You can travel just about anywhere in the world and there is a solid chance that you will cross paths with a fellow member of the Big Blue Nation. Kentucky fans are proud to bleed blue and represent at every opportunity.
I always enjoy seeing people that are well-known outside of the Bluegrass show their allegiance to the University of Kentucky.
Here is a look at who I would consider to be UK’s most famous fans:
1. Drake absolutely has to come in at No. 1. He would get my vote for not only the most famous Kentucky fan, but also the most influential. He is arguably the biggest music talent on the globe and especially identifies with the younger generation.
Born as Aubrey Graham in Toronto, Canada, the rapper really has no ties to Kentucky other than John Calipari. But the two are very close. Drake has said that Calipari inspired him to finish high school and even attended his graduation.
A Jordan Brand sneaker that designed for Drake was even named the “OVO Jordan 8 Calipari Pack” after the Kentucky coach. Rumors have swirled suggesting that Kentucky may switch to wearing Jumpman gear after recent pictures surfaced of the team practicing in Jordan apparel. I seriously doubt the potential change has anything to do with Drake, but the fact that Coach Cal has a Jordan shoe named after him is pretty cool.
In a 2017 interview with CBS Sports here is what Drake had to say about the University of Kentucky.
“I’ll tell you this. The Kentucky basketball program honestly is something else -- I mean you know this. I don’t know how many people know this. I try and say this as much as I can because I say this from the bottom of my heart. You’re one of the most iconic mentors in my life period. And I don’t even know if I’ve ever really got a chance to fully tell you why. But coming to Lexington and seeing the basketball program. Seeing the way not only your team, not only your staff, but just an entire culture, an entire city looks at you as this figure they can always find solitude in. It really was inspiring to me. It just reminded me why that’s so important. I was just so inspired to come there and see all these people that sort of are funneling through this system. All these kids. It’s up to you to give them something -- motivation, inspiration, tools, knowledge they can take with them on their journey because a lot of them have different journeys. ... When I came to Lexington, and I met you, I didn’t want to leave. I would have traded my life at that moment to play Kentucky basketball and be under you. It felt like a mentor. It felt like a father figure. It felt like this incredible feeling and at 26 years old, it made me go and reconnect with the teacher that I loved the most.”
There has been numerous examples of Drake attending UK related events and wearing his Wildcats apparel. Most recently, he headlined Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena in 2017. Recruits now continually reference the Drake lyric “I rock Kentucky blue” when announcing their commitment to Kentucky.
Drake’s new album Scorpion was released on June 29th, and it included a diss at the University of Louisville. In the song Sandra’s Rose, Drizzy took a major shot at Rick Pitino and Louisville.
“Louisville hush money for my young gunners; Rick Pitino, I take them to strip clubs and casinos.”
There is no denying the positive vibes it brings the program having a world wide superstar like Drake drawing attention to Kentucky. I mean, the man has 35 million Twitter followers. There is nothing you could say that would convince me that Drake’s presence is not impactful for recruiting and an overall positive for the University as a whole.
And furthermore, any fan of another school that says they wouldn’t welcome Drake into their fan base is either lying or in denial.
2. Ashley Judd has clearly established herself as one of the biggest names that supports UK athletics. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she majored in French. Her awkward kisses with Dick Vitale and animated celebrations have been seen at UK basketball games for years.
Judd is known as a social activist who is not shy to speak up for what she believes in. I think it’s probably fair to say that politics have created somewhat of a divide between Judd and a portion of Cats fans.
But overall, I believe most Kentucky supporters welcome her presence as a member of the BBN. Judd is always front and center on your television whenever she attends a game. You can see the photo below where she actually consoled the players after the devastating 2015 Final Four loss.
3. Josh Hutcherson is probably the most underrated famous Kentucky fan. His role as Peeta in the Hunger Games transcends all across the globe and makes him extremely recognizable. Hutcherson boast an impressive 2.8 million followers on Twitter.
To put his notoriety in perspective, all together the Hunger Games films grossed approximately $1,541,538,526 in box office revenue. That sure is a lot of movie tickets. Kentucky Sports Radio has had Hutcherson their show where he proclaimed his love for the Wildcats. The superstar Wildcat fan has even traveled to Rupp Arena and took the floor as the “Y” during a home game.
What a weird coincidence that his Hunger Games co-star, Jennifer Lawrence, is a Louisville native and Card fan. I am sure there has been some fun banter during the long film shoots those two have been apart of!
so josh hutcherson went to a kentucky basketball game pic.twitter.com/oUifAI23F1— milk (@miilkkk) June 22, 2014
Chris Kael from Five Finger Death Punch Chris
Actor Josh Hopkins
Actor Steve Zahn