Harry Connick Jr.
Perhaps one of the most gifted musicians to emerge from the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans-born pianist-crooner-songwriter Harry Connick, Jr. displayed his genius as a child, but first made a splash in the late 1980s with his retro Big Band sound and velvety crooning of his song "It Had to Be You," which was featured in the hit romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally" (1989). But it soon became apparent that Connick had a cornucopia of musical styles and talents to offer. He often credited his childhood exposure to New Orleans' diverse musical traditions - from Dixieland marching bands to jazz clubs to the plethora of local blues, soul and R&B royalty like Allan Toussaint and Lee Dorsey - for making him into the artist he eventually became. Throughout the years, he churned out numerous Grammy-worthy albums and songs, while displaying a fine grasp of acting as a creepy serial killer with a passion for women's panties in "Copycat" (1995) and on the sitcom "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006), starring as the unfaithful husband of the unlucky-in-love, Grace. Though he spent the second half of his life in New York, New Orleans' favorite son remained closely tied to the community, both through his musical reflections and his outreach efforts to help the troubled city with ongoing housing woes and post-Hurricane Katrina destruction.