Idrissa Akuna Elba
6 September 1972
Idrissa Akuna Elba //; born 6 September 1972) is an English actor, rapper, singer, and DJ. An alumnus of the National Youth Music Theatre in London, he is known for roles including Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire (2002–2004), DCI John Luther in the BBC One series Luther (2010–2019), and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013). For Luther, he received four nominations each for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, winning one of the former.(
Elba appeared in American Gangster (2007), Obsessed (2009) and Prometheus (2012). He portrayed Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), beginning with Thor (2011), and Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad (2021), set in the DC Extended Universe. He also starred in Pacific Rim (2013), Beasts of No Nation (2015), for which he received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Supporting Actor, and Molly's Game (2017). One of his other prominent roles was that of Rufus Buck in the Western film The Harder They Fall (2021). Elba has also voiced characters in Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Finding Dory (all 2016) and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022). He made his directorial debut with Yardie (2018).
In 2016, Elba was named in the Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World. As of May 2019, his films have grossed over $9.8 billion at the global box office, including over $3.6 billion in North America, where he is one of the top 20 highest-grossing actors. Apart from acting, Elba performs as a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis or Idris and as an R&B singer.
Idrissa Akuna Elba was born on 6 September 1972 in the London Borough of Hackney, to Winston Elba, a Sierra Leonean Creole man who worked at the Ford Dagenham plant, and Eve, a Ghanaian woman. His parents were married in Sierra Leone and later moved to London. Elba was raised in Hackney and East Ham; he shortened his first name to "Idris" at school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. He credits The Stage with giving him his first big break. After seeing an advertisement for a play in it, he auditioned and subsequently met his first agent while performing in the role. In 1986, he began helping an uncle with his wedding DJ business; within a year, he had started his own DJ company with some of his friends.
Elba briefly attended Barking and Dagenham College, leaving school in 1988 and winning a place in the National Youth Music Theatre after a £1,500 Prince's Trust grant. In order to support himself between roles in his early career, he worked in odd jobs including tyre-fitting, cold-calling and night shifts at Ford Dagenham. He worked in nightclubs under the DJ nickname "Big Driis" during his adolescence, but began auditioning for television roles in his early twenties.
Elba's first acting role was in Crimewatch murder reconstructions, and in 1994, he appeared in a BBC children's drama called The Boot Street Band. In 1995, he landed his first significant role on a series called Bramwell, a medical drama set in 1890s England. He played a central character in an episode of Season 1, an African petty thief named Charlie Carter, who lost his wife to childbirth and had to figure out how to support his newborn daughter. His first named role arrived earlier in 1995, when he was cast as a gigolo on the "Sex" episode of Absolutely Fabulous. Many supporting roles on British television followed, including series such as The Bill and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries. He joined the cast of the soap opera Family Affairs and went on to appear on the television serial Ultraviolet and later on Dangerfield. He decided to move to New York City soon afterwards. He returned to England occasionally for a television role, such as a part in one of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. In 2001, Elba played Achilles in a stage production of Troilus and Cressida in New York City.
In 1997, he starred in the first two episodes of the second series “Blood, Sweat and Tears” in Silent Witness.
After a supporting turn on a 2001 episode of Law & Order, Elba landed a starring role on the 2002 HBO drama series The Wire. From 2002 to 2004, Elba portrayed Russell "Stringer" Bell in the series, perhaps his best-known role in the United States. In 2005, he portrayed Captain Augustin Muganza in Sometimes in April, an HBO film about the Rwandan genocide. Elba appeared on the 2007 BET special Black Men: The Truth. He appeared as Charlie Gotso on The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, filmed in Botswana. The series premiered on 23 March 2008, Easter Sunday, on BBC One, receiving a high 6.3 million viewers and 27% of the audience share.
In January 2009, Variety reported that Elba would portray Charles Miner, a new rival to Dunder Mifflin regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) for NBC's The Office. Elba appeared in a six-episode story arc later in the 2009 season, as well as the season finale. In September 2009, he signed a deal to star as the lead role on the six-part BBC television series Luther, which aired in May 2010. He appeared on Showtime's The Big C in 2010. At the 69th Golden Globe Awards telecast on 15 January 2012, Elba won the Award for Best Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television for his role on the BBC crime thriller series Luther.
