Tatyana Ali

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)
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1985–present
Vaughn Rasberry ( m. 2016)
Children 1
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 also starred in a movie on the Hallmark Channel titled Everlasting Christmas, which premiered on November 24, 2018.

Early life

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


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 in two episodes of Star Search, one of which she performed a cover of Diana Ross's hit song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." 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.

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.

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]

"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.

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 television actor Jonathan Brandis from 1995 to 1998.

In March 2016, Ali revealed that she was engaged to Vaughn Rasberry, assistant professor of English at Stanford University, whom she had met on eHarmony, .[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 September 2016.[17] In April 2019 they announced they were expecting their second child together.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Eddie Murphy Raw Eddie's Sister Sketch Segment
1988 Crocodile Dundee II Park Girl
1988 Wow, You're a Cartoonist! Child Cartoonist Short 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
2005 Domino One Laeticia Richards
2006 Glory Road Tina Malichi
2006 A Warm Place Clair Andrews Short film
2007 The List Cynthia
2008 Down & Out Short 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 Privileged Talia
2012 Dysfunctional Friends Alex
2012 Home Again Marva Johnson
2013 24 Hour Love Simply
2013 The Last Letter Jillian
2013 Dear Secret Santa Jennifer
2014 The Divorce
2014 Locker 13 Lucy
2014 Comeback Dad Nima
2015 Fatal Flip Roslyn
2015 November Rule Leah
2016 Second Sight Clara
2016 It Snows All the Time Technologist
2017 The Good Nanny Monica Thorne
2017 Wrapped Up In Christmas Heather Nash
2018 Doe Rachel
2018 College Dating App Professor Savoy
2018 The Reason Macey


Year Title Role Notes
1985–90 Sesame Street Tatyana Recurring role; 6 episodes
1987 Star Search Contestant Season 5
1989 Wally and the Valentines Jamaica Valentine Movie
1989 A Man Called Hawk Michelle Episode: "Life After Death"
1989 The Cosby Show Girl Episode: "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? Herself Episode: "The Nefarious Nobel Napper"
1993 Getting By Nicole Alexander / Vanessa 2 episodes
1994 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Laura Turner / Connie Turner Episode: "The Tale of the Quicksilver"
1994 TV's Funniest Families Host Special
1995 In the House Ashley Banks Episode: "Dog Catchers"
1996 Living Single Stephanie James Episode: "Whatever Happened to Baby Sister?"
1996 Kidz in the Wood Rita Movie
1996 Fall Into Darkness Sharon McKay Movie
1997 413 Hope St. Kai Episode: "Heartbeat"
2002 Fastlane Shelly Episode: "Girls Own Juice"
2003 Half & Half Olivia Episode: "The Big Condom-nation Episode"
2007 Boulevard of Broken Dreams Herself Episode: "Jonathan Brandis"
2007 On the Lot Herself Episode: "First Sight"
2007–13 The Young and the Restless Roxanne Recurring role; 53 episodes
2010–12 Love That Girl! Tyana Jones Lead role in seasons 1–3 (36 episodes)
2012 The Eric Andre Show Herself Episode: "Tatyana Ali"
2013 Second Generation Wayans Maya Main role (10 episodes)
2015 Key & Peele Heresa Episode: "Hollywood Sequel Doctor"
2016 Zoe Ever After Ashley King Episodes: "The Interview" and "Game Face"
2017 American Koko N'Shay
2017 Wrapped Up In Christmas Heather Lifetime Movie
2018 Fly Main cast (16 episodes)
2018 Hollywood Darlings Tatyana Episode: "Big White Lies"
2018 Fancy Nancy Bree's Mom (voice) Main cast
2018 Olive Forever Alison Episode: "Pilot"
2018 The Bobby Brown Story Jimmy's Mom Miniseries
2018 Christmas Everlasting Lucy Toomy Hallmark Channel
2018 Jingle Belle Belle Williams Lifetime Movie


Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions


Kiss the Sky 106 47 41 6
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Extended plays

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
Title Album details


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


"Daydreamin'" 1998 6 5 3 6 3 Kiss the Sky
"Boy You Knock Me Out"
(featuring Will Smith)
68 56 32 19 77 12 3 1
"Everytime" 1999 73 20 4
"Wait for It"[35] 2014 Hello
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Other appearances

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Love The Way You Love Me" 1999 N/A More![36]
"Precious Wings" The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland[37]
"Who Am I" Will Smith and MC Lyte Willennium
"Getting Closer" Kel Spencer Wild Wild West
"Candy Girl" 2007 Kanary Diamonds Puro Fuego[38]
"Wanna Groove" 2009 Inverse So Far[39]
"Move It, Shake It" Just Matter and Nieve Love N' Dancing[40]
"Bathtub Gin" The Cherokee Rhythm Section
"Joy to the World" 2013 N/A Dear Secret Santa[41]
"Kiss the Sky" 2015 The Legacy of R&B Slow Jamz[42]
"He Loves Me" 2016 The Legacy of Nu Soul[43]
"Ghost Town" 2017 Music to Inspire[44]

