Is Tracee Ellis Ross Dating Kenya Barris, the Creator of 'Black-Ish'?

Shannon Raphael - Author

Jun. 8 2022, Updated 3:21 p.m. ET

Tracee Ellis Ross
Source: Getty Images

In addition to being the daughter of music icon Diana Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross is best known for starring on the hit shows Girlfriends and Black-ish — the latter of which she received a Golden Globe for. The actress is wildly in-demand these days, and though that means the public is prying into her personal life, she's always been very private.

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Still, fans want to know: Who has Tracee dated? Is she dating anyone now? There have been some recent rumors. Let's get into it!

tracee ellis ross
Source: Getty Images
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Is Tracee Ellis Ross dating 'Black-ish' creator Kenya Barris?

Rumors began circulating in January 2020 that Tracee was dating Black-ish creator Kenya Barris. Kenya and his wife of 20 years, Dr. Rania "Rainbow" Barris, announced their intention to divorce in 2019. Interestingly, Tracee's character on the show was inspired by Kenya's wife.

The two never confirmed their supposed romance, but multiple sources allegedly told that they became an item after Kenya filed for divorce. However, in September 2020, Kenya and Rainbow reconciled, and Tracee remained on Black-Ish.

In May 2022, Black-ish aired its final episode, ending Kenya and Tracee’s working relationship. The following month, People reported that Kenya filed for divorce from Rania again, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Per court documents, he requested legal joint custody of their four minor children and intended to give his estranged wife spousal support.

But as for whether Tracee and Kenya are currently together? There are no reports indicating that the two are now an item.

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Tracee Eliss Ross and Kenya Barris
Source: Getty Images

Kenya Barris and Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross previously dated singer Akon's older brother, Abou "Bu" Thiam.

The only other person Tracee has been linked to in her decades-long career is music manager Abou "Bu" Thiam — and their romance was only confirmed after the pair had already broken up. Bu appeared on the radio show The Breakfast Club in 2016, where he discussed being amicable with the actress following their split.

While he didn't confirm when exactly they dated, Bu said that the two are on very friendly terms.

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"Me and Tracee are going to be lovers forever," he said on the show. "I really do believe that. Me and her have this genuine, unconditional relationship. Anybody that comes in my life, they have to know that and vice versa with her."

When asked why the two broke up, Bu claimed that he couldn't give his full efforts in the relationship.

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"I believe that being with somebody is ... like a real job. It's a real responsibility. She's in a place in her career where if I can't give her all of me, I don't want to waste her time or put her in that space," he continued. "Why not give her the opportunity to find someone else that can?"

When host Charlamagne tha God referred to Tracee as "top notch," Bu said that their relationship was special.

"Out of all the females that I've dated, and not to discredit all the other girls, because I've been with some good females in my life, she has to be one of the most unconditional, loving, spirited people," Bu said on the show.

He later joked that he tells the other women that he's dating that he might leave them for Tracee.

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Tracee is very private about her love life.

In an October 2020 cover story for Shape, Tracee declared she was “happily single” but wasn’t ruling out a relationship with the right person.

“That doesn't mean I am not open to and don't want a relationship,” she explained. “But, in my wonderful and robust experience of being single, I have learned to have a productive relationship with loneliness and an intensely juicy relationship with my joyful solitude — I really enjoy my company."

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The actress has never been married, and she's been candid in the past about wanting to keep her personal life private.

After winning her first Golden Globe Award in 2017, Tracee went on ABC News' Celeb 101 to discuss how her upbringing in the public eye led her to want to keep certain things to herself as an adult.

"I was born into a very public family and so I gained a relationship for myself to what is important... [and] what is sacred in my life," she explained on the show.

"I don't make a decision [that] 'I will never talk about my relationships' or anything like that. That's certainly not a decision that I've made or anything like that, but there are certain things that are sacred to me that are not for public consumption," she continued. "They are mine."

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