With the arrival of Kelly Rowland’s new baby boy Titan Jewell Witherspoon on Tuesday (Nov. 4), we at Singersroom got the baby rabies (hypothetically speaking), and started thinking about all the other R&B songstresses that also call themselves mommy. These divas seem to balance their music careers and motherhood effortlessly, (of course it helps when you have mucho coins and nannies, but I digress). Here’s a list of ten R&B moms who are still doing their thing and making hits.
If you know anymore R&B mamas doing their thing, feel free to add them in the comment section below!
10 rnb moms who hold their family down while making hits
Tamia and family
Tamia and now-retired NBA player Grant Hill have been married since 1999 (that’s 16 years!) and still going strong. The couple has two daughters, Myla Grace and Lael Rose, and Tamia has went on to earn multiple Grammy, Soul Train, Juno nominations, and release five studio albums, all while keeping her family together. This past August (2014), Tamia signed back with major label Def Jam Records for an upcoming, yet-to-be-titled album.
Jill Scott and son Jett
Ms. Jilly from Philly had her son Jett Hamilton Roberts in 2009. The relationship between Jett’s father (her drummer at the time, Li'l John Roberts) didn’t work out, but she continued her run of four albums, multiple tours, awards and nominations, even beginning an acting career in films like Why Did I Get Married 1 and 2, Get On Up, Steel Magnolias, Baggage Claim and the HBO TV series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
Repping for single moms everywhere.
Mariah and Dem Babies
Ahh, dem babies. In 2011, Mariah Carey and then-hubby Nick Cannon gave birth to fraternal twins Moroccan and Monroe. MC accomplished most of her music career highs before dem babies were born, (with two lesser-performing albums on the charts afterwards) but she still sits on top of the music world as a living legend, and now she was two young’uns to share it with. She’s currently on tour traveling the world and (despite talk of her vocal decline and a pending divorce) she’s having a blast while doing so, sharing memories with Roc and Roe in the process. (Like recently in Australia where she’s kickin’ it with kangaroos and koalas.)
Plus, she's worth $500 million…She ain’t worried ‘bout nothing.
Jhene Aiko and daughter Namiko
In the early 2000s, Jhene Aiko was a “seasoned” newcomer, having sung background for B2K, and featured on soundtracks for films such as Barbershop and You Got Served, but debut album, My Name Is Jhené, was shelved in 2003. Afterwards, she continued to get her music out via Myspace then had her adorable daughter Namiko in 2008 with Omarion's brother, R&B singer O'Ryan.You would think that would slow her down, but nah; she released Sailing Soul(s) in 2011, and the rest, they say, is history. The pint-sized songstress is enjoying success with her debut Def Jam LP Souled Out, earning a BET nomination and award and three 2014 Soul Train nominations for Best New Artist, Video Of The Year and The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter's Awards for “The Worst.”
It’s safe to say this mama is workin’ it!
Queen Bey, Blue Ivy and husband Jay Z
Not much to say here…simply put, Queen Bey makes motherhood look so fly! As one-half of the power couple with fellow mogul Jay Z, together they share cutie-patootie daughter Blue Ivy. Since having her daughter, Bey has performed at the 2013 Superbowl Halftime show (even causing a blackout!), went on 2 major tours (“Mrs. Carter Show World Tour”, “On the Run Tour”), released a surprise album, which went straight to No. 1(and now will get a special edition re-release), and is set to design a clothing line with TopShop.
Yeah, Bey is no doubt a power-mommy!
K. Michelle and son Chase
K. Michelle says a woman “Can’t Raise A Man” in her single, but that’s exactly what she’s doing with her 9-year-old son Chase. She is a tough coolie as portrayed on the harsh reality show “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” but she knows to shield him from the spotlight. As heard in her song “A Mother’s Prayer,” from her debut album Rebellious Soul, Michelle regards him as her biggest inspiration.
“The sacrifices I make while working are all with his better interest in mind. Being a mother is the most challenging and rewarding part of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she told Essence magazine earlier this year.
