Happy Cinco De Mayo! Celebs You Didn’t Know Are Mexican

May 5, 2014  |  

For many Mexican Americans living here in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate their Mexican pride and heritage. While many of us who aren’t Mexican join in on the celebration, here’s a list of celebs that you may not have known that are actually Mexican, either by ethnicity or nationality.

Celebs You Didn't Know Are Mexican

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Taboo from Black Eyed Peas

As one fourth of the super group Black Eyed Peas, rapper Taboo has become an international superstar. Born to a Mexican American father and a Native American mother in Los Angeles, Taboo, real name Jaime Gomez, joined the group to replace one of its members. Black Eyed Peas went through a couple name changes and singer Fergie was brought in as the fourth member in time for their third album. Taboo began working on a solo album in 2008 but has said it will take some time to get his solo career off of the ground.

"Cassie Ventura pf"

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Cassie

She may be better known for who she’s romantically involved with than for being a singer, but Cassie emerged on the music scene with her hit song “Me & U,” which was written and produced by then boyfriend Ryan Leslie. Born to a Filipino father and a mother of African American, Mexican and West Indian descent, her career may have floundered but her personal life has never been better. For years, it was no secret that Cassie was dating Sean “Diddy” Combs but now the couple openly shares their relationship with each other on their social networking sites.

"Stacey Dash pf"

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Stacey Dash

Stacey Dash has been in the entertainment industry for a long time but she sure doesn’t look like it. Part Barbadian, Mexican and African American, Dash got her start on television in the mid 80’s. While she had a notable appearance in the Shawn and Marlon Wayans comedy Mo’ Money, it was her role as the self-centered, Beverly Hills spoiled, rich high school kid, Dionne, in the 1995 film Clueless that was her major break. The film spawned a television show of the same name and Dash reprised her role as Dionne Davenport for three seasons.

"KiD CuDi pf"

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KiD CuDi

Rapper KiD CuDi was born and raised in Ohio but he moved to Brooklyn to live with his uncle to pursue a career in music. Born to a Black mother and a father who was both Black and Mexican, CuDi, real name Scott Mescudi, was just 11 years old when his father passed away from cancer. This had a huge impact on his personality and then his music. Working at the BAPE clothing store, his life would forever change after he forgot to take the anti-theft device off of a young Kanye West’s jacket. Being evicted from his uncle’s place inspired his hit song “Day ‘n’ Nite.”

"Marques Houston pf"

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Marques Houston

Marques Houston got his first taste of stardom and fame at a young age. He was one-third of the R&B boy band Immature, which was formed in 1992 (later changing its name to IMx). The group also appeared in several movies together before Houston left the group to pursue a solo career. As an actor, Houston may be best known as Roger Evans from the sitcom “Sister, Sister.” His most recent album was released last summer. Houston’s mother, who was Mexican American, passed away from lymphoma in 1997.

"Lupita Nyong’o pf"

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Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o was actually born in Mexico City, Mexico to Kenyan parents. Following Luo tradition to name a child after the events of the day, her parents named her Lupita, a diminutive of Guadalupe. Nyong’o’s father was a visiting lecturer at a prestigious college in Mexico City at the time of her birth and she returned to Kenya with the rest of her family before she turned a year old. After graduating from Hampshire College, the 31-year old completed her master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama before snagging her first feature film in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. Her first major role earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

"Louis CK pf"

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Louis C.K.

Funny man Louis C.K. has been in the entertainment business for decades but in the last few years, he has seen his popularity reach an all time high. The 46-year-old comedian was born in Washington D.C. but lived in Mexico City with his family until the age of seven. C.K.’s father was born in Mexico and much of the family on his father’s side still resides there. C.K.’s first language was Spanish and he still retains his Mexican citizenship. The fourth season of his hit show “Louie” begins later this month.

"Fergie pf"

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Stacy Ann “Fergie” Ferguson

The Black Eyed Peas went through a couple name changes and a switch up in its line-up before finding the winning formula with its four current members. Rapper Taboo isn’t the only one in the super group that is of Mexican descent. In addition to being part Irish, Scottish, English and Native American, 39-year-old married mom of one, Fergie, is also part Mexican, from her great-grandmother. Fergie released her debut solo album in 2006 and after taking some time off to start a family, she is slated to release a follow up album later this year.

