Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, who inspires the music and political activism of her son, Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
This queen of the belters has appeared on Broadway in everything from Dreamgirls and Cats to The Life and Chicago and appears regularly in concerts and recordings.
1997: Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, The Life
In addition to her Tony, White won an Emmy Award in 1992 for playing day-care provider Lillian Edwards on Sesame Street.
“I’m looking forward to hearing Fela! called for Best Musical, and to hearing my name. ‘And the Tony goes to….!’ I already made room next to the other Tony Award [for The Life] for its twin! Just being nominated means my work is still up to par with the level I want it to be, and that means a lot to me.” —White in an interview with Broadway.com, 5/10