Pharrell Williams

5th Annual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards - Arrivals

Williams in 2013, photo by

Birth Name: Pharrell Lanscilo Williams

Place of Birth: Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 5, 1973

Ethnicity: African-American

Pharrell Williams is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. He is a member of the music duo The Neptunes, with Chad Hugo, and the rock band N.E.R.D, which also includes Chad. He is also known as Pharrell, Skateboard P, Sk8board, Auto Goon, Magnum, the Verb Lord; and Station Wagon P.

His parents, Carolyn L. (Hoggard) and Pharoah Williams, Jr., are both African-American. Pharrell is married to model Helen Lasichanh, with whom he has four children. He is said to be a cousin of musician, record producer, and DJ Timbaland.

Pharrell’s paternal grandfather was Pharoah/Pharaoh Williams, Sr. (the son of Cato Thomas Williams and Ora Cooper). Pharrell’s grandfather Pharoah was born in North Carolina. Cato was the son of Fenner Williams and Martha Alford. Fenner’s parents, Louis May and Louisa, were slaves, and Fenner likely also was born into slavery.

Pharrell’s paternal grandmother was Carol Lee “Carrie” Sills/Sears (the daughter of Mark Stamper Sills and Rebecca O’Niel/O’Neal). Carrie was born in North Carolina. Mark was the son of Ed Sills and Lucy Stamp. Rebecca was the daughter of Rufus O’Niel and Joanna Allen.

Pharrell’s maternal grandfather was Cleon Dorson Hoggard, Sr. (the son of James Edward Hoggard and Emma Edwards).

Pharrell’s maternal grandmother was Lucille Sarah Johnson (the daughter of Lee Edward Johnson and Sarah F. Lamb/Lambe).

BRIT Awards 2014 - Arrivals

Williams with wife Helen Lasichanh, 2014

An article published at “Diary of a Hollywood Street King” claimed that Pharrell’s mother is Filipino. This information is not accurate. Pharrell’s mother is African-American, and is pictured at the bottom right of this page. Also, for whatever reason, stated that Pharrell is of part Laotian descent. They may have confused Pharrell’s mother with Pharrell’s wife, Helen Lasichanh, who is of part Laotian descent.

Sources: Family history of Pharrell Williams, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak –
Accompanying video –

Diary of a Hollywood Street King article that makes the incorrect claim that Pharrell’s mother is Filipino –

Genealogy of Pharrell Williams (focusing on his father’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

142 Responses

  1. laddmannen says:

    He can’t be more than 70% black

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