André Benjamin

As the more outlandish and introspective half of the experimental rap duo OutKast, Andre Benjamin - also known as Andre 3000, Dré, Three Stacks and a half dozen other monikers - established himself as a bona fide innovator in a musical genre that had seen better creative days. Along with high school friend Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, OutKast became a giant in the rap world, separating themselves from their hip-hop contemporaries by incorporating elements of funk, jazz and rock-n-roll into a genre desperate for change. From their debut to their widely hailed Grammy-winning fifth album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003), the duo became one of the best-selling rap artists of all time. Not satisfied with a career in music, Benjamin segued to film and television with small, but memorable appearances in "Hollywood Homicide" (2003) and on "The Shield" (FX, 2002-08). While he branched off to explore wider musical realms like jazz and classical, along the way learning to play saxophone, guitar and clarinet, Benjamin turned in quality supporting performances in "Be Cool" (2005), "Four Brothers" (2005), "Idlewild" (2006) and "Battle in Seattle" (2007). Following a comic turn in the Will Ferrell comedy "Semi-Pro" (2008), he made waves when he was cast as Jimi Hendrix in the unauthorized biopic "All is By My Side" (2012). Whether in music or on the screen, Benjamin proved himself to be a multi-talented performer capable of pleasantly surprising even his most ardent critics.