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Happy Independence Day Guyana! 51 YEARS!

TODAY, GUYANA marks 51 years as an independent country after cutting its binding colonial ties with the UK.

This and last week, The Voice has explored various aspects of Guyana's journey, including the recent promise that oil, gold and investment bring, how people will be celebrating plus a review of Miss Guyana UK's activities over the past year.

Here are 15 public figures that you might not have realised were Guyanese:

1. Rihanna

Although she represents her birthplace of Barbados on the world stage, Rihanna's mother Monica is of Guyanese origin.

2. Leona Lewis

The Hackney-bred song bird's father is Guyanese.

3. Norman Beaton

Photo credit: BBC

Dearly-departed star of the British screen, Norman Beaton continues to warm hearts on re-runs of Desmond's.

4. Ram John Holder

Photo credit: BBC

Popular and lovable Porkpie of Desmond's got his own self-titled spin-off in which the pensioner enjoyed his lottery winnings.

5. Carmen Munroe

Photo credit: Alchetron

The third and final Desmond's star in our line-up, Carmen Munroe is best-known for her role as Shirley Ambrose on the hit series, however she appeared on TV and in theatre productions long before becoming a Channel 4 mainstay.

6. David Lammy

The Labour MP has held a seat in Tottenham since the year 2000.

7. Eddy Grant

The Electric Avenue hit-maker is still creating music and performing at festivals such as T in the Park.

8. Baroness Valerie Amos

The dignitary has served as a High Commissioner and on behalf of the United Nations to name a few impactful roles.

9. Trevor Phillips

The sometimes irritating views of broadcaster / former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips recently reached their peak when he backed former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie during a race row which got the journalist dismissed.

10. Sean Patrick Thomas

The actor hit the big screen after 2001 teen flick Save the Last Dance.

11. Derek Luke

You will recognise Derek Luke, whose father is Guyanese, from movies as diverse as Antwone Fisher and Captain America.

12. Melanie Fiona

The Canada-born singer is now three albums deep.

13. Red Cafe

Photo credit: Official PSDs

The New York rapper, who popped-up in the Notorious movie enjoys the benefits of a career heavily influenced by label boss Fabolous and manager P. Diddy.

14. Deborah Cox

The R&B crooner provided some of our favourite jeep tunes and ballads alike during the '90s and beyond.

15. Natural Black

The conscious reggae vocalist has been making studio albums since 2007.

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