In April 2018, it was announced that Elba was cast as Charlie in the Netflix comedy series, Turn Up Charlie. It premiered on 15 March 2019 and was cancelled after one season. He also created and starred in the semi-autobiographical comedy In the Long Run.
In 2007, Elba signed on to play the lead role of the film Daddy's Little Girls, playing Monty, a blue-collar mechanic who falls in love with an attorney helping him gain custody of his kids, and finds the relationship and his custody hopes threatened by the return of his former wife. He appeared in 28 Weeks Later (2007) and This Christmas (2007), which brought in nearly $50 million (~$68.3 million in 2022) at the box office in 2007. In 2008, he starred in the horror film Prom Night and the Guy Ritchie London gangster film RocknRolla. In 2009, he starred in the horror film The Unborn and in Obsessed, a thriller that had him cast opposite Beyoncé. The latter was a box office success, taking $29 million in its opening weekend.
Elba's next film was Legacy (2010), in which he portrayed a black ops soldier who returns to Brooklyn after a failed mission in Eastern Europe, where he has undertaken a journey looking for retribution. He starred in Dark Castle's adaptation of DC/Vertigo's The Losers, under the direction of Sylvain White, in the role of Roque, the second-in-command of a black-ops team out for revenge against a government that did them wrong. Filming took place in Puerto Rico, and the movie was released in April 2010. Elba appeared in the thriller Takers (2010). He played Heimdall in Kenneth Branagh's film Thor (2011), based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name.
In August 2010, Elba signed up to portray the title character in a reboot of James Patterson's Alex Cross film franchise. However, in February 2011, he was replaced by Tyler Perry. In Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), the sequel to Ghost Rider (2007), Elba played an alcoholic warrior monk tasked with finding the title character. In February 2012, Elba confirmed that he would portray Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which is based on his autobiography. As part of his preparation for the role, Elba spent a night locked in a cell alone on Robben Island, where Mandela had been imprisoned. His performance earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.
In June 2012, Elba portrayed the role of Captain Janek in Ridley Scott's Prometheus. He joined the cast of the film Pacific Rim (2013) in the role of Stacker Pentecost. He reprised his role as Heimdall in Thor: The Dark World in 2013. In January 2014, he confirmed that he would be starring in a film adaptation of Luther. In 2014, he starred in No Good Deed as a vengeful psychopathic serial killer.
In 2015, Elba appeared as Heimdall in the superhero blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, directed by Joss Whedon. Elba also starred alongside Abraham Attah in the film Beasts of No Nation, which premiered in select theatres and on Netflix. He earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture, as well as a BAFTA Award nomination for Supporting Actor in the Film category. In 2016, he had several voice roles: the cape buffalo chief of police, Chief Bogo, in Disney's Zootopia, alongside Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman; villainous tiger Shere Khan in The Jungle Book (2016), a live-action adaptation of the animated 1967 film of the same name, directed by Jon Favreau; and sea lion Fluke in Pixar's Finding Dory, alongside Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks, both reprising their roles from Finding Nemo (2003). Also that year, he played the main antagonist, Krall, in the sequel Star Trek Beyond.
In 2017, he played Roland Deschain in the Stephen King film adaptation The Dark Tower, starred in The Mountain Between Us and Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut Molly's Game, alongside Jessica Chastain. In 2019, Elba starred as the villain in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, a spin-off of Fast & Furious franchise, and played Macavity in Tom Hooper's film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Cats. In 2021, Elba portrayed mercenary Robert "Milton" DuBois / Bloodsport in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. In 2022, Elba was the voice of Knuckles in the film Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a sequel to the film Sonic the Hedgehog which is itself based on the franchise of the same name. He will reprise the role in a self-titled solo series for Paramount+ in 2023.
