Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz's Love Story Is a Rom-Com Waiting to Happen
We may know Alicia Keys as a 15-time Grammy-winning artist and host of the award show’s 61st annual ceremony, but did you know that the Harlem-born singer is married and has two kids with producer Swizz Beatz?
If you grew up in the ’90s and early 2000s, you’ve likely heard Swizz’s work on your local radio station or feasted your eyes on some of the videos for the artists he collaborated with during TRL and 106 & Park‘s heydays.
However, there’s much more to know about the seasoned hit-maker. Below, we explore Beatz’s relationship timeline of Alicia Keys, his biggest tracks, and everything in between.
He’s a highly sought-after hip-hop producer.
Swizz Beats has disrupted the hip-hop game thanks in part to his long-term collaborative efforts with rap legend DMX on their instantly recognizable songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Party Up (Up in Here),” and “Get It on the Floor.” The lauded producer and songwriter has most likely worked with some of your faves including Whitney Houston’s “Million Dollar Bill” and four songs on Beyoncé’s B’Day album (“Get Me Bodied,” “Upgrade U” “Ring the Alarm,” and “Lost Yo Mind”). More recently, he appears on Lil Wayne’s upbeat 2018 hit, “Uproar.”
In addition to being featured on other artist’s songs, Beatz has also released a couple of albums of his own. His discography includes his 2007 solo debut, One Man Band Man, (which he co-produced and features Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, and Jadakiss), 2018’s Poison, and more.
With nine songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart alone–including Drake’s “Fancy” and Meek Mill’s “Ima Boss”–it’s safe to say Swizz’s discography is equally as impressive as his wife’s. For his musical efforts, Beatz earned six Grammy nominations, one of which resulted in a win (“On To The Next One” by Jay-Z).
They married in 2010 and have two sons together.
The couple tied the knot in July 2010 at their private home on the Mediterranean Sea, according to CBS News. Keys, who was pregnant with their first child at the time, wore a stunning asymmetrical gown by Vera Wang for the nuptials, while her hubby wore a tux with a white jacket by Tom Ford.
The duo welcomed their first child, Egypt Daoud Dean, on October 14, 2010, and their second child, Genesis Ali Dean, on December 27, 2014.
Beatz also shares an 11-year-old son, Kasseem “KJ” Dean, with his ex-wife, Mashonda Tifrere; an 18-year-old son, Prince Nasir Dean, with Nicole Levy; and daughter Nicole with Zhanna Andrianova.
They first crossed paths as teens.
Back in 2013, Keys paid a visit to Wendy Williams where she chopped it up with the self-proclaimed Queen of Daytime Television to discuss her marriage to Beatz and how the two met. Turns out, they crossed paths as teenagers back when Keys was 16 and Beatz was 17.
“A friend of ours that went to his high school was like, ‘Oh you gotta meet Swizz, and Alicia’s about to blow up and Swizz is doing his thing and maybe one day you’ll work together,'” she explained. Years later, she began to see him as more than a friend and found his intellect appealing.
“I think what happened was, he really got me when I saw how far his mind went,” she gushed. “He’s really, really intelligent and knows so many interesting things.” The singer added that “he knew all this stuff I had no idea about. I think that he loves to live life and he really showed me how to live life in a beautiful way.”
Before they were dating, Alicia Keys found Swizz Beatz “annoying.”
“Honestly, I didn’t really like him that much. I thought he was too ostentatious,” she told Marie Claire UK, per Us Weekly. “Swizz will have the fastest car, the biggest jewelry, the loudest jacket. Everything with him is really over the top. I used to see him and think, ‘He is so annoying.'”
She was so unamused with his antics that she avoided working with the noted producer, but she eventually succumbed. “I fought it tooth and nail. Why should I work with him? Finally, though, we did it and we had a ball,” she said.
Beatz’s ex-wife and Alicia are tight.
Before becoming Keys’ hubby, Swizz was previously married to singer Mashonda Tifrere. The pair wed in 2004, but announced their separation in in 2008, according to NY Daily News. Tifrere alleged that the producer and Keys were having an affair and confronted the “Fallin'” singer in 2009 via Twitter, according to Vibe.
Fast forward to 2018 and all three parties seem to have put the love triangle behind them. Mashonda is now the author of her novel Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, which includes a foreword written by Keys and a chapter penned by Beatz. “Time has a way of healing things, but we also had to heal ourselves,” she told People. “I’m using my own story as a testimony. It’s my divine purpose.”
He’s a Harvard grad.
In 2014, Dean enrolled in Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program, and shared the good news on Instagram, according to Billboard. “This might be one of the happiest days of my life🙏 From the BX to Harvard 🙏 #hardwork #dedication #levels #discipline #BX #makehistory #owner #Boss #humbled #formykids 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌,” he captioned the post.
After three years, Beatz graduated from the program in 2017 and posted a throwback photo of himself in a blue cap and gown. He wrote: “In life we must keep graduating until the end. When I say we must graduate I’m talking about on all levels not just school. This moment is special to me and my family because many people look up to me and they use my drive to thrive. 🙏🏽”
Beatz added that although he did not earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA), he wasn’t discouraged. “No one can EVER take this accomplishment away from me 🙏🏽,” he continued. “I was suppose to be gone a long time ago according to some of my old teachers 🙂 This one is for you! Blessings!🙏🏽 Never shoot people’s dreams down because you don’t have your own!!!!”
Keys was undoubtedly proud of her man, and shared a cute photo of the two together on his big day: “When your hubby graduates from Harvard Business School and you can’t stop looking at him in amazement!!!!!!🎉🎉🎉🤗🤗🤗”
He has a tattoo of Alicia Keys’ face.
During the previously mentioned sit-down interview with Wendy Williams, Keys also shared that her husband has a special tattoo of her face on his body. “This might sound strange but, I think the favorite gift he ever got me (was) he got a tattoo of me on his arm. Of my face. He hid it. It’s so beautiful. He mixed it with some of his favorite artists…It’s so pretty.”
Swizz is a patron of the arts.
Music isn’t the producer’s only passion. He and Keys have an impressive art collection in their home, with pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ernie Barnes, KAWS, Takashi Murakami, Kehinde Wiley, and more, according to Artspace.
In 2015, the Brooklyn Museum of Art named Beatz to its board of trustees and in 2017, the museum honored both Beatz and Keys by throwing the BK Artists Ball to celebrate their “support of art in all its forms, and dedication to making our world a better and more beautiful place.”
His fashion game is on point.
The hip-hop innovator isn’t afraid to show off his bold and eclectic sense of style, and the fashion set has taken notice and given their approval. Beyond partnering with athletic sportswear giant Reebok on the release of their Basquiat-inspired sneakers, Beatz has also collaborated with Mr. red bottoms himself, Christian Louboutin, and Swiss heritage house Bally on two capsule collections.
During an interview with Billboard, he discussed the folk art-inspired ready-to-wear, kicks, backpacks, and accessories he crafted in partnership with Spanish artist Ricardo Cavolo.
“It’s very important for art to be freedom of expression, and I didn’t want people to say this is only a hip-hop thing or only a black thing or only an Asian thing. I wanted people to feel like they can be part of it,” he said. “…We’re inspired by the world, not just our surroundings. When I started traveling decades ago, I started collecting art from all places from the world. When I look at art now, I see cultures and united ideals instead of peoples skin.”
He loves Aston Martins.
So much so, that for his big 40th birthday party, Alicia Keys surprised him with a tricked-out lime green model. Not a bad way to celebrate a milestone birthday. Watch the full surprise clip on TMZ below.
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