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Tyra Banks Biography

Birthday: December 4, 1973
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Tyra Banks is the first African-American woman to appear on the covers of both GQ and Sports Illustrated and now she's turning other women into cover girls on America's Next Top Model. We're taking a look at this model citizen!

Tyra Banks - America's Next Supermodel

Tyra Banks was often teased as a teenager in Inglewood, California. The other students at her private Catholic school called her "skinny" and "ugly". So it must have come as a real surprise to Tyra when she got her first modeling job in her first year of college. Tyra says that she never considered this was the beginning of her career, but just thought it was a way to make money to put herself through university.

Tyra Banks - Cover Girl

Tyra soon found herself in Paris with her modeling career taking off. She modeled for huge names including Cover Girl, Nike, Yves Saint-Laurent and appeared graced the covers of magazines like Elle, Cosmo, Sports Illustrated and Harpers Bazaar. She was well-known for being curvier than most of the models she worked with but refused to starve herself. Besides, the work was still pouring in.

Tyra Banks - Tyra Mail

Tyra started branching out of her modeling career to take on other roles. She played Will Smith's ex on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and had a break-out role in the film Higher Learning. She then went on to become the host and executive producer of America's Next Top Model, where she's been showing off the ugly side of beauty for seven cycles. She also currently hosts her own talk show - The Tyra Banks Show.

Tyra Banks - Did U Know?

  • Tyra appeared in Michael Jackson's Black or White music video.
  • Tyra attempted to launch a music career back in 2004 with the single Shake Ya Body but it flopped.
  • Tyra Banks admitted to having an extreme phobia of dolphins on her talk show.

Tyra Banks Says...

"I am protective of my own personal life, but I must confess that I enjoy watching people that don't mind telling it all."

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