Elba has appeared in music videos for Fat Joe (2002), Angie Stone (2004) and rapper Giggs (2010). In 2006, he recorded the four-song EP Big Man for Hevlar Records. He co-produced and performed on the intro to Jay-Z's album American Gangster (2007). He DJed at the 2007 NBA All Star parties at The Venetian and Ice House Lounge in Las Vegas.
In July 2009, Elba was the DJ for BET's current series Rising Icons. He announced the release of his first single "Please Be True." In the August 2009 issue of Essence, he announced the title of his six-song EP as Kings Among Kings. He released his EP High Class Problems Vol. 1 in the United Kingdom in February 2010, for which he has won many prizes, including a Billboard Music Awards nomination.
In 2014, he produced K. Michelle's "The Rebellious Soul Musical" which debuted on VH1 on 19 August 2014. In May, Elba featured on Mr Hudson's single "Step Into the Shadows". Mr Hudson also produced his album Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela, which was released in November 2014. He also featured on the remix of Ghanaian music group, VVIP's single "Selfie" together with Nigerian rapper Phyno released on 12 September 2014 and video released on YouTube on 11 April 2015.
Elba performed a rap for the second album by Noel Fielding and Sergio Pizzorno's band, the Loose Tapestries. Elba also rapped in a remix of Skepta's "Shutdown" which was uploaded on 1 June 2015 to SoundCloud. On 17 August, a song was released on which Elba appeared on Nigerian singer D'banj's single "Confidential", featuring Sierra Leonean rapper Shadow Boxer with the video uploaded to YouTube on 20 August. In November 2015, Elba opened for Madonna during her Rebel Heart Tour in Berlin, Germany. Elba is also featured on the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album This Unruly Mess I've Made (2016).
In July 2018, he launched his record label, 7Wallace Music. Elba performed at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2019. In 2019, he featured on the track "Boasty" by British grime artist Wiley. Elba also appears in the "Boasty" music video, delivering his verse in a mansion that includes a film set. In 2019, Elba appears on Taylor Swift's song "London Boy" from her seventh studio album Lover. The intro of the song samples a snippet from an interview by Elba. In April 2020, Elba collaborated with producer Jay Robinson on the track "Know Yourself", released on Mau5trap.
In 2020, after hearing Canadian R&B singer Emanuel's debut single "Need You", Elba reached out with an idea for a music video compiled from clips of people sharing the things that were helping them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Elba was credited as creative director of the video, and is being credited as an executive producer of Emanuel's forthcoming full-length debut album.
On 13 February 2021, Elba performed a guest DJ mix for Mix Up on Australian national youth broadcaster Triple J. On 22 September 2021, Elba announced he would be releasing a collaborative EP with Australian pop rock duo Lime Cordiale titled Cordi Elba, which was released on 14 January 2022. Elba also collaborated with Paul McCartney on a remix of McCartney's song "Long Tailed Winter Bird."
With the release of the Phantom Liberty downloadable expansion for CD Projekt Red's 2020 video game Cyberpunk 2077, two of three new radio stations introduced feature Elba. These are listed as 107.5 Darkstar Radio and 99.9 Impulse Radio. 107.5 Darkstar introduces two new tracks by Elba ("Choke Hold", "Roller Coaster"), and 99.9 Impulse features an hour-long DJ set by Elba and Private Press.
In October 2014, Elba presented the series Journey Dot Africa with Idris Elba on BBC Radio 2, exploring all types of African music. Elba was featured in various television commercials for Sky box-sets in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019. He has collaborated with the Uk parliament in their efforts to eradicate Ebola from West Africa, working alongside the UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening in 2014. Elba has created a collaboration with British fashion label Superdry, which launched at the end of November 2015.
In January 2016, Elba addressed the UK parliament in regard to the concern of the lack of diversity on screen. He said: "Change is coming but it's taking its sweet time". He spoke about the lack of diversity regarding race, gender and sexuality.
