EXCLUSIVE: Sheila E. On Nicole Richie: “She’s Mexican—It’s In Her Blood”

Because Nicole Richie was raised by an adoptive father (soul singer Lionel Richie), and his then-wife Brenda Harvey—but her biological parents are musician named Peter Michael Escovedo and her Aunt Sheila Escovedo's then executive assistant named Karen—people always wonder if the socialite/reality star identifies as Latina. Iconic Mexican percussionist Sheila E (and Nicole's Titi)answered that very question exclusively for Latina.com last week.

How are you related to Nicole Richie?

She’s my niece—my brother’s daughter.

A lot of people want to know: does Nicole identify as Latina?

Yeah—she’s Latin, because my brother’s Mexican and my dad is Mexican and she’s Mexican. It’s in her blood.

So she identifies as Latina just like you do?

Yeah. She knows what she is. Absolutely. She’s an Escovedo. But again, she didn’t grow up speaking Spanish. She didn’t learn it.

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So what do you think? Is Nicole Richie Latina?