"Nicole Richie pf"

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Nicole Richie

Although she has music in her blood, Nicole Richie has never released an album. Part, African, Mexican, Creole and Spanish, Richie’s biological father played percussion for numerous artists including Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie and Tina Turner. Hr aunt is famed percussionist Sheila E. When she was just three years old, her parents sent her to live with Lionel Richie and his then wife because they could no longer afford to financially provide for her. The socialite turned businesswoman is now a married mother of two.

"Eva Longoria pf"

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Eva Longoria

She may be small in stature but she certainly stood out as part of the cast of ABC’s hit show “Desperate Housewives.” Eva Longoria was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas to Mexican American parents. After winning the title of Miss Corpus Christi, USA in 1998, Longoria headed to Los Angeles. She was a regular on the soap opera “Young & the Restless” for two years before getting her big break as Gabrielle Solis on “Desperate Housewives.” Longoria partnered with the show’s creator for his next hit and is now one of the executive producers of Lifetime’s ”Devious Maids.”

"Shar Jackson pf"

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Shar Jackson

Despite having her own career, Shar Jackson is perhaps more known by those who read the gossip mags than people who watched her on television. For six years, Jackson played the best friend to Brandi’s Moesha on the hit sitcom of the same name. Born in Boston to a Black mother of Native American descent, Jackson’s father was Spanish, both Puerto Rican and Mexican. She ended up in the headlines after the father of her two young children, back-up dancer Kevin Federline, left her for pop singer Britney Spears. Jackson reprised her role as Niecy for the spin-off show “The Parkers” but she only appeared on the show for two episodes before the part went to Countess Vaughn.

"Mitt Romney pf"

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Mitt Romney

He came up short during his run for the highest office in the land in large part because a lot of people thought he couldn’t identify with the average citizen. Even though he was born here in the U.S., Romney’s father was actually born across the border in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico. After a successful and profitable career in the private sector, Romney was the governor of Massachusetts for four years before deciding to run for president. Since his loss, Romney has kept a low profile.

"Miguel pf"

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Miguel

From a young age, singer Miguel always knew he’d be an entertainer. At five years old, Miguel, who was born to a Mexican father and Black mother, wanted to be a dancer but by the time he became a teenager, the California native was writing and performing his own songs. He recorded his debut album “All I Want Is You” but it wasn’t released until two years later. Miguel is currently working on his third album with legendary producer DJ Premier.

"Esperanza Spalding pf"

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Esperanza Spalding

A relative unknown, Esperanza Spalding became a household name after winning the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist, beating out Justin Bieber and Drake while simultaneously making history by becoming the first jazz artist to win that award. Born to a Black father and a mother of Mexican descent, the 29-year-old has admitted she does not know her exact ethnic make up. “My mom had me late and grew up in a culture where diversity wasn’t exciting, like it is now,” she said. “Her family didn’t make a big effort to embrace and pass on their inherited lineage stories.” Trying to make up for lost time, Spalding has always had an interest in music from other cultures and even sings some songs in Portuguese.

"Kat Von D pf"

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Kat Von D

Kat Von D is a world famous tattoo artist who was featured on the reality show “L.A. Ink” but few know that the 32-year-old television personality was actually born in Mexico. Her missionary parents moved Kat Von D and her family to Colton, CA when she was just four years old. Crediting her grandmother for her inspiration in music and art as well as the Latino culture in L.A., Von D got her first tattoo at the tender age of 14 and quit high school two years later to follow her dream of becoming a tattoo artist. Von D began dating fellow reality star Jesse James in 2010 and was even engaged to Sandra Bullock’s ex-husband for six months before they split up.

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  • Tired of lies

    In regards to people born in Mexico
    The Mexican Constitution states that Mexicans Citizens by birth are:[1]
    persons born in Mexican territory regardless of parents’ nationality or immigration status in Mexico
    persons born abroad of a Mexican Citizen born in Mexico
    persons born to an individual after that person has become a naturalized citizen of Mexico
    individuals born on Mexican merchant- or Navy ships or Mexican-registered aircraft, regardless of parents’ nationality
    children born to Mexican Diplomats or Ministry of Foreign Affairs Personnel working overseas

  • geisga

    being half black and half mexican doesn’t make you “mexican” you can’t just CHOOSE to ignore the other half of their race and being “born” in a specific place doesn’t MAKE you that nationality, otherwise half of all military kids wouldn’t be “american”

  • ShawnCurtisLacey

    What the point? According to professor Gates of Harvard University and a historian from Mexico, more Africans went to Mexico than the USA. Also, I learned years ago that thousands of black American soldiers marched in Mexico and never returned.