Elba hosted The Best FIFA Football Awards 2017 at the London Palladium on 23 October 2017. During the show, he took a selfie of "the best team in the world" which included Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
He had the idea to develop the music from his album Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela into a show, which eventually resulted in a play called Tree that premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2019. However, authorship of the piece was disputed. On 2 July 2019, The Guardian published a story describing how writers Tori Allen-Martin and Sarah Henley claimed to have been removed from the production under what they described as questionable circumstances. The two writers had worked on the project for four years, following an approach from Elba asking them to develop his idea for a musical based on the album, on which Allen-Martin had also collaborated. Kwame Kwei-Armah joined the project in May 2018, and rewrote part of their material. At the time of its premiere, Tree was billed as "created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah". Allen-Martin and Henley described their creative input as having included research and script-writing, as well as coming up with the play's title, and that after being removed, they were threatened with legal action if they went public with the story. Elba and Kwei-Armah both published rebuttals of the writers' account of what happened on Twitter.
He currently signed a deal with Apple to produce original content through his Green Door Pictures production company. In February 2021, it was reported that the companies of Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, would be developing an Afrofuturist adult animated sci-fi series, tentatively titled Dantai, for Crunchyroll, which would be about a time when biotech has "created an ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots." In an April 2021 interview with Den of Geek, he said the series is "mainly the brainchild" of his wife, who he described as a "super geek when it comes to anime."
Elba portrayed the character Solomon Reed in the Phantom Liberty downloadable expansion for CD Projekt Red's 2020 video game Cyberpunk 2077. He provides voice acting and his likeness to the character.
Discovery Channel produced a documentary, Idris Elba: Fighter, chronicling Elba's twelve-month kickboxing and mixed martial arts training under Muay Thai coach Kieran Keddle, culminating in Elba's first professional kickboxing fight—and win—against Lionel Graves, a younger, more experienced Dutch opponent, at London's York Hall.
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
Elba has been married three times: first to Hanne "Kim" Nørgaard (from 1999 to 2003) and then to Sonya Nicole Hamlin (for four months in 2006). He has a daughter with Nørgaard and a son with former girlfriend Naiyana Garth. Elba began a relationship with Canadian model Sabrina Dhowre in early 2017. They became engaged on 10 February 2018, during a screening of his film Yardie at an East London cinema. They were married on 26 April 2019 in Marrakesh.
Elba has stated he is spiritual but not religious. He is an avid Arsenal supporter. In 2015, as part of his Discovery Channel miniseries Idris Elba: No Limits, he broke the land speed record for the Pendine Sands "Flying Mile" course.
The Prince's Trust, a UK youth charity founded by Prince Charles in 1976, which Elba credits with helping begin his career, appointed him as their anti-crime ambassador in April 2009. He voiced support for a vote to remain in the European Union for the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.
On 16 March 2020, Elba said he and his wife had tested positive for COVID-19 amidst the pandemic. During his quarantine period, he noted that he had suffered from asthma all his life, placing him in the high-risk category of the disease.[non-primary source needed]
Awards and honours
Elba was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to drama. In 2017, he won the male title for the "Rear of the Year" award in Britain.
In September 2018, he was one of 50 people named for "making London awesome" and helping to shape London's cultural landscape, as part of Time Out's 50th anniversary. In the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Powerlist, he was listed in the top 100 most influential people in the UK of African/Afro-Caribbean descent.
- One Love
- Pacific Rim
- Thor: The Dark World
- Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
- Beasts of No Nation
- The Jungle Book
- The Dark Tower
- The Mountain Between Us
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
- The Suicide Squad
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Three Thousand Years of Longing
- Thor: Love and Thunder
- 2015: Murdah Loves John (The John Luther Character Album)
- 2006: Big Man
- 2009: Kings Among Kings
- 2010: High Class Problems Vol. 1
- 2014: Idris Elba Presents Mi Mandela
- 2022: Cordi Elba (with Lime Cordiale)
- 2023: "We Run the Area" (with Toddla T, General Levy and Naomi Cowan)
- 2023: "Most Wanted" (with Djibril Cissé)
- "Trust in Me"
- "The Bare Necessities"
- 2011: Merry DriisMas Holiday Mixtape
- 2019: "Even If I Die (Hobbs & Shaw)" on the soundtrack to the Fast & Furious spin-off film Hobbs & Shaw, featuring Cypress Hill; the remix version features Hybrid.
