Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks

Born on the December 4, 1973, Tyra Lynne Banks is one of the most famous American television personalities. Better known for her flawless career as a model, she has also been a producer, actress and author. She appeared twice on the cover for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was one of Victoria’s Secrets’ first angels. She is a native of Inglewood, California and she has one brother, Devin who is five years older to her. She was six when her parents got divorced and was often the target of calls such as “ugly duckling” but she shed thirty pounds and grew three inches within three months when she turned eleven.

Tyra Banks started her career as a model when she was fifteen years old. She was still a school going girl at that time. She faced rejection in her early career; more specifically, she was rejected by four agencies. However at 16, she switched to Elite Model Management and once she got an opportunity to move to Milan, she did while putting college on hold. She was a massive success in the 1991 Paris Fashion Week and booked a total of twenty five shows. She did runway shows for Chanel, Fendi, Valentino and others.

From runway modeling, Banks shifted to advertisements and magazine covers. She did commercials for Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Nike. She was on the cover of Teen Vogue, Vogue as well as Elle. After taking Europe by storm, she moved back to United States.  Once back, she was the first African American woman to be on the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was the recipient of the VH1 “Supermodel of the Year” award in 1997. She was also one of the first ever African-American to be chosen as Victoria’s Secret cover for the catalog. After her move back to the states, she started with her career in films and television. She has also been repeatedly ranked in the list of The World’s Most Influential People by TIME magazine.

Tyra’s film and television career started with her being featured in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. She plays Will Smith’s old friend. She also starred in Felicity, All That, MADtv, Wild ‘N Out and The Price Is Right. She also ventured into production and created “Ty Ty Baby Productions” later renamed “Bankable Productions”. This production house is behind the magnanimous The Tyra Banks Show where she aimed at encouraging and enabling younger women to fulfill their dreams and destinies. It also produced America’s Next Top Model and The Clique (2008). She was also judge and hostess for America’s Next Top Model. Other notable accomplishments are Tyra Banks winning the Daytime Emmy Award for The Tyra Banks Show. She also won for the second time for Outstanding and Informative talk show in 2009.

Her first big break in the film industry came in 1994 in the movie called Higher Learning. She also costarred with Lindsay Lohan in Life-Size. Other movies include Love Stinks (1999), Coyote Ugly (2000) and Halloween: Resurrection (2002). She has guest starred in hit TV shows like Hannah Montannah and Gossip Girl. Along with the films and TV shows, Tyra Banks has also endeavored into music. She first featured in music videos then from 2004 onwards she recorded singles like “Shake Ya Body” and K.O.B.E as well as “Be a Star” for her movie Life-Size. In addition to this, Banks penned down a novel in 2012 called “Modelland” which is a description of her experiences as a model. She is also the patron of TZONE; a program designed for leadership and lifestyle development and established the Tyra Banks Scholarship as well.

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