Alicia Keys, her husband, and her husband’s ex-wife opened up during a joint interview about their ‘blended’ family — and the sometimes difficult path they had to walk to all become true life partners to one another.
The singer, 37, tied the knot with her husband Swizz Beatz, 40, in 2010. Together, they have two children:
Swizz, a rapper and music producer, previously had three children with three different women: Prince, 17, with Nicole Pierce; Kasseem Dean Jr., 11, with his ex-wife Mashonda Tifrere, 40; and Nicole, 10, with Jahna Sebastian.
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Family: Alicia Keys, 37, her husband Swizz Beatz, 40 and his ex-wife Mashonda Tifrere, 40, all appeared on Good Morning America together on Wednesday
History: Mashonda (left) and Swizz (right) have a son named Kasseem Dean Jr., 11, who they co-parent with Alicia (center left). The foursome is pictured in New York on Monday
Mashonda has now written a book titled Blend that documents her, Alicia’s, and Swizz’s path to finding balance together as ‘one big beautiful family’, as Alicia put it during an interview on
‘We love each other. I mean, we hang out with each other. We go to dinner together,’ Alicia told GMA host Michael Strahan, 46.
‘We’re doing Thanksgiving, we’re doing the holidays. It is a beautiful partnership. And that is really, really special. I’m very, very proud of that. It’s a real thing and it’s possible.’
Things weren’t always as easy for the family. Swizz and Mashonda tied the knot in 2004 and got divorced in 2010. The proceedings were finalized not long before Swizz married Alicia that same year.
Mashonda and Swizz had a sour relationship for a while after a complicated divorce, which took a toll on their son Kasseem.
Children: Swizz (pictured with Alicia) has two children with the singer: Egypt (second from left), seven, and Genesis (front), three. He also has a daughter named Nicole (left), 10. His son with Mashonda, Kasseem, is pictured right
Siblings: Swizz (left) is pictured with his sons Egypt (second from left), Prince (third from left), 17, and Kasseem (right)
‘He was, you know, acting out in his own little way,’ Mashonda said. ‘He had some issues in school… He wanted to know why I couldn’t go see him at his dad’s, and why can’t his dad come over and see his bedroom at our house.’
For Mashonda, that was a sign she and Swizz needed to ‘do better’ and build a better relationship together, so that their son wouldn’t be put in a difficult situation.
With her book, which includes a foreword by Alicia and a chapter by Swizz, Mashonda wanted to give an honest account of how the trio had to work together to form a successful partnership.
‘[People] see us here now, loving each other, co-existing and getting along, but there’s a whole middle that they didn’t see,’ she said.
‘And that’s where we all put the work in on ourselves individually. We worked on our relationship. We healed. We healed our children. We gave them an opportunity to see us growing. And that’s the real blend.
‘That healing is the first step to blending.’
Dad: Swizz has five children total: Prince (center), 17, Kasseem (back), 11, Nicole (right), 10, Egypt (left), seven, and Genesis (front), three
Partners: Mashonda and Alicia both spoke fondly of each other in an interview in which they described how they came to find balance as a family
Alicia explained how setting ‘ground rules’ enabled the family to start building a better relationship.
‘Just allowing everybody to have a moment to speak. Not interrupting each other,’ she said. ‘Really praying before we started, so that we can create beautiful energy between us.’
Mashonda eventually invited Alicia to Kasseem’s sixth birthday party, which she now thinks of as a ‘pivotal moment’.
‘We had already been doing a lot of the work as far as communicating and really consciously trying to get to a new level of humanity with each other,’ she said.
‘So by the time that was transpiring, we were in a really great place. And I felt like, you know: “I really — I want Alicia to be here.”
‘And not only did she come, but she stayed until the end of the party, and that moment was our first time really hanging out together as a family. And our son saw that and his eyes — you could just see, because for the first time he was like: “Wow, they’re all together.”‘
Swizz urged men to stay present in their children’s lives even after a split.
‘When families don’t blend, and there’s a child involved, you know, as men, we always look for the way out,’ he told Michael. ”’Oh, well, you know, she’s not letting me see the kid… I won’t see ’em then.”
‘We just take our personal experiences with the mom and use that as an excuse not to see our child. And I think that that’s the wrong way for the fellas to think.
‘But when you actually put the work in and put the time in to blend, the child wins. And you as a father win. And the mom and the bonus mom win as well. So everybody wins.’
Generations: Alicia (pictured with Egypt and Genesis) said she’s looking forward to sharing grandchildren with Mashonda
Message: Swizz urged men to stay present in their children’s lives even after a split
Mashonda is prepared to keep working with Alicia and Swizz as a family in the future, and said the blending process can’t ever stop.
‘Our children are growing. They’re going to have graduations, they’re going to have weddings, they’re going to have children and so it’s a continual flow,’ she said.
Alicia added: ‘We’re partners. Really, we’re life partners. I remember one day Mashonda said to me: “You know, we’re going to be grandparents together.” And I was like, “Wow. We’re going to be grandparents together.” It gives me chills right now and it makes so much sense. It’s so beautiful.’
The singer celebrated the release of Mashonda’s book in an Instagram post, referring to her as her ‘golden girl’.
‘Our family is a beautiful example that families can blend and coexist in LOVE!!’ she wrote on Tuesday. ‘And now the @theblendbook written by my golden girl @mashondatifrere is in the world to share the blueprint of how it works!!! Congratulations to us @mashondatifrere & @therealswizzz !!!!!!! We are living it!!’