Everything We Know About Alicia Keys's Relationship with Husband Swizz Beatz
They had a bit of a complicated start.
In just a few days, Alicia Keys will take the stage as host of the 2019 Grammy Awards and, needless to say, we're pretty stoked. After all, whether you're a fan of her music — which has earned her 15 Grammy Awards — or simply cannot get enough of her makeup-free red carpet appearances, Keys is all the incentive needed to tune in.
“I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy," Keys said in a statement. "I'm so excited to be the master of ceremonies on the biggest night in music and celebrate the creativity, power and, magic."
People know a lot about the "Superwoman" singer's public life. But what about what happens behind the scenes? Like, what's the chatter about the tumultuous beginning she and husband Swizz Beatz faced when they first got together? Here's everything to know about Alicia Keys's relationship, including how she and Beatz found a pretty inspiring way to rise above the drama.
They met long before they were an item — and Keys wasn't a fan.
Keys and Beatz — whose given name is Kasseem Dean — met when she was 16 and he was 17. But it wasn't love at first sight. In fact, Keys told Marie Claire UK that she "didn't really like him that much" and thought he was "too ostentatious," according to Us Weekly.
"Swizz will have the fastest car, the biggest jewelry, the loudest jacket," she said. "Everything with him is really over the top. I used to see him and think, 'He is so annoying.'"
VIDEO: Favorite Alicia Keys Beauty Moments
But she had a change of heart.
Keys said after several failed attempts by her management team to get the pair to work together, she eventually found herself in the studio with the rapper — and they hit it off.
Soon enough Keys and Beatz were romantically linked and in 2009 he proposed. They were married in July 2010 on the French island of Corsica, Us Weekly reported.
Their union came with its share of drama.
When Keys, 38, and Beatz, 40, started dating in 2008, he was still married to his now ex-wife Mashonda Tifrere. Despite initial rumors that he left Tifrere in order to pursue Keys, the couple has denied the rumors, according to People. Regardless, Tifrere was outspoken about her ex's love life, a decision that the singer says she now regrets.
In her new book, Blend — which includes a forward by Keys — Tifrere writes about how she, Beatz and Keys were able to find a way to successfully co-parent. (Tifrere shares 11-year-old son, Kasseem “KJ” Dean, Jr. with Beatz.)
“It took two years into our blending to make it happen, but when we did it was like turning the light on,” Tifrere, who finalized her divorce from Beatz in May 2010, told People. “We realized we could minimize the impact on our children by reducing the conflict we had with one another. There were never any big blowouts. There were times when we didn’t fully agree, but we were all comfortable just letting it go.”
In a piece for Essence, Tifrere said the process wasn't easy.
"When the separation is new and raw, it’s difficult to imagine yourself having a friendship the new partner," she wrote. "It took years of healing for all parties involved and many openhearted conversations with my child’s co-parents before we reached a place of positivity and were able to move forward as a tight family unit. But it happened for us and it’s possible for everyone."
Keys also paid tribute to her blended family.
In October 2016, Keys took to Instagram to pay tribute to a new song about the family dynamic she has created with Beatz and Tifrere, writing: "My new song, 'Blended Family (What You Do For Love),' will be available everywhere at midnight. I'm so excited for you to hear this song. It means so much to me and our whole family. The understanding, compassion and support we’ve found is a powerful testament to the healing that comes when we choose love. Especially for the kids… the most important part of our lives."
Beatz and Keys have two children.
Just three months after they were married, Keys gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Egypt. In December 2014, Keys and Beatz welcomed a second son, Genesis Ali Dean.
In addition to his son with Tifrere and two with Keys, Beatz has two other children from previous relationships.
Beatz is Keys's biggest fan.
In an August 2018 Instagram post, Beatz posted a photo of himself and Keys during a trip to Egypt. He captioned the photo with some supportive words for Keys — and, really, women everywhere: "Attention all MEN. You shouldn’t be jealous or upset if you have a Queen that’s successful, Smarter or better than you! What you should do is thank the most high or step your game up! I can’t stand when I see brothers jealous of the lady they’re with that shit is very weak!!!!!"
It sounds like we know who will be cheering Keys on the loudest when she takes the stage on Sunday for music's biggest night. The 61st annual Grammy Awards will air live Sunday, Feb. 10 on CBS at 8.p.m ET from Los Angeles's STAPLES Center.