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.

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.

Pharrell’s paternal grandfather was Pharoah 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

Sources: 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) –

Lengthy article about some of Pharrell’s ancestors, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak –
Accompanying video –


Curious about ethnicity

137 Responses

  1. abbracci says:

    A lot of African Americans are not pure Black anyway. I thought Pharrell was half Asian or Hispanic.

  2. Capricious says:

    Surprised that he is 100% African American. I expected a lot of ethnicities, like; Mestizo, Native American, English, Irish, Spanish…

  3. stop trying make everbody white says:

    I bet only mutts and white people troll these sites

    • andrew says:

      it’s actually the contrary

    • midori29 says:

      @stop trying to make everybody white, I AGREE and think you are right because the perception of black people on this site is warped. Everytime someone vears from the norm and is actually attractive and not jet black with a big wide nose and thick lips they have to be European, mixed, etc, etc. This site is full of stereoptypes about real black people having no variation in looks.

  4. midori29 says:

    Pharrel looks 100 percent South African like a Nelson Mandela type. 100 black Africans can have his exact phenotype.

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