The 2018 Soul Train Awards will air on BET on Sunday, November 25 at 8pm/7pm CT. In addition to musical performances, celebrity presenters, and awards for categories including “Best New Artist,” “Album/Mixtape of the Year,” and “Song of the Year,” singer-songwriter Erykah Badu will be honored with the “Legend Award.”
While Erykah Badu (47) has not officially gone public with a new relationship, recent Instagram posts have people speculating that she is dating. A few days ago, she posted a black and white photo looking up at a man, with the caption “Shine a light.” The man in the photo has been identified by fans as Ishmael Butler, the rapper, producer, and songwriter known as “Butterfly” in jazz-rap group Digible Planets.
The two were first linked after Badu posted a video to Instagram in which the song “A Mess” by Shabazz Palaces plays. Atlanta Black Star pointed out that Butler is one of the group’s members.
About halfway through the video, the words “She love you Ish” are superimposed over the images, and the caption is a play on Butler’s name: “Ishhues with trust.”
During the video, she also lifts up her shirt and rubs her stomach, which made many wonder if she and Butler were expecting a baby. Badu responded to this, editing her photo’s caption with the note “sweet of u guys to congratulate me ?but I’m not pregnant… just fluffy.” She also took to Twitter to comment on the fan speculation, asking “Why I got to be pregnant every holiday season?” She denied the rumor again, joking “I just be a little hungrier than usual come late October.” Badu is already a mother of three.
An earlier Instagram photo, posted on September 7, is also assumed by her followers to be Butler. The photo is of a man as he crosses the street but does not reveal his face. The caption reads “If he look back we go together,” and if it is, in fact, Butler, this may have been the first time Badu teased her relationship to fans.
Badu was previously linked to producer and voice actor Carl Jones in 2017. Vibe shared photos that had been posted of the two while they were together, which appear to have since been deleted. At the time, Badu wrote of her relationship with Jones, “I got a second, I mean third, I mean “forf” time at LUV!” According to Jones’ Instagram page, he appears to have also moved on, posting regular photos with girlfriend Giana Lawrence.
Eryka Badu’s three children are from three of her past relationships. She had her oldest child, son Seven Sirius Benjamin, with ex Andre 300 (from OutKast); her oldest daughter Puma Sabti Curry’s father is rapper The D.O.C, and youngest child, daughter Mars Merkaba Thedford, was had with Jay Electronica. She dated Common from 2000-20002. Earlier this year, Hiphop DX reported that Common revealed in a speech at The University of Colorado-Boulder that after the break-up, “I discovered was that I was scared to wear my greatness. I was afraid to wear my greatness, which meant, I could be in a relationship and dim my light for others.”