Nicole Richie

Richie in 2010, Joe Seer/

Birth Name: Nicole Camille Escovedo

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

Date of Birth: September 21, 1981

Ethnicity: Mexican [Spanish, Indigenous], African-American, Louisiana Creole [French, African, and distant English], other European

Nicole Richie is an American socialite, television personality, fashion designer, author, and actress. She became famous starring in the reality show The Simple Life, alongside Paris Hilton. She is married to musician Joel Madden, with whom she has two children.

Nicole was adopted by singer Lionel Richie. Her sister is model Sofia Richie (who is Lionel’s biological daughter).

Nicole’s biological father, Peter Michael Escovedo, was a band member of Lionel Richie’s band, and is a percussionist and musical director. Escovedo is of Mexican (including Spanish and Indigenous) and Louisiana Creole (including French, African, and distant English, ancestry) descent, and is the brother of singer, drummer, and percussionist Sheila E. (Sheila Escovedo).

Nicole’s biological mother, Karen Moss, is said to have been a backstage assistant of the band. Karen is likely black and/or mixed-race black. Nicole still keeps in contact with her biological mother.

Nicole’s biological paternal grandfather is Pete Escovedo (Peter Michael Escovedo, the son of Pedro “Peter” Escovedo Barrera and Anita L. Valenzuela). Pete was born in California, and is a percussionist. Pedro was a Mexican immigrant, from Saltillo, Coahuila, and had Spanish and Indigenous Mexican ancestry. Pedro’s parents were Manuel Escovedo Rodríguez and María Hipólita Barreda Escobedo. Anita was also of Mexican origin.

Nicole’s biological paternal grandmother is Juanita Marie Garderé (the daughter of Nicholas Alphonse Garderé and Marie Laura Pelletier). Juanita was born in California. Nicholas and Marie were Lousiana Creoles (of French, African, and distant English, ancestry). Nicholas was the son of Ernest Alphonse Garderé and Louise Mary Leclerc. Marie was the daughter of Joseph Ernest Pelletier and Marie Laetar Laure Nabonne.

Source: Genealogy of Nicole Richie (focusing on her father’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

377 Responses

  1. sadesdaughter says:

    I think her mother Karen Moss is black. She can be seen in the Sheila E movie Krush Groove playing a fictionalized version of herself.

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