Tatyana Ali

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Tatyana Ali
Streamy Awards Photo 1302 (4513297565).jpg
Ali at the 2nd Annual Streamy Awards in 2010
Tatyana Marisol Ali

(1979-01-24) January 24, 1979 (age 40)
Alma mater Harvard University (2002)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1985–present
Vaughn Rasberry(m. 2016)
Musical career
Genres R&B

Tatyana Marisol Ali (born January 24, 1979) is an American actress and singer known for her role as Ashley Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996. She has also starred as Tyana Jones on the TV One original sitcom Love That Girl! and had a recurring role as Roxanne on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless from 2007 to 2013. Ali co-starred in the 2017 TV film Wrapped Up in Christmas. In 2018, she co-starred in the Lifetime movie Jingle Belle and will have a movie on the Hallmark Channel titled Everlasting Christmas.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

<i>The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air</i> Television series starring Will Smith, running from 1990-1996

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 10, 1990, to May 20, 1996. The show stars Will "The Fresh Prince" Smith as a fictionalized version of himself, a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia who is sent to move in with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion after getting into a fight in his hometown. In the series, his lifestyle often clashes with the lifestyle of his relatives in Bel Air. The series ran for six seasons and aired 148 episodes.

Love That Girl! is an American sitcom that airs on TV One and debuted on January 19, 2010. The series started off as a four episode, independently produced series presentation that aired as a special three-night event, and was later ordered to series on October 15, 2010. Love That Girl! is the first scripted series for the network. The series went on hiatus until TV One announced in May 2013, that the series would return for its fourth season on October 11, 2013. Tatyana Ali did not return for the fourth season due to a contract agreement with the BET series, Second Generation Wayans.


Early life

Ali was born in North Bellmore, New York on January 24, 1979, the eldest daughter of Sheriff and Sonia Ali. [1] Tatyanna is of Panamanian and Indo-Trinidadian descent. [2]

The Bellmores, New York Hamlet and census-designated place in New York, United States

Bellmore is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population according to the 2010 census was 16,218. Bellmore is located on the south shore of Long Island 5 miles from Jones Beach State Park, approximately 27 miles (43 km) east of Manhattan, and 10 miles (16 km) east of the Nassau-Queens Line. North Bellmore is a census-designated place (CDP) in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 19,941 at the 2010 census.


In 1985, 6-year-old Ali began her acting career as a regular child performer on Sesame Street and appeared with Herbie Hancock in a musical number. She also appeared twice on Star Search . She made her breakthrough in 1990, when cast as Ashley Banks for the television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She sang on various episodes of the show, including a heavily altered version of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and the original song, "Make Up Your Mind", produced by Robert Jerald of N'Spyre Music Productions. Will Smith asked her if she seriously considered pursuing a musical career. However, despite her singing ability, Ali concentrated on her acting career on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . In the series' final season (1995–96), Ali began preparing herself for her musical debut. The result was the album Kiss The Sky , which was certified gold in early 1999. The album spawned the hit song "Daydreamin'", released July 21, 1998, produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the UK Singles Chart.

<i>Sesame Street</i> American childrens television program

Sesame Street is an American educational children's television series that combines live action, sketch comedy, animation and puppetry. It is produced by Sesame Workshop and was created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. The program is known for its images communicated through the use of Jim Henson's Muppets, and includes short films, with humor and cultural references. The series premiered on November 10, 1969, to positive reviews, some controversy, and high viewership; it has aired on the U.S.'s national public television provider PBS since its debut, with its first run moving to premium channel HBO on January 16, 2016.

Herbie Hancock American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer

Herbert Jeffrey Hancock is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer and actor. Hancock started his career with Donald Byrd. He shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet where he helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the post-bop sound. In the 1970s, Hancock experimented with jazz fusion, funk, and electro styles.

<i>Star Search</i> television series

Star Search is an American television show that was produced by T.P.E./Rysher Entertainment from 1983 to 1995, hosted by Ed McMahon, and created by Al Masini. A relaunch was produced by 2929 Productions from 2003 to 2004. On both versions of the show, contestants competed in several genres of entertainment. The show was originally filmed at the old Earl Carroll Theatre, at 6230 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood and later at the Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.

The album spawned two further UK hits, "Boy You Knock Me Out", featuring Will Smith, which peaked at No. 3 and is her biggest hit to date; and "Everytime", which was her third top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at No. 20. She made an appearance in Smith's album Willennium for the track "Who Am I" with MC Lyte. Along with her musical career, Ali kept acting in many films. She had the chance to work with recognized film directors such as Takeshi Kitano ( Brother ), Rodrigo Garcia ( Mother and Child ), among others. In 2005, she completed work on the film Glory Road and starred in the music video for Nick Cannon and Anthony Hamilton's "Can I Live?" as Cannon's mother. In early 2008, she performed on the song "Yes We Can", a will.i.am project supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign. She also appeared in the subsequent music video which gained coverage on the "What the Buzz" segment of ABC's World News Now .

