Lionel Richie “Who Do You Think You Are?” Lionel, Nicole and Sophia source of photo with his ex wife Diane Alexander (Jewish) and their two children.

Nicole is adopted but these two children are not they are his biological kids. In tonight’s episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?”  Lionel Richie uncovers what so many other blacks know must be a part of their genotype: white grandparents somewhere in the family tree. He married a black woman first, and then this Jewish woman. Nicole also married a Jewish man Madden.  So that makes his kids Jewish and his son really looks Jewish too.

In tonight’s episode of Who Do You think You Are? Lionel is actually shown a photo of his grandfather. He looks biracial and he was educated and helped to lay the foundation of civil rights movement in this country.  Lionel is speechless. However, his great grandfather lived a long time, but died a pauper.

In the photo his great grandfather looks biracial, although they never utter that word. Strange because they later uncover that an 80 year old white man fathered a black child with one of his slaves Mariah.  This white man is now a part of Lionel Richie’s genes. That family name was Brown.  That was strange because it was obvious that his grandfather J. L. Brown was a proud, educated, biracial man. But he was born of the union of slavemaster and slave. They were both set free by the Dr. Brown or his son and lived with some freedom forbidden to other slaves. For example he was given two years of education. He could write and was literate.  An accomplished man in fact.

As I said in another post my great grandmother’s maiden name was also Brown, and she looked biracial or mixed.  But my maternal family is from Louisiana and Richie was born and raised in Chattanoga TN.

What did Lionel put on his kid’s birth certificates? Would love to know. As I said in my article “You are what you look like” he should put white.

Nicole’s biological dad is said to be Peter Michael Escovedo who is white of Hispanic origin but Nicole denies this. If the woman in the link is her mother, she’s white, then her dad was black or biracial.

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Posted on March 4, 2011, in Fame Depot, Homme depot, Jewish Market and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. .


    Here are more links regarding the multiracial
    lineage of Lionel Richie and his children.

    (It will NEVER cease to amaze me how it is possible for people
    of visibly mixed-race lineage — such as ‘Tom Joyner’, ‘Lionel
    Richie’, etc. — to display ‘shock’ at the “discovery” of the
    fact of inclusion of non-black bloodlines in their ancestry. o_O
    Some of these people truly deserve an ‘Oscar’ for
    their great performances at displaying this “shock”.). 😉



  2. Why should he put ..white?!??!?

  3. I don’t think Lionel was surprised that he had a European American ancestor. I think he did not expect to find a picture of him and for the physical characteristics to be so strong. Oviously he relates to his African ancestry and sees himself primarly as black or African American man, who takes pride in his African roots; even thou he has married a Jewish woman and had children with her.

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    It is amazing how ethnic groups attach themselves with an artist or someone famous when they are successful. It is no doubt the op is Jewish. Example Barack Obama before the criticism and right wing hate. The emphasis was on his white heritage and how he went to an Ivy League school. Now that he has fallen out of favor, his African heritage is now attacked. The mantra of we need to take our country back. From who aliens? Lionel Richie like many African Americans their heritage is scared with the rape of African female slaves. None, which was voluntary.

  5. I don’t agree with Lionel labeling his kids as white on their birth certificates because they are not white. Plus they don’t look white to me, they look biracial or octoroons to be exact.

    White is white not mixed not biracial unlike Black, if you’re black you can be mixed/biracial/multiracial etc. I’m not saying Lionel would put that on his kids bc I’m sure he knows better than that.

    I guess now things have changed because 44yrs ago on my BC, there was not a spot for babies race, they would just label parents race, so they labeled my mother as caucasion even though she’s mexican born in mexico but was very light and they labeled my father as negro.
    I came out looking more like my mom when i was born like most biracial children but by the time I was 9months I look more like my daddy =)

    They did not have a spot for newborns back then which I’m glad because I would want to label myself not my parents or anyone else.

    • Elizabeth pisani

      I agree completely. Being slowly if African decent is just that being solely of Caucasian or Mexican or any other race solely is just that, being mixed-bi-multi racial is being bi-multi racial. I have disdain for being grouped just one such as only African descent because that’s how my light tan skins appears to make me, when I am well over 50% Caucasian. I am proud of my heritage as a whole, intertwined not divided as half a person. I am 25 and we did not have a space for my ethnicity in BC I have the right to define my race by knowledge of self not by others perception of my skin tone.

  6. Black folks know we are mixed but why should we acknowledge ancestry that came from rape & sexual exploitation?

  7. Correction- Lionel grandfather was given to a confederated army officer (by his white 1/2 brother) as his slave/servant during the civil war. This is why blacks will never agree with the look white argument.

  8. Richie was raised in Tuskegee, Alabama.

  9. There are so many stories about Lionel Richie’s background until it is almost crazy! I’ve read one article saying that he was adopted by his parents who lived in Tuskegee, AL. I’ve also read that his mother was white and dad was Black but in those days mixed race relationship were forbidden and he was raised by someone else and this was in TN. Only Lionel knows the truth behind it all and as you all know he only start his private life living on the campus of TU about high school never mentioning his very early childhood. He’s more loyal to the people who actually raised him which are his adopted partents Lyonel & Alberta Richie. I can’t blame him for that. You much also remember the Lionel has a younger sister, Deborah who looks almost like caucasian. It’s his private and he has the liberty to pick and choose what he wants to share with the public. Maybe there is a lot that he doesn’t really know. Back in those days by sensitive things were not discussed with or among the kids. Since Lionel did not produce the show or was not the executive producer he had to do as he was directed and he got paid. But in my opinion his kids really don’t look anything like him. The 2nd wife claimed him as father divorced him for $20 mil and now with a white man who may well be the father of the two kids. However, I am a big LR fan and will be 4 life, but some things just don’t add up and many pieces to the puzzle are missing. Too bad our country is so color oriented that there is so much focus on race. If there is a place for race on a BC I really don’t think Lionel would be allowed to put “white”. Everybody knows who he is and that he is Black and a very nice African American man. He has always embaced his hertiage. Love you LR. God Bless.

  10. Elizabeth pisani

    This article is colorist at the most and racist/prejudice at the least. To say that an 80 ur old what man had a black child by his space is offense and excludes that child’s genetic makeup. Which is BIRACIAL. At the least later the author went to call Lionel richies great grandfather a proud educated biracial man…. That was better. However when he also said you are what you look like that wasIGNORANT. No we biracial I a multiracial person am what I know to be true and that’s the mix of ethnicities that reside in me. THAT IS BEING COLORIST AND PREJUDICE AND ITS OFFENSIVE. I have beautifully caramel/Mediterranean skin tone. I am genetically-scientifally proven to have more European ancestry which has been known to me without a test by the way my soul felt. As well as the fact I am able to trace my ancestry through immigration documents. I am west African from my father. AS MOST WHITES WOULD KNOW many people of African descent do not know what region or country they come from on that continent. The reason my family took the test was mostly to find out about that. THANKFULLY I KNOW NOW WHAT AMERICA TOOK AWAY FROM MY ANDRSTORS… THE RIGHT THEY TURNED TO PRIVILAGE OF KNOWING WHERE YOU COME FROM. And it’s offensive to say MOST BLACKS know that they are mixed with white as if all our slave ancestors were raped and had children by their masters. That’s rude. And I think this writer is out of touch.

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