- 2019: "London Boy" by Taylor Swift — The intro of the song samples a snippet from an interview by Elba.
- 2019: "Party & BullShit" by Sarkodie – He was featured in the song.
- 2020: "Fear or Faith Pt. 2" by Future Utopia from the album 12 Questions.
- 2021: "Long Tailed Winter Bird (Idris Elba Remix)" by Paul McCartney from the album McCartney III Imagined.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
(Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Idris Elba and Anderson .Paak)
|2016||—||7||This Unruly Mess I've Made|
(Wiley, Stefflon Don and Sean Paul featuring Idris Elba)
(Wrenne featuring Idris Elba)
(James BKS featuring Q-Tip, Idris Elba and Little Simz)
(with Lime Cordiale)
|"What's Not to Like"
(with Lime Cordiale)
(with Lime Cordiale)
(with Lime Cordiale)
(The FaNaTIX featuring Idris Elba, Lil Tjay, Davido, Koffee & Moelogo)
|—||—||Find Your Line – Official Music from Gran Turismo 7|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- Yuan, Jada (8 June 2012). "Idris Elba on Prometheus, Learning to Box, and His Party House". vulture.com. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Idris Elba given Sierra Leone citizenship". BBC. 20 December 2019.
- Lowry, Brian (10 July 2014). "Emmy Nominations 2014 — Full List: 66th Primetime Emmys Nominees". Variety. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Wire actor Elba joins BBC drama". BBC News. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "Idris Elba". Prince's Trust. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
- Cabin, Chris (5 July 2016). "Idris Elba Set to Make Directorial Debut With Yardie". Collider. Archived from the original on 7 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- David Simon. "Idris Elba: TIME 100". Time. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "Idris Elba Movie Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
- "People Index – Actors: Total Gross". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
- "Idris Elba Interview: The Hustler" Archived 7 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Esquire. Retrieved 18 April 2016
- Canada, Danielle (13 September 2011). "Idris Elba (Driis) Releases New Music Video 'Secret Garden'". hiphopwired.com.
- Addley, Esther (20 March 2008). "He often has fewer lines than anyone else but you still feel as though he has the bigger part, because he is luminous". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- "Idris Elba:Singer, Actor (1972–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved 2 August 2017.
Idrissa Akuna Elba was born on September 6, 1972, in the Hackney section of East London, England. An only child of Sierra Leonean descent, Elba eventually attended the National Youth Music Theatre's training programs.
- "Idris Elba meets his Waterloo – in Ghana". The Telegraph. 3 October 2015. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
- Sawyer, Miranda (24 January 2010). "Idris Elba: life after 'Stringer' Bell". The Observer. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Jeffries, Stuart (9 May 2009). "The Midas Touch". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- "Idris Elba: Big Questions". BAFTA Guru. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- "Idris Elba".
