Six-time Grammy winner Jhené Aiko grew up in Los Angeles with multi-racial parents, and now as a mother, she’s proud to pass on her mixed heritage to her daughter.
Jhené’s mother is of Spanish, Dominican and Japanese descent, and her father is Black and Native American.
“We were all pretty mixed up. It was a big melting pot,” she tells Billboard about her family. “So I saw myself in so many different types of people.”
Aiko became a mother at 20 years old. Now her daughter, Namiko Love, is 13, and she inspires Jhené to talk about her diversified heritage.
“I think its important for people to share their stories in general. We should be sharing them to learn from one another rather than judge each other,” the “Wrap Me Up” singer says. “Especially because I have a daughter, I want her to see me live my life as my most authentic self so she can be inspired to do the same.”
The 33-year-old entertainer remembers as a child always begin asked about her racial identity.
“I would be like, I’m mixed. I’m a human,” she recalls. “I didn’t know the concept of being mixed yet. I would be confused when people asked.”
“I’ve never been ashamed to say my grandfather is Japanese, my grandmother is Black,” Aiko continues. “I think more so now it is such a sensitive time when it comes to race.”
As Jhené starts a new year, she’s full of pride in her ethnic background. “We love ourselves, we love our family, we love our roots. That’s what makes us who we are,” she declares.
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