  • ButterfliesNFairies

    Please stop with the Lupita is Mexican c r a p! They hate black people over there.

  • Jasmine Traylor

    And uh… Kat Von D is Argentinian.

  • Jasmine Traylor

    Who didn’t know that Eva Longoria is Mexican American?

  • williaml

    LOL! A couple months ago many of these people were Black.
    Most of them have the Coco Gene, that makes them Black.
    Besides that, they are Not Mexican unless they were born in MEXICO.
    If they are born in America, they are American

  • editos

    You guys are missing Anthony Quinn, Ricardo Montalban (fantasy Island and Kahn), Zalma Hayek, Santana

  • notconvincedgranny

    A lot of these are a stretch…Elastigirl can’t snap back from some of these.

  • ShawnCurtisLacey

    YOU CANNOT BELIEVE THIS LIE! Nicole Richie has zero Mexican blood! Her African American mother is the one who gave Lionel to him. Her father is the brother of Shelia E as they state. Shelia E is afro Cuban an their Cuban father is a famous percussion player. Lionel Richie and Nicole went on Oprah, and he told her everything as she hounded him for cheating on Brenda!

    • Gert

      Nicole Richie was born in Berkeley, California, and has Afro-Mexican, Creole, and Spanish ancestry. (This is what is listed on her official bio page)

      Sheila E is of Mexican and Creole Descent. I have watched plenty of Sheila E interviews and she has made this quite clear.

      • ShawnCurtisLacey

        You are an idiot plain and simple! I know Nicole’s mother is black, and her father’s mother is black, so where are you getting 100 different flavors from? Lionel never had a Mexican female backup singer in 1982; she was African American 100%. The only way she can have all these things is if the grandfather on the father side is Mexican, Creole and Spanish. We all have several ethnics, so hearing all this bull means absolutely nothing Only an idiot would try to tell Lionel Richie that he is wrong because they got information from a computer! Should I tell you the number of times that I have gotten the wrong information. Mexicans do not play bongos and congas and sing African style music. Surely, her grandfather would have sung some Mexican music if he was Mexican, right? Mexicans have never honored him or claimed him like they have Carlos Santana, so maybe we should listen to Lionel who actually knows.

        • Gert

          1. Where is my comment, did it call for you to be disrespectful in your tone.
          2. Where in my comment, did I say anything about Nicole’s mother…whether she is black or not.
          3. What does a musical instrument, have to do with someone’s DNA make-up.
          4. Sheila has verbally spoken about her heritage, I think I would listen to HER first before I take the words of someone with no common sense who likes to spit out foolishness on a web-site.
          5. I could care less who sang for lionel Ritchie or what he said about anything, at the end of the day he is not her biological father nor is he related to neither one of her biological parents.
          6. Your argument makes no sense, AFRO “which means of African descent…which means black.
          so what is your argument, because I stated the nationality of her aunt and father, never about her mother.

          • notconvincedgranny

            Let’s not feed the troll anymore.

            • Gert

              You’re right, fools are just ignorant…

        • latinoeastbay

          so many idiots here, nicole is not really NICOLE, she is Nicolaza Rios de los matamoros de sevilla emblematica del campo de oro, and she was born from her mother Anapancleata de los mores del santisimo celestial. in Mexico city.

          • ShawnCurtisLacey

            You might want to tell that to her mother, who was a backup singer for Lionel Richie. Her father was also in his band. I am sure they would be glad to hear that you know more than they. Even her biological aunt, Sheila E would be glad to hear this news!

  • Maile00

    No wonder Shar’s kids with Kevin looked Latino

    • ButterfliesNFairies

      Ummmmmm, what do you think Latinos are?

  • rainydaze80

    I’m confused about shar jackson’s father. was he spanish, puerto rican and mexican or just puerto rican and mexican? Anyway, cinco de mayo has nothing to do with celebrating mexican pride and heritage. Its just an american marketing holiday to sell mexican beer and tequila.

    • ShawnCurtisLacey

      She is Rican, but they have everyone as being Mexican. Nicole’s father is Afro Cuban, and her mother is black. She was Lionel’s backup singer.

  • yasmeen

    Bajan – not Barbadian!

    • c.lux56

      Both are acceptable terms to describe people from Barbados.