- Lester Holloway (12 September 2022). "I called King Charles an ally to black people. I hope he lives up to that title". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
- Ayres, Chris (23 August 2008). "Life as a RocknRolla: meet the crafty Cockney Idris Elba". The Times. London. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "Idris Elba – Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Idris Elba". askmen.com. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- Thomas, Archie (25 March 2008). "'Detective Agency' finds big auds". Variety. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- Plunkett, John (25 March 2008). "Minghella's last film watched by 6.3m". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "Idris Elba Is New Alex Cross in Relaunched James Patterson Film Franchise". Deadline Hollywood. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
- Otterson, Joe (18 April 2018). "Idris Elba to Star in Netflix Comedy Series 'Turn Up Charlie'". Variety. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Andreeva, Nellie (27 April 2020). "Idris Elba's 'Turn Up Charlie' Canceled By Netflix After One Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
- Sturges, Fiona (24 March 2018). "In the Long Run: Idris Elba's joyful portrait of community in 1980s Hackney". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- "Idris Elba and Columbus Short Interview, This Christmas". Moviesonline.ca. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "This Christmas". Thenumbers.com. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "Idris Elba And Beyonce To Play Married Couple In 'Obsessed'". Blackvoices.com. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "Weekend Report: Moviegoers Fixate on 'Obsessed'". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
- "Idris Elba gets his kit off on set". UKPA. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
- Josh Wigler (2 April 2009). "Idris Elba Confirmed For 'The Losers,' Zoe Saldana Playing Aisha". MTV. Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- ""The Losers" Commences Production for Dark Castle Entertainment". Business Wire. 29 July 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
- "Idris Elba joins Marvel Studios' 'Thor'". The Hollywood Reporter. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- Bierly, Mandi (1 February 2011). "Tyler Perry in, Idris Elba out of Alex Cross reboot: Producer explains why – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- Kit, Boris (5 October 2010). "Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth gear up for 'Ghost Rider 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Jefferson, Lucette (22 February 2012). "Confirmed! Idris Elba set to play Nelson Mandela in Biopic". HuffPost. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Idris Elba Describes Chilling Night In Nelson Mandela's Prison (VIDEO)". HuffPost. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Prometheus video teases more from Idris Elba's Captain Janek". ifc.com. September 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "It's Official! Idris Elba Will Star in Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim" (Black Superhero Next?)". Blogs.indiewire.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Mandela actor Idris Elba confirms Luther film". The Mirror. 3 January 2014.
- "'The Dark Tower' rises: Stephen King confirms stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey". Entertainment Weekly.
- "Idris Elba to join Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift in Cats movie adaptation". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 17 October 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- Bonomolo, Cameron (6 December 2020). "The Suicide Squad Reveals New Look at Idris Elba's Badass and Brutal Bloodsport". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on 7 December 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
- Sonic Movie 2: Idris Elba Cast as Knuckles
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- "He often has fewer lines than anyone else but you still feel as though he has the bigger part, because he is luminous". Movietome.com. Retrieved 11 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
- McMurtrie, John (11 February 2007). "Ties to 'Wire' cut – but new work calls". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "Keri Hilson, The Dream and Idris Elba party with BET". S2Smagazine.com. 29 July 2009. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- Morris, Davina (5 July 2009). "Man of many talents – Actor Idris Elba returns to his first love, music, with the release of his new single". Jamaica Gleaner. Archived from the original on 16 August 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- Amber, Jeannine (13 July 2009). "ESSENCE August Issue: Sexy Talk With Idris Elba". Essence. Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
- "High Class Problems – Available Today!!!". driis. 8 February 2010. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Mumford & Sons Only 'Think' They Understand 'Lover Of The Light' Video". MTV.
- "K. Michelle To Star In Idris Elba Directed Musical". The Urban Daily. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Morgan, Clive (18 November 2014). "Idris Elba Presents Mi Mandela: album stream". Archived from the original on 10 January 2022.
- Andy Gill, "Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela, album review: A marvellous alliance of ancient and modern styles", The Independent, 21 November 2014.
- "Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno and comedian Noel Fielding tease 'Wu-Tang Clan' live shows". NME. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "Idris Elba Raps About His 'Wire' Character in Skepta's 'Shutdown' Remix". Billboard. 27 October 2017.
- Stutz, Colin (3 July 2018). "Idris Elba Launches New Record Label 7Wallace Music, Announces French Artist James BKS as First Signing". Billboard. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- "Coachella 2019: Full Lineup Announced". Pitchfork. 2 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- Renshaw, David (7 March 2019). "Sean Paul, Idris Elba, Stefflon Don, and 'Wiley' link-up in their 'Boasty' video". The Fader. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- Brain, Eric (7 March 2019). "Wiley Releases Music Video for "Boasty" Featuring Idris Elba, Sean Paul & Stefflon Don". Hypebeast. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- Willman, Chris (23 August 2019). "Album Review: Taylor Swift's 'Lover'". Variety. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
- Tost, Miguel (26 April 2020). "Idris Elba Makes His Debut On Deadmau5's Label With Stunning New Collab [LISTEN]". Your EDM. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- Karen Bliss, "Meet Emanuel, the Idris Elba-Approved Singer Who Can Heal Us All". Complex, 4 December 2020.