<i>Willennium</i> 1999 studio album by Will Smith

Willennium is the second studio album by American rapper Will Smith. Recorded with a range of producers, including Poke & Tone and former collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff, it was released on November 16, 1999 by Columbia Records. The album reached number 5 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified multi-platinum by the RIAA, making this Smith's second top ten album and second multi-platinum album following Big Willie Style in 1997. The album also reached the top ten on the UK Albums Chart, and was certified multi-platinum in that region and in other regions. "Wild Wild West", "Will 2K" and "Freakin' It" were released as singles.

MC Lyte hip hop artist, actor, author, activist

MC Lyte is an American rapper who first gained fame in the late 1980s, becoming the first solo female rapper to release a full album with 1988's critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock. She has long been considered one of hip-hop's pioneer feminists.

Takeshi Kitano Japanese film director, comedian, singer, actor, film editor, presenter, screenwriter, author, poet, painter and video game designer

Takeshi Kitano is a Japanese comedian, television personality, director, actor, author, and screenwriter. While he is known primarily as a comedian and TV host in his native Japan, abroad he is known almost entirely for his filmwork. With the exception of his works as a film director, he is known almost exclusively by the stage name Beat Takeshi.

She also performed the title song, "Sunny Valentine" along with Terrence Quaites for the indie film, Rockin' Meera directed by Param Gill in 2005. In 2009 and 2010 she produced and starred in the BET web show, Buppies. She is currently on recurring status on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless as Roxanne. [3] Ali can be seen in the show, Love That Girl! on TV One. She stars as Tyana (which comes from the last five letters of her name). When asked if the character bears any similarities to her, Ali said in a CaribPress interview, "She's a bit neurotic and I hope I am not quite like that." [4]

Recurring status and contract status are terms used to refer to identify classes of actors that perform on U.S. soap operas. Recurring status refers to performers who consistently act in less than three episodes out of a five-day work week, and who receive a certain sum for each episode in which they appear. This is opposed to contract status, where the performers have a contract to be paid flat fees over time—often multi-year. Contract evaluations are periodically conducted, and actors that don't meet their "quota" may be dropped from their contract to cut costs. The practice has become widespread across the soap opera industry since the 1980s.

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

A soap opera is an ongoing drama serial on television or radio, featuring the lives of many characters and their emotional relationships. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers.

"One thing that I do love about her is that she is really multidimensional," she went on to say in the same interview. "I think it's nice to have a female character that is portrayed in (a) really holistic way." [4] Ali also starred in Nora's Hair Salon and Nora's Hair Salon 2: A Cut Above . In 2011, Ali received the Living Legacy Award from the Caribbean Heritage Organization in Los Angeles. [4] [5] In 2012, Ali appeared as a guest on The Eric Andre Show . [6] Ali's most recent role, as of January 15, 2013, is starring as Maya, along with Craig Wayans and Damien Dante Wayans, in the BET comedy, Second Generation Wayans .

<i>Noras Hair Salon</i> 2004 film

Nora's Hair Salon is a 2004 independent comedy-drama film, written by Chanel Capra and Jean-Claude La Marre, and directed by Jerry LaMothe. This film stars Jenifer Lewis, Tamala Jones, and Tatyana Ali.

<i>Noras Hair Salon 2: A Cut Above</i> 2008 film

Nora's Hair Salon 2: A Cut Above is a 2008 comedy-drama film written by Chanel Capra and Jill Maxcy, who also directed. The film stars Tatyana Ali, Stacey Dash, and Bobby Brown, and is the sequel to 2004's Nora's Hair Salon. This is the last film in the series to feature the original cast who were re-cast for the following film Nora's Hair Salon 3: Shear Disaster.

<i>The Eric Andre Show</i> television series

The Eric Andre Show is an American surreal comedy television series on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. The show premiered in the United States on May 20, 2012, and is a parody of low-budget public-access talk shows. The series is hosted by comedian Eric Andre and co-hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress. As of February 2018 all episodes have been directed by Kitao Sakurai and Andrew Barchilon. Gary Anthony Williams served as the announcer in the first season, being replaced by Tom Kane in the second season and Robert Smith from the third season onwards.

In January 2014, Ali released a new EP entitled Hello, with her first single "Wait For It", which she also performed on The Arsenio Hall Show on February 4, 2014. In July 2016, Ali sued Warner Bros claiming that the company used her idea for the show The Real after she pitched the concept in December 2012. [7] The case was dismissed in February 2017. [8]

Personal life

Ali attended Harvard University, where she received a bachelor's degree in African-American studies and Government in 2002. [9] She traveled the United States as a spokesperson for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and headed voter registration drives at college campuses. [10] [11] In 2012, she continued showing her support. [12]

She dated Jonathan Brandis from 1995 to 1998.

