Serena Williams exemplifies courage, beauty, power and style, and has overcome insurmountable odds to win 23 career Grand Slams. Her remarkable tennis achievements combined with her off-court success in fashion and philanthropy, as well as a strategic partner and investor, makes her one of the most recognizable global icons in the world.
Serena was born in Saginaw, Michigan to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. While still an infant, the family moved to Compton, California where she began playing tennis at the age of four. At nine, Serena and her family moved to Florida. Since that time, she has become the most dominant figure in tennis.
Serena has won 23 Grand Slam titles, tied with Stefi Graff, as the most titles won in history of the Open Area, with her most recent win at the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant. In the summer of 2016, Serena won the Wimbledon Championship in both singles and doubles alongside her sister Venus.
In 2015, Serena won four grand slams: Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open, and the 2014 US Open, a feat affectionately known as the “Serena Slam” and ended the year on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as their “Sportsperson of the Year.”
Overall, Serena has 23 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 Grand Slam doubles titles. She’s won 783 Professional singles matches, 185 doubles professional matches, 72 WTA singles titles, 23 WTA doubles titles, Gold Medal in Doubles in 2000 (Sydney), 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London), and Gold Medal in Singles in 2012 (London).
Off the court, fashion, acting and dancing are Serena's passions. She was named a “Fashion Trendsetter” by VOGUE for harnessing her passion to create her HSN Signature Statement collection; an aspirational brand that is accessible to the common consumer. In 2016 alone, Serena was featured on the covers of SELF, GLAMOUR, WSJ MAGAZINE and FADER. Only to be topped by her 2017 cover of VANITY FAIR and 2018 cover of VOGUE, HARPER'S BAZAAR UK, and INSTYLE and the release of her own clothing line 'Serena.'
Serena is a dedicated philanthropist. She started the Serena Williams Fund, is a global Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, and in the fall of 2016, she joined philanthropic forces with her sister Venus to establish the Williams Sister Fund where they launched their first endeavor in their hometown of Compton: the Yetunde Price Resource Center. Named after their eldest sister who was killed by senseless gun violence, the Resource Center conducts community asset inventory and develops a comprehensive resource network designed to connect residents affected by violence with service providers. In February 2016, Serena partnered with the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation to build a school in Jamaica and has funded and opened two schools in Africa that are currently in operation.
Serena splits her time between Palm Beach, Florida and Los Angeles, California with her husband Alexis Ohanian and her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.
Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and Grammy-winning artist, actor and activist, Common continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles, and continued success at the box office.
Common most recently wrapped production on THE KITCHEN, based on the DC/Vertigo female-led comic book series. He stars alongside Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss. Set in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen during the 1970s, the story follows wives of Irish mobsters (McCarthy, Haddish and Moss) who team up to take over running the business after their husbands are sent to prison.
Up next on the big screen, Common lends his voice to Warner Brothers’ animated feature SMALLFOOT, in theaters September 28, 2018. The animated film follows a young Yeti as he discovers a human. The film also stars Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez and Yara Shahidi. Later in the Fall he can be seen in the Fox 2000 film, THE HATE YOU GIVE opposite Amanda Stenberg, Issa Rae and KJ Apa. This timely drama, directed by George Tillman Jr., follows a teenage girl who witnesses a white police officer shooting her best friend and is based on the novel by Angela Thomas.
In 2019 he will appear in Andrea Di Stefano’s action-thriller, THREE SECONDS, with an all-star cast including Clive Owen, Rosamund Pike and Joel Kinnaman.
He starred in the Oscar nominated film, SELMA, a film centered around the civil rights marches that changed America. Alongside John Legend, he won the Academy Award and Golden Globe in 2015 for “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture” for “Glory” which was featured in the film. In 2016, he appeared in the David Ayer’s high profile comic book movie, Warner Bros’ SUICIDE SQUAD. The film broke box office records both domestically and around the world.
In 2017, Common starred opposite Keanu Reeves in the highly anticipated sequel JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, and appeared in Judy Greer’s directorial debut A HAPPENING OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS with Allison Janney. He also appeared in Bleecker Street’s MEGAN LEAVEY alongside Kate Mara, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford and Edie Falco.
It was announced that Common will executive produce “Black Samurai” a TV adaption of Marc Olden’s 1974 book series, which inspired the 1977 film of the same name. He is set to star in QUICK DRAW, a new revenge action thriller to be produced by TRANSFORMERS producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Content Media.
Behind-the-scenes, Common recently executive-produced the Netflix drama BURNING SANDS and performed the closing credits original song “The Cross” featuring Lianne Le Havas. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was released on Netflix March. He serves as an executive producer of Showtime’s hit TV series “The Chi,” a coming-of-age story set in Chicago from Emmy Award winning writer Lena Waithe.
Common’s 11th studio album, BLACK AMERICA AGAIN, was released November 4, 2016 on ARTium/Def Jam Recordings. The album includes socially conscious new single, “Black America Again” featuring Stevie Wonder and the anthem “Letter to the Free,” the end-title track to Ava Duvernay’s powerful Oscar-Nominated documentary 13TH, for which he also received the 2017 Emmy for “Best Music and Lyrics.” After collaborating on the album, Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins joined together to form supergroup August Greene. The trio made their live debut in January 2018 at New York’s Highline Ballroom as part of Glasper’s annual Grammy Awards party and will release their first joint album on March 9th through Amazon Music.
Common was most recently featured on Andra Day‘s song for Open Road Films’ MARSHALL soundtrack, “Stand Up for Something,” co-written by Common and eight-time Academy Award-nominee Diane Warren. The original song has received Oscar, Grammy, NAACP, and Critic Choice Award nominations, as well as the “Hollywood Song Award” at the 2017 Hollywood Film Awards.