Alicia Keys is a legend in the music world with 15 Grammy Awards, a history of impressive collaborations (Eminem, Drake, and Jack White are just a few artists she's worked with), and, now, a chance to host the 2019 — and now 2020 — Grammy Awards. Her career is fascinating, so it may not surprise you to learn Alicia Keys' relationship with husband Swizz Beatz is just as spellbinding. Theirs is a story of lust, drama, healing and, ultimately, a seemingly unbreakable love. But to understand where they are today, let's take a look at their history.
The not-so-cute meet-cute
Keys and Swizz Beatz (née Kasseem Dean) met when they were teenagers in the '90s, just as she was kick-starting her illustrious career. While the two are madly in love now, Keys told Marie Claire U.K. that at the time, she couldn't have been less interested.
"Honestly, I didn't really like him that much," she told the magazine in 2013. "I thought he was too ostentatious. Swizz will have the fastest car, the biggest jewelry, the loudest jacket. Everything with his is really over the top. I used to see him and think, 'He is so annoying.'"
Tell us how you really felt!
The beginning of the relationship drama
Swizz Beatz's eccentric personality eventually grew on Keys, and the two were rumored to have started dating in 2008. Unfortunately, not everything was rosy at the beginning of their romance.
At the time, Swizz Beatz was still married to his first wife, Mashonda Tifrere, with whom he shares one son, Kasseem Dean, Jr. Though he claimed he and Tifrere were separated, she told quite another story. In 2009, Tifrere accused Keys of "destroying a family" in a lengthy Twitter post.
"My concern with [Alicia Keys] is no longer the fact that she assisted in destroying a family but that she has the audacity to make these selfish comments about love and wanting to be with someone, even after knowing their situation," she wrote, according to Vibe. "I feel that after [one] and a half years of you hiding this affair and acting like it [doesn't] exist, that now is the time to confront it, since you talk so openly about it now... You have no idea how much pain I was caused because of this affair."
Of course, Keys dating Swizz Beatz wasn't the only drama. He had a brief affair with Jahna Sebastian (née Zhanna Andrianova) and learned in 2008 that he'd fathered a daughter, Nicole, as a result. (Additionally, he had a child with another woman, Nicole Levy, in 2000, which some note was after he'd been dating Tifrere.)
The wedding bells
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@therealswizzz Cheers to 8 year my love!!!! WOW! US! This LOVE!!! So amazing!! So infinite! So powerful! So electric!! It’s been the best 8 years of my LIFE!! I can only imagine the greatness the future holds!! Thank you for showing me what life is, what love is, what dreams are ? ? ? in infinite and endless awe and love!!!
His messy past didn't deter Keys from "Fallin'" in love with him, however. The two got officially announced their engagement in May 2010 and Keys and Swizz Beatz got married just two months later. In October, the two welcomed their first child together, Genesis Ali.
The blended family
Today, things are much calmer for the pair and their entire blended family. In fact, things are going so well that Tifrere published a book titled Blend with help from her ex and Keys. The three sat down with ABC's Nightline last fall and discussed how they overcame their struggles to create a loving family environment for their children.
"It wasn’t easy. It was a rollercoaster ride," Tifrere said of their journey. "A lot of prayer, a lot of meditation."
The hard work was worth it, as Keys says she and Tifrere are closer than ever.
"We love each other. We hang out with each other. We go to dinner together," Keys said. "Our family is one big, beautiful family... It is a beautiful partnership. I'm very, very proud of that. It's a real thing, and it's possible."
The book may have even been inspired by Key's 2016 song, "Blended Family," in which she sang about the importance of supporting all of her step-children.
The loving, supportive home
Today, the couple supports each other emotionally and professionally, from defending one another from internet trolls to Swizz Beatz cheering Keys on before she hosts Music's Biggest Night on Feb. 10.
"There's a lot that goes into actually running a show. It makes me actually appreciate the Grammys a little bit more," he told Market Watch. "We can sit and watch and judge from the side, but the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes — they got all my respect. To take that show, and for her to twist it her way and just watch all the creative and be apart of the creativity has been monumental. It's going to be big. We've got some surprises happening. Here she comes."
May the couple continue to shine together, and may "No One" get in the way of how they feel for each other.
Genesis' big Grammys moment
Keys and Beatz's son, Genesis, was sitting in the audience while his mom hosted the 20202 Grammys. Alicia Keys sweetly pointed out 5-year-old Genesis' attendance, reminding us all just how much she loves her baby boy.