- "Mix Up: Idris Elba". Triple J. 13 February 2021. Archived from the original on 15 February 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
- Triscari, Caleb (22 September 2021). "Lime Cordiale announce joint mini-album with Idris Elba". NME Australia. Archived from the original on 22 September 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
- Lochrie, Conor (14 January 2022). "Lime Cordiale and Idris Elba release mini album 'Cordi Elba'". Tone Deaf. Archived from the original on 14 January 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
- Paul McCartney [@PaulMcCartney] (31 July 2021). "🎶Do you, do-do, do you miss me? Do you, do-do, do you feel me? 🎲 Watch the visualizer for 'Long Tailed Winter Bird' (@IdrisElba Remix)' on @YouTube here: PaulMcCartney.lnk.to/IdrisElbaVisTP" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 31 July 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2022 – via Twitter.
- Pine, Julio La (14 September 2023). "Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty to Feature New Music by Idris Elba". The Nerd Stash. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
- "Journey Dot Africa with Idris Elba". BBC Radio 2. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Shaw, Dale (29 November 2014). "Idris Elba's new Sky advert: why can't he wink?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Carvell, Nick (30 June 2015). "Idris Elba's collaboration with Superdry puts the "luxe" in "sports luxe"". GQ. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- Guerrasio, Jason. "Actor Idris Elba addressed British Parliament about the need for diversity on screen: 'Change is coming, but it's taking its sweet time'". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "The Best selfie: Idris Elba revels as host of Fifa Awards show". The Daily Telegraph. 27 October 2017. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022.
- "Can Idris Elba turn an album into a play? ★★★☆☆". BBC News. 6 July 2019.
- Mark Brown, Writers claim being excluded after creating Idris Elba's play, The Guardian, 2 July 2019.
- "TREE". mif.co.uk. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- Tori Allen-Martin and Sarah Henley, Tree. A Story of Gender and Power in Theatre, blog post, 2 July 2019.
- "Dispute over Elba play Tree as writers claim they were 'pushed off'". BBC. 2 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- Otterson, Joe (13 July 2020). "Idris Elba Signs First-Look Deal With Apple". Variety. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
- Patches, Matt (2 February 2021). "Idris Elba's Afrofuturist animated series coming to Crunchyroll". Polygon. Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
- Turner, Ashley (8 February 2021). "Idris Elba and Wife Sabrina Are Debuting a New Afro-Futuristic Anime Via Streaming Service Crunchyroll: 'We're Both Fans of the Genre'". Atlanta Black Star. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
- Spangler, Todd (2 February 2021). "Crunchyroll Inks Deal With Idris and Sabrina Elba for Dark Fantasy Anime Series". Variety. Archived from the original on 30 May 2023. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
- Elba, Idris (21 April 2021). "The Suicide Squad: How Idris Elba Brings Bloodsport to Life". Den of Geek (Interview). Interviewed by Stephanie Williams. Archived from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
- Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty — Official Teaser #2, retrieved 9 December 2022
- Vincent, Alice (24 August 2016). "Idris Elba is becoming a kickboxer, and there's a documentary to prove it". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
- Kurchak, Sarah (2 September 2016). "An Interview With Idris Elba's Kickboxing Coach". Fightland. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
- Ibarrola, Khristian (3 November 2016). "WATCH: Actor Idris Elba wins kickboxing match at age 44". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
- Corcoran, Rachel (12 January 2017). "Idris Elba on new kickboxing role: When I fought I'd hear my mum saying 'Don't let him kick you in the head'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- "Idris Elba 'splits with long-term girlfriend Naiyana Garth". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022.
