03/11/2018 – Kehlani – 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards – Arrivals – The Forum – Inglewood, CA, USA – Photo Credit: David Gabber /

Birth Name: Kehlani Ashley Parrish

Place of Birth: Oakland, Alameda, California, United States

Date of Birth: April 24, 1995

*paternal grandfather – African-American
*paternal grandmother – Scottish, English, German, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Welsh, distant Cornish and Irish, possibly Choctaw Native American
*mother – Blackfoot and Cherokee Native American, Spanish, Mexican, Filipino

Kehlani is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer.

She was adopted and raised by her maternal aunt, Tanya Marie French. Kehlani’s biological mother is evidently of Blackfoot and Cherokee Native American, and Spanish, Mexican, and Filipino, descent. Her biological father, Elon Thompson Parrish, died when she was a toddler. Kehlani’s paternal grandfather was African-American. Kehlani’s paternal grandmother is of Scottish, English, German, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and Welsh, as well as distant Cornish, Irish, and possibly Choctaw Native American, ancestry.

Kehlani stated her ethnic background as “Black, White, Native American and Spanish” in an interview on Hot 97, and specified that “Blackfoot Cherokee” are her Native American tribes. She has also said that she has a small amount of Filipino ancestry (at 0:23 at the link), and, in another interview, Mexican (at 24:14 at the link).

Kehlani has a daughter with her guitarist Javaughn Young-White. Javaughn’s brother is comedian Jaboukie Young-White.

Kehlani’s paternal grandfather is Guy Corwin Parrish (the son of Robert Lawrence Parrish and Jean Andra Thompson). Guy was born in Los Angeles, California, and is African-American. Robert was the son of J. A. Parrish and Belle Way. Jean was the daughter of Jesse Thompson and Kathryn Morris.

Kehlani’s paternal grandmother was Ruth Suzanne Thompson (the daughter of James Buchanan Thompson, Jr. and Ruth Imogene Wallace). Suzanne was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. James was the son of James Buchanan Thompson, Sr., whose own parents were Scottish, and of Barbara Adelaide Brown. Kehlani’s great-grandmother Ruth was the daughter of Baxter Boxbe Wallace and Nancy J. Jones.

Kehlani’s maternal grandfather is named Christopher French.

Agenda Las Vegas 2014 Summer Fashion Expo - Day 2

Kehlani in 2014, photo by

Sources: Birth record of Kehlani’s father –

Marriage record of Kehlani’s paternal grandparents, Guy Corwin Parrish and Suzanne Ruth Thompson –

Divorce record of Kehlani’s paternal grandparents, Guy Corwin Parrish and Suzanne Ruth Thompson –

Birth record of Kehlani’s paternal grandfather, Guy Corwin Parrish –

Marriage record of Kehlani’s paternal great-grandparents, Robert Lawrence Parrish and Jeana Andra Thompson –

Marriage record of Kehlani’s paternal great-grandparents, James Buchanan Thompson, Jr. and Ruth Imogene Wallace –

Kehlani’s paternal great-grandfather, James Buchannan Thompson, Jr., on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Kehlani’s paternal great-grandfather, James Buchannan Thompson, Jr. –

Marriage record of Kehlani’s paternal great-great-grandparents, James Buchanan Thompson and Barbara Ade Brown –

Obituary of Kehlani’s paternal great-grandmother, Ruth Imogene (Wallace) Thompson –

67 Responses

  1. follers says:

    Isn’t this allegedly a picture of Kehlani’s grandparents or parents?

      • follers says:

        BTW, if that is the right Christopher French, then it’s (the son of William French and Barbara Mae Byron). Christopher was born in California. Barbara was the daughter of Guy Bertram Byron and Eliza Edwina “Winnie” Shortall.

        But I have a hard time believing Kehlani has three white grandparents, especially given the picture above.

        • madman says:

          It’s not the right Christopher French. Kehlani mentioned that her grandfather, almost certainly maternal, is featured on her mixtape from 2015 through a phone call. This Christopher French died in 2003, so he can’t be her grandfather (unless she meant a step-grandfather, which I don’t think). He seemed to fit well with the marriage record so perhaps that’s not the right one either. It’s also possible that her aunt was actually referring to another relative and not to her own father in the comment.

          Her maternal grandmother lives in Hawaii by the way.

          • bablah says:

            The maternal grandmother that lives in Hawaii is Jeanie Sewell, the one we discused three years ago. She’s in the begining of the twitter video. As we concluded back then, she’s not her biological grandmother. She was married to her grandfather and is the mother of her uncles. I don’t know who the Asian woman is.

        • madman says:

          The correct Christopher French was also born on 15 September 1946 and not 12 September. His middle initial is H, and the other one doesn’t have one on his birth record.

          This is Kehlani’s relative:

  2. Oaken05 says:

    Can we have this broken down between the mother and father in the “Ethnicity:” category? Looks like it probably needs a clean-up, too, regardless.

    • madman says:

      We don’t really know which parent (perhaps both?) she attributes her Native American ancestry to.

    • KehlaniFann says:

      Her mom is mexican, spanish and blackfoot/cherokee native american. her dad is black with i heard apparently white blood..which i thought she said french. he has no mexican/spanish/native roots like her mom does.

      • madman says:

        You do know that you can just read the text above and find the answers to some of your questions? This is a site about ethnicities after all.

        Her father is half black and half British Isles/German. Her mother’s ancestry isn’t documented yet, but if I got her grandparents correct, it’s pretty likely there’s a fair bit of British Isles there as well. French and Boyd aren’t really Spanish or Filipino surnames. And the Native American stuff, I think it’s safe to say, will probably turn out to be completely made up (apart from potential Indigenous Mexican roots).

        • Oaken05 says:

          That’s my take; like the Jordan Fisher page, most of the ethnicities are probably just made up and should be removed unless or until we can confirm them. No reason why we can’t do what we do on other pages: “Possibly other.”

          • madman says:

            I don’t know if everything is made up. The reason I think Native American is unlikely is that it usually seems to originate from vague family rumours and stories, and even when there is some substance to them, it’s so distant it’s barely worth mentioning. That, in my experience, doesn’t tend to be the case with Mexican or Filipino ancestry to the same degree. But who knows, we have to find the great-grandparents to be certain.

            About Jordan Fisher, my guess is that he took a DNA test and just lists every region that showed up, no matter how small the percentage. It’s not necessarily made up, just that that’s not how we choose which ethnicities we list here.

  3. madman says:

    These are almost certainly her grandparents:

    Her aunt asked a friend in a comment if Kehlani looks like “Christopher French” who certainly must be a relative. Since the woman in the record is surnamed Boyd, they divorced two years after Kehlani’s mother’s birth and it took place in Alameda, I think it’s likely her grandparents.

  4. Akwaba says:

    She looks more native or Hispanic than black.
    Is she really of french and Filipino origins ?

  5. izzybizzy says:

    Beautiful mixed woman. You can’t go wrong with mixing black genes.

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