lynn Wright) was one of the architects of gangsta rap and co-founder of Ruthless Records, which spawned the careers of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Bone Thugs n Harmony. His first rap group, NWA, shot to fame with their raw lyrics and always courted controversy, especially with their hit, "F-k the Police."
Hollywood Star: Rock Hudson (1925-1985) - Rock Hudson was one of the most famous leading men of the 1950's and '60s, appearing in over 70 major motion pictures. He was also one of the first persons of prominence to announce that he had AIDS, bringing attention to what had previously been a little known disease.
Screen Star: Gene Anthony Ray (1962-2003) - Dancer and actor Gene Anthony Ray is best known as the corn-rowed street dude, Leroy, a dancer in 'Fame,' both the film and the TV series. Although not classically trained before appearing in the show, he did later attend the real High School of the Performing Arts for a time.
Activist Star: Ryan White (1971-1990) - Ryan White, a hemophiliac from Indiana is best known as a young AIDS activist who was expelled from his school because of his HIV status. The ensuing legal battle brought to the fore Ryan's plight, but also the ugly face of prejudice, ignorance and the fact that AIDS does not discriminate.
Style Star: Willi Smith (1948-1987) - Considered the most successful black fashion designer ever, this Philly native exploded on to the fashion scene in the late 1970s. Always an innovator, Smith won awards and was a savvy businessman. His company, Willi Wear, was a unique industry fixture.
Photo Star: Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) - Robert Mapplethorpe was known for his highly stylized, striking black and white photos. He is probably most famous for his Generation X series of photos of mostly nude men, which sparked a debate over decency and government funding of the arts.
AP and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Disco Star: Sylvester (1947-1988) - As one of the first acclaimed and openly gay artists of the '70s, Sylvester James set the stage for future performers like RuPaul, the Pointer Sisters and the Weather Girls. Sylvester bridged the gap between cult following and mass appeal with disco anthems such as 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)' and 'Do You Wanna Funk.'