List of people with synesthesia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of notable people who have claimed to have the neurological condition synesthesia. Following that, there is a list of people who are often wrongly believed to have had synesthesia because they used it as a device in their art, poetry or music (referred to as pseudo-synesthetes).

Estimates of prevalence of synesthesia have ranged widely, from 1 in 4 to 1 in 25,000 – 100,000. However, most studies have relied on synesthetes reporting themselves, introducing self-referral bias.[1]

Media outlets including Pitchfork have critically noted the considerable numbers of musical artists from the 2010s onwards claiming to be synesthetes, observing that "without literally testing every person who comes out in the press as a synesthete, it’s exceedingly difficult to tell who has it and who is lying through their teeth for cultural cachet" and that claims of experiencing synesthesia can be employed "as an express route to creative genius".[2]


Name Type Lifespan Country Profession Notes Source
Richard Feynman grapheme-colour 1918-1988 United States Physicist "When I see equations, I see the letters in colors. I don't know why. I see vague pictures of Bessel functions with light-tan j's, slightly violet-bluish n's, and dark brown x's flying around." [3]
Frank Iero Chromesthesia b.1981 United States Singer-songwriter, guitarist [4]
Tilden Daken Multiple 1876-1935 United States Artist Painted to orchestral music. [5][6]
Syd Barrett Multiple 1946-2006 United Kingdom Singer-songwriter, guitarist, artist
Vladimir Nabokov Grapheme-Color 1899-1977 Russia/United States/Switzerland Novelist, poet [7]
Alessia Cara Multiple b. 1996 Canada Singer-songwriter [8][9]
Beyoncé Chromesthesia b. 1981 United States Singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress [10][11][12][13]
Charli XCX Chromesthesia b. 1992 United Kingdom Singer-songwriter [14]
Jennifer Cook O'Toole Multiple b. 1975 United States Author [15]
Marilyn Monroe Taste to colour 1926-1962 United States Actress [16][17][18]
Jack Coulter Chromesthesia b. 1994 United Kingdom Artist [19][20]
Marina Diamandis Multiple b. 1985 United Kingdom Singer-songwriter [21][22]
Patricia Lynne Duffy Unspecified b. 1952 United States Author Wrote Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens, the first book by a synesthete about synesthesia.

Co-founded the American Synesthesia Association.

Mary J. Blige Sound to colour b. 1971 United States Singer-songwriter, actress [24]
Billie Eilish Multiple b. 2001 United States Singer-songwriter [25]
Kanye West Multiple b. 1977 United States Rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, fashion designer [26][27]
Nikola Tesla Chromesthesia 1856–1943 Austria/United States Inventor [28]
Eves Karydas Chromesthesia b. 1994 Australia Singer-songwriter [29][30]
Duke Ellington Chromesthesia 1899–1974 United States Composer, pianist, bandleader [31]
David Hockney Chromesthesia b. 1937 United Kingdom Artist, stage designer, photographer [32]
Greg Jarvis Sound to shape 1944–1986 Canada Musician Founded the Canadian Synesthesia Association. [33][34][35]
Ramin Djawadi Chromesthesia b. 1974 Germany Score composer [36]
Billy Joel Multiple b. 1949 United States Singer-songwriter, composer, pianist [37][38]
Bloem de Ligny Multiple b. 1978 Netherlands Singer [39]
Franz Liszt Sound to color 1811–1886 Hungary Composer, pianist [40][41][37]
Lorde Sound to color b. 1996 New Zealand Singer-songwriter [42][43]
Olivia Rodrigo Sound to colour b. 2003 United States Singer-songwriter [44][45][46]
Tori Amos Sound to color b. 1963 United States Singer-songwriter [47]
Ida Maria Sound to color b. 1984 Norway Singer-songwriter [48][49]
Marian McPartland Sound to color 1918–2013 United Kingdom/United States Jazz pianist [50]
Bea Miller Sound to color b. 1999 United States Singer-songwriter, actress [51]
Stephanie Morgenstern Multiple b. 1965 Canada Actress, filmmaker [52]
Finneas O'Connell Multiple b. 1997 United States Musician, record producer, actor [26]
Frank Ocean Sound to color b. 1987 United States Singer-songwriter, producer, artist Released Channel Orange in 2012, an album themed around his own synesthesia [53]
Adil Omar Multiple b. 1991 Pakistan Singer-songwriter, record producer [54]
Andy Partridge Multiple b. 1953 United Kingdom Singer-songwriter, musician [55][56]
Itzhak Perlman Sound to shape b. 1945 Israel/United States Violinist, conductor, music teacher [38]
Jon Poole Sound to color b. 1969 United Kingdom Musician [57]
Osmo Tapio Räihälä Shape to sound b. 1964 Finland Composer [58]
Maggie Rogers Sound to color b. 1994 United States Singer-songwriter, record producer [59]
Jean Sibelius Unspecified 1865–1957 Finland Composer, violinist [37]
Holly Smale Emotions to color b. 1981 United Kingdom Writer [60]
Carol Steen Multiple b. 1943 United States Artist Co-founded the American Synesthesia Association. [61][62]
Daniel Tammet Unspecified b. 1979 United Kingdom Author [63]
Brendon Urie Multiple b. 1987 United States Singer [64]
Sabrina Vlaškalić Multiple 1989–2019 Serbia Classical guitarist [65]
Solomon Shereshevsky Fivefold 1886-1958 Russian Empire/Soviet Union Journalist, mnemonist [66][67]
Richard Wagner Sound to color 1813–1883 Germany Composer, theatre director, conductor [38]
Pharrell Williams Sound to color b. 1973 United States Singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer [38][37]
Richard David James Unspecified b. 1971 Ireland Musician, record player, composer, remixer, DJ [68][38]
Hans Zimmer Chromesthesia b. 1957 Germany Composer, music producer [69]
Olivier Messiaen Chromesthesia 1896-1979 France Composer, pianist, organist [70][71]


Awsten Knight Sound to color b. 1992 United States Singer-songwriter, producer [73]
J57 (rapper) Sound to color b. 1983 United States Musician [74]



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