In March 2016, Ali revealed that she was engaged to a man whom she had met on eHarmony, Vaughn Rasberry, assistant professor of English at Stanford University. [13] She added that they were expecting their first child. [14] She and Rasberry married on July 17, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. [15] [16] The couple have a son born in 2016. [17]



1987 Eddie Murphy Raw Eddie's SisterSketch Segment
1988 Crocodile Dundee II Park Girl
1988Wow, You're a Cartoonist!Child CartoonistShort film; direct-to-video release
1997 Fakin' da Funk Karyn
1997 Kiss the Girls Janell Cross
1998 The Clown at Midnight Monica
1999 Jawbreaker Brenda
2000 Brother Latifa
2001 The Brothers Cherie Smith
2003 National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze Claire
2004 Nora's Hair Salon Lilleana
2005 Back in the Day Alicia Packer
2005Domino OneLaeticia Richards
2006 Glory Road Tina Malichi
2006A Warm PlaceClair AndrewsShort film
2007 The List Cynthia
2008Down & OutShort film
2008 Nora's Hair Salon 2: A Cut Above Lilleana
2008 Hotel California Jessie
2009 Mother and Child Maria
2010 Pete Smalls Is Dead Cocktail Waitress
2012 Dysfunctional Friends Alex
2012 Home Again Marva Johnson
201324 Hour LoveSimply
2013The Last LetterJillian
2013 Dear Secret Santa Jennifer
2014The Divorce
2014 Locker 13 Lucy
2014Comeback DadNima
2015Fatal FlipRoslyn
2015November RuleLeah
2016Second SightClara
2016It Snows All the TimeTechnologist
2017 The Good Nanny Monica Thorne
2017Wrapped Up In ChristmasHeather Nash
2018College Dating AppProfessor Savoy
2018The ReasonMacey


1985–90 Sesame Street TatyanaRecurring role; 6 episodes
1987 Star Search Contestant Season 5
1989Wally and the ValentinesJamaica Valentine Movie
1989 A Man Called Hawk MichelleEpisode: "Life After Death"
1989 The Cosby Show GirlEpisode: "Shall We Dance?"
1990–96 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Ashley Banks Main role (147 episodes)
1992 Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? HerselfEpisode: "The Nefarious Nobel Napper"
1993 Getting By Nicole Alexander / Vanessa2 episodes
1994 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Laura Turner / Connie TurnerEpisode: "The Tale of the Quicksilver"
1994TV's Funniest FamiliesHostSpecial
1995 In the House Ashley Banks Episode: "Dog Catchers"
1996 Living Single Stephanie JamesEpisode: "Whatever Happened to Baby Sister?"
1996 Kidz in the Wood RitaMovie
1996 Fall Into Darkness Sharon McKayMovie
1997 413 Hope St. KaiEpisode: "Heartbeat"
2002 Fastlane ShellyEpisode: "Girls Own Juice"
2003 Half & Half OliviaEpisode: "The Big Condom-nation Episode"
2007 Boulevard of Broken Dreams HerselfEpisode: "Jonathan Brandis"
2007 On the Lot HerselfEpisode: "First Sight"
2007–13 The Young and the Restless Roxanne Recurring role; 53 episodes
2010–12 Love That Girl! Tyana JonesLead role in seasons 1–3 (36 episodes)
2012 The Eric Andre Show HerselfEpisode: "Tatyana Ali"
2013 Second Generation Wayans MayaMain role (10 episodes)
2015 Key & Peele HeresaEpisode: "Hollywood Sequel Doctor"
2016 Zoe Ever After Ashley KingEpisodes: "The Interview" and "Game Face"
2017American KokoN'Shay
2017Wrapped Up In ChristmasHeatherLifetime Movie
2018FlyMain cast (16 episodes)
2018 Hollywood Darlings TatyanaEpisode: "Big White Lies"
2018 Fancy Nancy Bree's Mom (voice)Main cast
2018Olive ForeverAlisonEpisode: "Pilot"
2018The Bobby Brown StoryJimmy's MomMiniseries
2018Christmas EverlastingLucy ToomyHallmark Channel
2018Jingle BelleBelle WilliamsLifetime Movie


Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions


Kiss the Sky 10647416
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Extended plays

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum details
Hello [22]


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications
TitleYearPeak chart positions Certifications Album


"Daydreamin'"199865363Kiss the Sky
"Boy You Knock Me Out"
(featuring Will Smith)
"Wait for It" [34] 2014Hello
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Other appearances

TitleYearOther artist(s)Album
"Love The Way You Love Me"1999N/AMore! [35]
"Precious Wings" The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland [36]
"Who Am I" Will Smith and MC Lyte Willennium
"Getting Closer" Kel Spencer Wild Wild West
"Candy Girl"2007 Kanary Diamonds Puro Fuego [37]
"Wanna Groove"2009InverseSo Far [38]
"Move It, Shake It"Just Matter and Nieve Love N' Dancing [39]
"Bathtub Gin"The Cherokee Rhythm Section
"Joy to the World"2013N/A Dear Secret Santa [40]
"Kiss the Sky"2015The Legacy of R&B Slow Jamz [41]
"He Loves Me"2016The Legacy of Nu Soul [42]
"Ghost Town"2017Music to Inspire [43]

Awards and nominations

Caribbean Heritage Organization
NAACP Image Awards
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
Young Artist Awards

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