As time evolves, the rhetoric around what it means to be a successful woman has evolved with it. There’s no longer an implication of unworthiness if you’re unmarried, nor an impending doom that accompanies turning 30 without a child. Women around the world are reclaiming sovereignty, being career-driven, choicefully single and celibate or simply doing it all within their own timing. 51-year-old actress and fashion icon Tracee Ellis Ross stands as a living testament to being fully content in your own company, and we love her all the more for it.

Starring in the massive hit shows “Girlfriends” and “Black-Ish,” she’s made a name for herself outside her famous mother, Diana Ross. She’s openly spoken about her singlehood, claiming she only wants a relationship “if it betters her life,” not feeling like she needs one to be fulfilled. However, just because she’s single and thriving now doesn’t mean that she hasn’t had a fair share of bachelors in her roster. Here’s everything to know about Tracee Ellis Ross’ dating history and how she’s landed in the contentment of being.

Who is Bu Thiam?

ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 28: Bu Thiam and Tracee Ellis Ross attend the Watch The Throne concert after party at Reign Nightclub on October 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)

Ross’ last confirmed relationship was with former Def Jam executive Abou “Bu” Thiam, the older brother of singer Akon. From 2011 to 2013, the two appeared together at events with PDA to the max, very clearly in love. Though they continue to interact on social media, the two decided to split due to career commitments and maintaining responsibility for their busy schedules.

Reflecting on their split in 2016, he shared on The Breakfast Club, “Me and Tracee are going to be lovers forever. 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.” He continued, “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.”

Rumors With Kenya Barris

BLACK-ISH – The cast and crew of Walt Disney Television via Getty Images’s critically acclaimed hit comedy “black-ish” (Aaron Poole/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images) KENYA BARRIS, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

While this was only a rumor, the evidence does seem to be intriguing. Ross was rumored to be dating “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris back in 2020, shortly after Barris’s wife, Dr. Rainbow Barris, announced their divorce. Because Ross’s character on Black-ish was named after and inspired by his wife, it was collectively assumed there was some sort of romance brewing. Neither confirmed nor denied the romance rumor.

We Continue To Speculate

While these romances weren’t always explicitly confirmed, she was also linked with rapper Nas, actor Henry Simmons, comedian DeRay Davis and former NBA player Chris Webber. The world will only continue to speculate who was or currently has her heart, but that’s certainly none of her concern. Ross shared with ABC News in 2017 that she considers her love life “sacred” and “not for public consumption.” Amongst the many lessons we can learn in witnessing Ross, one remains blaring: there’s nothing wrong with desiring love, so long as you’re rooted in the truth that you will always be your own best company.