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Tatyana Marisol Ali was born on January 24, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother Sonia was a nurse from Panama, while her father Sheriff Ali is a retired New York police detective of Trinidad East Indian descent. Tatyana grew up in Long Island and started singing when she was only four years old. The bright star appeared on Star Search twice at age seven. She won both times and even received a full four-star rating on her second appearance. Tatyana's breakthrough role came on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as Ashley Banks. At the age of eleven, Tatyana and her family moved to Hollywood to be closer to the recording studios and to facilitate her career. The young actress soon demonstrated her vocal talents on the popular show. She sang in several episodes; the most important ones being her rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and her performance of the original song "Make up Your Mind". She was so remarkable that co-star Will Smith actually approached her and asked if she has ever thought of moving her singing hobby to a more serious level. Tatyana began preparing for her singing career during the last year of the show as she began training her vocal chords, recording demos, and publicly performing on television and in various informal live concerts. Her performances in The Fresh Prince actually helped her build a fan base that anxiously waited for her first album launch. Tatyana's debut single, "Daydreamin" was a surprising success as it set the tone for a promising career both on television and on the music scene. Her single was certified Gold within weeks of its release and it quickly rose into the Billboard 100 Hot Singles, where it peaked at number six for two weeks. Her die-hard fans believe that "Daydreamin" was the weakest song of her album and think her popularity will skyrocket once other songs of her album would be released. Tatyana's career was impressively smooth, as it would be if she were to become a star. At the age of four, she started acting on Sesame Street just weeks after she begged her mom to audition for it. She went on to perform in many productions in her native New York, including the Broadway show Fences with James Earl Jones and later Billy Dee Williams, and the off-Broadway show Orfeo del Campo. Tatyana also contributed in major movies such as Crocodile Dundee II and Eddy Murphy's Raw. While filming The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, she also had interesting side projects, including guest roles in television shows such as the Cosby Show, The Mickey Mouse Club, Kyno's Storytime, Are you Afraid of the Dark?, and the television movie Mr. Foster's Field Trip. Since then, she has had large roles in two movies: Fall into Darkness and Fakin da Funk, a feature film from 1997. She has also guest starred in several sitcoms, including In the House, and had a cameo role in the film Kiss the Girls. As for her private life, she had a much-publicized relationship with Jonathon Brandis, known for his role in Seaquest. She is now single, since most of her time is committed to her music career, as she explains, "Probably now I would make a horrible girlfriend because I'm always traveling, so I'd never do that to anyone." In September 1998, Tatyana began her life as a Harvard University freshman with an anthropology major. She wants to expand her knowledge and says that going to school is the only way she won't remain mentally the same five years from now. She is ambitious, hard working and there is no doubt that a long career is in her cards. Let's keep our eyes open to see where she takes her music, and in what other fields she decides to expand her career.
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Tatyana Ali 
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