When the word “blended families” is mentioned, one might immediately think about the television show Brady Bunch and how after every thirty-minute program, all of their troubles and issues were neatly resolved and everyone was smiling as the end credits rolled into the familiar theme song. Blending families isn’t easy, but it’s always rewarding. And no one knows that better than artist/singer, Mashonda.

In an exclusive interview with ESSENCE Senior News and Culture editor, Christina Coleman, Mashonda talks about her famous blended family which includes ex-husband Swizz Beatz, his wife, Alicia Keys and the five children that they are raising together.


“Once you are willing to let go of those feelings, forgiving becomes easy”, Mashonda said in her interview regarding Swizz and Keys after their 2010 divorce. “It’s an evolution to know you can reach that point as a human being.”

However, living in the public eye sometimes makes it harder than not to effectively accomplish the goals of common ground, love, and reconciliation. Take for example when a family vacation photo surfaced and made its way around social media, of course stirring up controversy when there was none.

“We didn’t plan to go on vacation together,” Mashonda recalled. “I was out there with my girlfriend for her birthday and my son was there for Swizz and Alicia for spring break. We all knew we were there together on the same island of St. Bart’s so I reached out like, ‘hey, let’s hook up, I want to see Kasseem.’ We made a play date type thing and I came to the beach and met them there. I didn’t know they were going to kiss. He leaned in, he kissed her—that’s his wife. It didn’t bother me; it didn’t affect me that people find that to be weird or awkward. It’s entertainment for them but it’s actually real life for us,” she said. “It’s a natural thing.”

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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