Singer Faith Evans was married to The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace and was also known as Biggie Smalls, from 1994 until his death in a drive-by shooting in 1997. Wallace died on March 9, 1997, 20 years ago today.
The 43-year-old Evans, who is still recording music, was also married to Todd Russaw from 1998 to 2011. She’s currently dating Steven Jordan, who is better known as producer Stevie J.
Evans and Wallace also had one child together, Christopher Wallace Jr. She also has a daughter, Chyna, from a previous relationship before Wallace. She has two sons with Russaw, Joshua and Ryder. You can follow Evans on Instagram.
Here’s a look at Evans’ life and career.
1. She Just Announced a New Duets Album With Biggie
On February 3, 2017, Evans Evans announced that her new album will be called The King And I. The album is a debut record with the Notorious B.I.G. and hits stores on May 19, two days before Biggie’s birthday. Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Lil’ Kim, Sheek Louch and Snoop Dogg are among the rappers who also appear on the album. DJ Premiere, Just Blaze, Chucky Thompson, Salaam Remi and Stevie J also produced tracks for the new record.
“I remember telling Ms. Wallace years ago that one day it would be really dope if I could do something similar to Natalie & Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable,” Evans said in a statement, referring to another famous duet between living and deceased performers. “Knowing the love that B.I.G. had for Tyanna & Ceejay, I feel it’s my duty to uphold & extend his legacy, especially his musical contributions. This project is my creative reflection of the love we had & the bond we will always have. I’m elated to share this musical journey with our fans!”
The first two singles from the album were “NYC” with Jadakiss and “When We Party” with Snoop Dogg. It’s the first new album with Biggie since Duets: The Final Chapter was released in 2005.
2. She Has an Estimated Net Worth of $3 Million
Evans has an estimated net worth of $3 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates.
Evans was the first female artist Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs signed to his Bad Boy Entertainment in 1994. A year later, she started the most successful period of her career. The RIAA certified her first album, Faith, as Platinum in 1996, while Keeping The Faith was certified Platinum. The albums Faithfully and The First Lady were certified Gold. Her most recent albums are 2010’s Something About Faith and 2014’s Incomparable. In 2005, she also released a Christmas album called A Faithful Christmas.
Her best-selling single is “I’ll Be Missing You,” which she recorded with Combs. In 1997, it was certified 3X Platinum, meaning it’s sold 3 million copies. The song was Combs’ tribute to Biggie and featured the chorus to The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” sung by Evans.
3. Evans & Biggie Married After Knowing Each Other for 8 Days
Evans and Biggie did not have a long courtship. In an interview with Vibe just before his death, Biggie explained that he married her just eight days after they met at a photoshoot.
“I married her after knowing her eight days and I was happy,” Biggie told Vibe. “That was my baby. At the same time, with us being so spontaneous, we did it backwards. Maybe she won’t admit it, but I will. We should have got to know each other and then got married . The relationship kind of dissolved, but we’re still going to be friends. I love her. We have a baby together, and we’re always gonna love our kids. Who knows? Ten years from now we might even get back together.”
Their marriage was not easy. The two separated shortly before Biggie’s death, as Tupac Shakur claimed to have slept with her and there were rumors that he was sleeping with Lil’ Kim.
“People was like, `When she stopped f***in’ with Big, she started f***in’ with Tupac, and Big started f**in’ with Lil’ Kim,’” Biggie told Vibe in 1997. “That’s the summary of the Biggie Smalls/Faith s**t right there. But we wasn’t f***in’ with each other way before the rumors popped off.”
Evans denied ever sleeping with Tupac in her book Keep the Faith and again in a 2014 interview with VladTV, MTV News reported. She said that Tupac did ask her for oral sex “in a very surprising and offensive way for sure.”
“I kind of allowed myself to be played and allow myself to get into this situation, because this is totally not how I operate, that ain’t how I do business and that was never up for discussion as far as that being an exchange. That’s not what it was about,” Evans told VladTV.
4. She Was Once Supposed to Play Florence Ballard, but the Movie Never Happened
Evans has tried her hand at acting in the past, even appearing in an episode of Marvel’s Luke Cage as a performer. But she almost got a leading role in a movie that would have launched a film career. She was supposed to star as the late Supremes singer Florence Ballard, who died at age 32 in 1976 after a tragic life. Evans was so confident that the movie was going to happen that she promoted it while on The Wendy Williams Show in 2010.
Unfortunately for Evans, the film never happened. In 2014, Rolling Stone reported that the project was a scam. Peter Benjamin, who wrote the book the film was going to be based on, wrote that the film started falling apart when Evans dropped out and called producer Karen Spencer a “fraud.” Benjamin later learned that the whole thing was a scam, with Spencer ultimately landing in jail. His book never became a movie.
Evans’ acting credits include Turn It Up, The Fighting Temptations and Soul Kittens Cabaret. In 2016, she appeared as herself in the “Code of the Streets” episode of Luke Cage.
5. She’s Now Dating Stevie J, Who Once Loaned Her $75,000
In December 2016, producer Stevie J when on The Breakfast Club radio show and announced that he’s in a romantic relationship with Evans. Even though the romantic part is “new,” they’ve known each other for 25 years.
In fact, as Essence points out, they were such good friends that he once loaned her $75,000 to help her buy a house when she was struggling financially.
“I wanted to purchase a house, I was renting this expensive apartment in the city and I wanted to buy me a house in South Jersey,” she told VladTV in 2014. “So I was waiting for my next advance for my record deal or my publishing deal which I knew was coming but I needed to come up with like $150,000 to put down on this house. And Stevie J was one of the two people who loaned me the $75,000 that I need to put down on that house. He always has a special place in my heart.”
While Evans has a new love in her life, she still looks fondly on the past with Biggie and Bad Boy Entertainment.
“It was fun. It was new,” Evans told the Los Angeles Times in 2015 about the early days on Combs’ label. “That’s the one thing I can say despite … plenty of ups and downs. It was a whole lot of fun, I’m not going to lie. Every day was something different.”
“His style is still so ill,” Evans told Fuse of Biggie. “He’s still the greatest to me.”