Tatyana Ali (born January 24, 1979 in North Bellmore, New York) is an American actress and R&B singer. Ali is of mixed Afro-Latino and Indian descent; her mother, Sonia Ali, is an Afro-Latino from Panama and her father Sheriff Ali is an Indo-Trinidadian from Trinidad and Tobago. Ali herself is a native of Long Island, New York. She is fluent in English and Spanish but can speak some phrases in Hindi.
At the age of four, Ali began singing. By age seven, she won the Star Search television contest two times. Her breakthrough came when she was cast as Ashley Banks for the popular television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She sang on various episodes of the show, and Will Smith asked her if she seriously considered pursuing a musical career. Despite her singing ability, she concentrated on her acting career on Fresh Prince the next few years.
In the penultimate season of Fresh Prince, Ali began preparing herself for her musical debut. The result was the album Kiss The Sky, which peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned the hit song Daydreamin'.
Ali once dated American actor Jonathan Brandis (died 2003).
In 2002, she graduated with a bachelor's degree from Harvard University. Soon after, she found relative difficulty getting back into show business. But as of 2005, she completed work on the film Glory Road and is recording her sophomore album.