This busy mama is working on her sophomore project Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart (#AWBAH), which follows a 2013 NAACP award win for Best New Artist, her own headlining “Rebellious Soul” Tour, and opening for Ronin Thicke on his “Blurred Lines” Tour. She now has her own VH1 spinoff, “K. Michelle: My Life.”
Ciara and baby Future
Ciara broke on to the scene in 2004 with her successful debut album Goodies, and her soft voice and hot dance moves had many penning her as another Janet Jackson. She accrued much success on the charts with songs like “Ride” and “Body Party”.
After dating for approximately one year, singer Ciara and rapper Future welcomed baby Future Zahir Wilburn in June 2014 to the side eye of many. Since Future is a public figure, it’s well known he had multiple children by multiple mothers. Soon after Future’s birth, the couple split amid rumors he cheated. Even though Ciara endured rumors and heartbreak in the public eye, during the time she should feel the happiest and most blessed, she continues to push through the chatter. She’s now reported to be working with Polow Da Don and Diane Warren for her next album.
Brandy and daughter Sy'rai
Brandy Norwood encountered success as a teen; her debut self-titled LP solidified her as a vocal powerhouse, and her acting role as the title character for TV’s Moesha made her America’s sweetheart and a role model for young girls everywhere. Her duet with Monica, “The Boy Is Mine,” was an international smash. But that wholesome title was tested when the singer welcomed daughter Sy'rai in 2002. Unmarried, the singer lied to the public saying she was married to producer Robert Smith as to not compromise her Christian values. “I felt the pressure of having to be perfect and I was scared,” she told Oprah earlier this year.
Nonetheless, Brandy is respected as an R&B great, as she has won over 100 awards and sold over 30 million records worldwide. Other artists, including Erykah Badu, Rihanna, and Kelly Rowland cite Norwood as their musical inspiration. Along with continuing her musical legacy, she also stars in the hit BET dramedy “The Game.”
Tamar and son Logan
Tamar "Get Ya Life" Braxton has been living in her sister Toni Braxton's shadow for most of her life, but all she wanted to do was accrue her own spotlight. After a few failed record deals, she came up with the idea to have a reality show follow her and her family’s life. Enter WeTV’s “Braxton Family Values,” which introduced Tamar and her big personality to the world. In 2008, she married record producer/executive Vincent Herbert. She previously didn’t want kids, but in 2013, the couple welcomed little Logan, and that’s when things began to really take off for the youngest Braxton, as if Logan was a lucky charm.
Around the same time Tamar released her debut album “Love And War,” debuted her own spinoff show “Tamar & Vince,” embarked on the “Love in the Future” Tour with John Legend and “Black Panties Tour” with R. Kelly, headlined her own “Love And War Tour,” and now she’s prepping more music, while co-hosting “The Real” Talk show.
Whew! Busy mommy!
Fantasia with daugher Zion and son Dallas
Fantasia is an R&B mom who’s been through major highs and major lows.
When Fantasia Barrino won American Idol in 2004, she already was a young mother to her daughter Zion. As a talented vocalist from North Carolina, she was catapulted into the spotlight. Her debut studio album, Free Yourself, was released in November 2004, selling 2 million worldwide. Along with music, she released a memoir, The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life is Not a Fairy Tale, in which she revealed she was raped by a classmate and that she was functionally illiterate. However, she showed her acting chops in the made for TV adaption for Lifetime television in 2006, which is Lifetime's second most viewed program of all time. Tasia also took her acting talents to Broadway, playing Celie in The Color Purple.
As the accolades, awards, and opportunities poured in, Fantasia’s brand was tarnished when she received flack for dating Antwaun Cook, a married man and, ultimately, bearing their son Dallas Xavier Barrino in 2011. The birth cost her the role of a lifetime film, playing gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, but despite the flack, surviving a failed suicide attempt, she’s gone on to Side Effects of You hitting No. 1 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 2 on Billboard 200.