  • Chanda

    Also Linda Carter “Wonder Woman” is half Mexican as well as Catherine Bach “Daisy Duke”, and Demi Moore but I guess that’s too old school for you whippersnappers.
    I’m surprised there’s no Nicole Richie background arguments yet. I guess this post cleared that up lol..

    • ShawnCurtisLacey

      Yes there is! Lionel made it clear on Oprah that her mother was his backup singer and an Afro-Cuban man who is the brother of Shelia E. Shelia E and her famous father are both Afro Cubans. I do not know where the Mexican comes in because his backup singer was black.

      • Chanda

        Sheila E. and her siblings are Mexican and Creole. It’s mentioned a number of times on her Unsung special.

        • ShawnCurtisLacey

          There is always a dumbass who knows more than the folk that actually knows. Since when does a Mexican plays the Cubans drums like her father did as well as she? So Lionel Richie DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT HIS BAND MEMBERS OR HIS DAUGHTER? This computer stuff is way off and is always wrong when it comes to someone ethnicity because they basically are guessing. Lionel Richie showed Nicole’s real father, for she has met him. Lionel Richie says he is Cuban, which is what I already knew. Do you think I will believe you over Lionel who knows? This web told me that Porsha was 41 years old until I found out she is 31. It said that Nicole mother is Mexican. Lionel did not have a Mexican backup singer but a black female singer.

          • notconvincedgranny

            Huh? Talent is talent – it has nothing to do with where a person is born. If Sheila Escovedo says she is Mexican and Creole, who are you to dispute it on the basis of their musical talent? And again, Cuba is a place, therefore being born there makes you a Cuban national. Don’t confuse ethnicity and nationality; there are black people born in France, and are therefore French.

            • ShawnCurtisLacey

              Give it a rest because you are all over the place. I go by what Lionel Richie who knows not an idiot’s opinion which is a dime a dozen! What are you going to do make Nicole be what you want her to be, for she stated that she is black on her show with Paris Hilton. Again, what part of being who you are and not worry about someone else? Besides, have you seen Nicole’s picture as a little girl before she started bleaching the skin and straightening and dying the hair. Until you do, stop the BS!

            • williaml

              some time ago they said Shelia E was Black.
              She does have the Coco Gene and that would make her Black but the bottom line is None of This Matters.
              I can find myself at an all you can eat Taco Bar Any day 🙂

        • Gert

          Yes, she has and in other interviews as well….

    • williaml

      LOL!
      How can anyone be Half something?
      This is not Star trek.
      Remember the episode where the half white was fighting the half black?
      This is like the guys in the Sonic commercial with all of the different flavors.
      Its all Good.

  • GTFOH

    y’all are seriously reaching with Lupita….

  • please

    Eva Longoria is the only one that THIS country would consider Mexican and she is American

  • TruthOnly

    Being born in Mexico does not make you ethnically Mexican…

    • Jen

      Thank you!

      • Facts

        Right!! when it said Lupita I was like err pause, lets be clear she’s Kenyan smh

        • Chanda

          Lupita’s Kenyan but Nationally she would be Mexican.

        • ShawnCurtisLacey

          Born in Mexico, not Kenya!

          • Mimi

            Lol, the comments. All I need is popcorn!

        • ShawnCurtisLacey

          Let it be clear; she is Mexican with Kenyan parents. She was born in Mexico and has a Mexican birth certificate.

    • bvictorian

      And that’s why the intro reads, “either by ethnicity or nationality.”

      • ZeroFuxGiven

        <3 <—– for you, I was going to comment the same thing.

    • k

      Yes I was confused like Lupita, Mitt and Kat Von D aren’t mexican and really none of them except for Eva.

    • Katiopa

      Mexican is a nationality NOT an ethnicity.

      • Sigh

        “Mexican” is a nationality AND an ethnicity.

        • ShawnCurtisLacey

          Surely, you are brighter than this? Is American an ethnicity? There are several ethnic groups living in Mexico; it is no different than being in NYC with all of its different groups.

    • Faith

      Thank you. I was wondering why they would list some of these people who were born and lived in Mexico be part Mexican? I must have missed it, I thought you have to have parents that are Mexican. Some of these people should have not made this list.

    • notconvincedgranny

      It does mean your nationality is Mexican.

    • Nah

      You know Mexico (like many Latin American countries) is diverse like America, right? Being born in Mexico DOES make you Mexican. Ethnicity doesn’t really matter here.

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