- Webber, Stephanie (18 April 2014). "Idris Elba Welcomes Baby Boy Winston With Naiyana Garth: First Picture". Us Weekly. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Idris Elba's surprise marriage proposal". BBC News. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Moore, Hannah (11 February 2018). "Yardie actor on Idris Elba proposal: I had tears in my eyes". BBC News. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Saunders, Emmeline (27 April 2019). "Idris Elba marries Sabrina Dhowre in secret ceremony". mirror.
- "The Reaping: Idris Elba Q&A". cinema.com. 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Topel, Fred (30 November 1999). "Idris Elba: International Man". CraveOnline. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Arsenal fan Idris Elba: I would be physically sick if Tottenham won the Premier League title". Evening Standard. 27 October 2017.
- "Actor Idris Elba Breaks Historic 'Flying Mile' Record in Bentley". Bentley Media. 7 May 2015. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Idris Elba Becomes Anti Crime Ambassador". Looktothestars.com. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "The celebrities that support Brexit (and the ones backing Remain)". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- "Idris Elba announces his support for the UK to remain in the EU". Film Industry Network. 15 June 2016.
- "Coronavirus: Idris Elba confirms he has tested positive for COVID-19". Sky News. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
- France, Lisa Respers (22 March 2020). "Idris Elba's wife, Sabrina Dhowre, also tests positive for coronavirus". CNN. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
- Elba, Idris (17 March 2020). "Periscope stream".
- Penn, Charli (9 December 2013). "ESSENCE's 2013 Sexiest Man of the Year: 50 Reasons to Love Idris Elba". Essence. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Jordan, Julie (5 November 2018). "Idris Elba Is PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive 2018: It's 'an Ego Boost for Sure'". People. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- "Mobo Awards 2014: Idris Elba receives inspiration award". The Daily Telegraph. 23 September 2014. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N12.
- Mendick, Robert; Swinford, Steven (31 December 2015). "New Year's Honours: Idris Elba, Barbara Windsor, Damon Albarn and Ronnie O'Sullivan named in 2016 list". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 30 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Kheraj, Alim (14 September 2018). "50 Londoners who make the city awesome". Time Out. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- Mills, Kelly-Ann (25 October 2019). "Raheem Sterling joins Meghan and Stormzy in top 100 most influential black Brits". mirror. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
- Lavender, Jane (17 November 2020). "Lewis Hamilton ends incredible year top of influential Black Powerlist 2021". mirror. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- Hutchinson, Kate (7 December 2015). "Idris Elba: 'As an actor I'm always reading someone else's thoughts. What about my own thoughts?'". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- Triscari, Caleb (22 September 2021). "Lime Cordiale announce joint mini-album with Idris Elba". NME Australia. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
- "Sarkodie – Party and Bullshit ft Donae'O & Idris Elba". CelebritiesBuzzGh.Com. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
- Garner, George (12 August 2020). "Fraser T Smith announces debut album ft Stormzy, Dave, Bastille & more, signs to Platoon/70hz". Music Week. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
- "Sir Paul McCartney teams up with Idris Elba & Damon Albarn for McCartney III Imagined". Music-News. 11 March 2021. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
- "Wiley/Stefflon Don/Sean Paul – full Official Charts history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Anderson .Paak, Idris Elba – Dance Off (song)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- Ryan, Gavin (31 July 2016). "Australian Singles: Major Lazer Registers a No 1 Hit with Bieber and MØ". Noise11. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- "BRIT Certified – bpi" (To access, enter the search parameter "Boasty" and select "Search by Keyword"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Come Alive (feat. Idris Elba) – Single by Wrenne". iTunes Store. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
- "New Breed (feat. Q-Tip, Idris Elba & Little Simz) – Single by James BKS". iTunes Store. 14 November 2019. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
- Newstead, Al (26 November 2021). "Lime Cordiale & Idris Elba dish out tasty second single "What's Not To Like"". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
- "Lime Cordiale and Idris Elba have also shared "Holy Moley", the exciting latest single from their new mini album". Tone Deaf. 14 January 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
- "Lime Cordiale and Idris Elba share new video for "Unnecessary Things" redux". NME Australia. 27 January 2022. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
- "Vroom - from GRAN TURISMO 7". Spotify. March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.