Rozonda Thomas

Chilli tlc

Rozonda Thomas in 2012, photo by PR Photos

Birth Name: Rozonda Ocielian Thomas

Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 27, 1971

Ethnicity: African-American, as well as 1/16th Bengali Indian, 1/16th African-Antiguan, possibly Native American

Rozonda Thomas, also known as Chilli, is an American dancer, singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. She is a member of the R&B/hip hop girl-group TLC, with Lisa Lopes and Tionne Watkins, replacing original member, and co-founder, Crystal Jones. The group was managed by Perri “Pebbles” Reid.

She is the daughter of Ava Thomas and Abdul Ali. Her great-grandfather’s brother was singer Bardu Ali. Rozonda has a son with her former partner, producer Dallas Austin.

She is African-American, and also has a Bengali Indian great-great-grandfather and an African-Antiguan great-great-grandmother.

Rozonda has been described as having Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

Rozonda’s paternal grandfather was Arfien Joseph Ali (the son of Arfien/Arfin Ali and Lucille/Lucile Lyons). Rozonda’s grandfather Arfien was born in Louisiana. Rozonda’s great-grandfather Arfien was born in Mississippi, and was the son of Moksad Ali, a Bengali Muslim trader, who was born in Hooghly, West Bengal, India, and of Ella Blackman, an African-American. Rozonda’s great-grandmother Lucille was the daughter of William Lyons and Lottie Green.

Rozonda’s paternal grandmother was Margaret Augusta Lane (the daughter of Clifford Lane and Augusta M. J. Bennett). Margaret was born in New York. Augusta’s father, Edmund Robert Bennett, was born on Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, and was a bishop of the African Orthodox Church. Augusta’s mother, Marguerite Fields, was born in Iowa.

Lisa Lopes and TLC

Rozonda Thomas (left) with Tionne Watkins and Lisa Lopes in 1995, photo by Prphotos

Sources: Rozonda Thomas meeting her father’s family –

Rozonda’s paternal grandfather, Arfien Joseph Ali, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Rozonda’s paternal great-grandparents, Arfien/Arfin Ali and Lucille/Lucile Lyons –

Rozonda’s paternal great-grandfather, Arfien/Arfin Ali, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Information on Rozonda’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Moksad Ali and Ella Blackman –

Rozonda’s paternal great-grandmother, Lucille/Lucile Lyons, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Rozonda’s paternal great-great-grandparents, William Lyons and Lottie Green –

Rozonda’s paternal grandmother, Margaret Augusta Lane, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

160 Responses

  1. Multiethnicchick says:

    So sick of Americans and their racism. Chili is not just African American. She’s mixed race. Wiki has no issue saying she’s bengali and Arab

    • Oaken05 says:

      This is literally ALL you do on this site. You don’t have to share you misery with us in EVERY. SINGLE. POST. You have issues you need to work on; we are not your therapist.

  2. History Guy says:

    Her paternal line is thoroughly mixed. African/European/South Asian. Her dad descends from multi-generational, African/European, and possibly, small amounts if Native American admixtures, but definitely African/European/South Asian.

  3. Ava900 says:

    Why is she listed as African-American and not Indian-American? Her ethnicity is what she identifies as.

  4. bablah says:

    You can take out Middle Eastern. Her own father denied it.

  5. savanna says:

    She met her father and his family in 1996.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.