Awards and nominations

Caribbean Heritage Organization
  • 2011: Recipient, Living Legacy Award[4][5]
NAACP Image Awards
  • 1996: Won, Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  • 1997: Nominated, Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  • 2010: Nominated, Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama – The Young and the Restless
  • 2011: Nominated, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Love That Girl!
  • 2011: Won, Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama – The Young and the Restless
  • 2012: Won, Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama – The Young and the Restless
  • 2012: Nominated, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Love That Girl!
  • 2013: Nominated, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy SeriesLove That Girl![45]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
Young Artist Awards


  1. ^ "Tatyana Ali Biography (1979-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "Happy Birthday, Tatyana Ali". People Magazine. People Magazine. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "Episode #1.8728". September 17, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2017 – via www.imdb.com.
  4. ^ a b c d Ofole-Prince, Samantha (August – September 2011). Wheaton, Robert (ed.). "The talented Ms. Ali:an interview with Tatyana". CaribPress Newsmagazine. Los Angeles: 5. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Wheaton, Robert (August – September 2011). Wheaton, Robert (ed.). "Caribbean Heritage Salute in Hollywood". CaribPress Newsmagazine. Los Angeles: 21. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  6. ^ "The Eric Andre Show: Tatyana Ali Interview". YouTube. June 5, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Pedersen, Erik (July 16, 2016). "'Fresh Prince' Actress Sues Warner Bros Claiming It Used Her Idea For 'The Real'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  8. ^ Evans, Greg (February 24, 2017). "Court Tosses Tatyana Ali Lawsuit Claiming 'The Real' Was Her Idea". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 25, 2017.
  9. ^ "Tatyana Ali Shares Her Black Experience at Harvard University". BET. December 12, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "Tatyana Ali wants young people to know their voice counts". 9news.com. August 8, 2008. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  11. ^ Baker, Mike (April 9, 2008). "NC Voter Registrations Surge". seattletimes.com. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  12. ^ Wakhisi, Tsitsi D. (November 1, 2012). "Early voting a hit in South Florida". sfltimes.com. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  13. ^ "Tatyana Ali announces engagement and pregnancy". Mail Online. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  14. ^ Harrison, Lily. "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Tatyana Ali Reveals She's Engaged—and Pregnant". E! Entertainment Television.
  15. ^ Dugan, Christina (July 17, 2016). "Tatyana Ali Marries Dr. Vaughn Rasberry". People.com. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  16. ^ Hautman, Nicholas (July 17, 2016). "Tatyana Ali Marries Vaughn Rasberry". Usmagazine.com. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Juneau, June and Michaud, Sarah (September 23, 2016). "Tatyana Ali Welcomes Son". People.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (April 13, 2019). "Tatyana Ali Expecting Second Child With Husband Vaughn Rasberry together". People.com. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Billboard Chart History: Tatyana Ali". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  20. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: Tatyana Ali". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  21. ^ a b "UK Charts – Tatyana Ali". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  22. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40: 14 February 1999 – 20 February 1999". Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40 Archive. Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  23. ^ "Hello by Tatyana Ali". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  24. ^ "Billboard Hot 100: Tatyana Ali". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  25. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: Tatyana Ali". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  26. ^ "Belgium Charts – Tatyana Ali". Ultratop. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  27. ^ Steffen Hung (March 13, 1999). "Les charts français". lescharts.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  28. ^ "Search the Charts: Tatyana Ali". The Irish Charts. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  29. ^ Steffen Hung. "– Dutch charts portal". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  30. ^ Steffen Hung. "– New Zealand charts portal". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "US certifications: Tatyana Ali". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  33. ^ a b Scapolo, Dean (2007). The Complete New Zealand Music Charts: 1966–2006. Wellington: Dean Scapolo and Maurienne House. ISBN 978-1877443-00-8.
  34. ^ "Search Results: Tatyana Ali". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  35. ^ "Wait for It by Tatyana Ali". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  36. ^ "More!". Discogs. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  37. ^ "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  38. ^ "Kanary Diamonds". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  39. ^ "So Far – the Collection". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  40. ^ "Love N' Dancing (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  41. ^ "Dear Secret Santa Soundtrack". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  42. ^ "The Legacy of R&B Slow Jamz". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  43. ^ "The Legacy of Nu Soul". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  44. ^ "Music to Inspire: Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking". iTunes. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  45. ^ "44th NAACP Image Awards Full List of Nominees" (PDF). NAACP. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2012.

External links