She sings, she dances, and she’s never afraid to speak her mind. Teyana Taylor has been a rising name in entertainment since 2011, when she made her debut on MTV. Since then she’s released a steady stream of music, made acting appearances, and released her own line of sneakers.
On the personal side, Taylor is also living large. Her and NBA player Iman Shumpert were engaged in November 2015, when Shumpert proposed at their baby shower. On December 17th, the couple delivered their newborn baby in the bathroom of their home.
Here’s more about Teyana:
1: She Debuted on MTV’s My Super Sweet 16
Back in 2011, Teyana made her first television appearance in season four of My Super Sweet 16. With apparently an unlimited budget, Teyana rents out a museum as her event space, picks up $700 sneakers, and throws a tantrum when she can’t have an indoor skate ramp built for her party. Teyana had already been signed to Pharrell’s Startrak record label at this point, and the party went wild when he made an appearance.
The fact that her party had skateboard influence speaks to Teyana’s personality. During the episode, it is clearly evident that Taylor prides herself on being unique. She has certainly matured since the episode, but you can see from early on her star qualities. The creativity she brought to planning her party is the same one that appears in her music and fashion design today.
Oh, and she got a Range Rover at the end.
2: She’s Written For Chris Brown, Usher, and Omarion
Teyana has been singing since she was seven, and her first single, “Google Me”, came out in 2008. Since then, the Harlem native has branched out into fashion, makeup, and acting. But after releasing Google Me and its accompanying mixtape, Taylor’s star was beginning to fade.
After a mutual release from her contract with Pharrell in 2010, Taylor drifted as an independent artist. Enter Kanye West, whom Taylor sat with during West’s production of his fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. West used Taylor’s vocals on a few tracks, and it planted the seed for their working relationship.
In 2012, Taylor inked a new deal, this time a joint venture between West’s G.O.O.D. Music and Island Def Jam. The new deal led to her first studio album, titled VII, which debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and eventually sold over 24,000 copies.
3: She First Met Iman Shumpert When She Denied Him at a Club in 2011
In the spring of 2011, Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert anounced he would forgo his senior year of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft. That summer, he was selected 17th overall by the New York Knicks, a big step for the Illinois native. While out celebrating in the city, he met a young Teyana Taylor and tried to spit some game.
“He was a little tipsy,” Taylor said in a NY Post interview. “He was celebrating because he had just been signed. He was trying to get at me, and I curved him.” Taylor, who had for several years worn a purity ring, was not ready for a relationship. Taylor had previously been in a serious relationship with NBA man Brandon Jennings. After Taylor and Shumpert became friends, they grew close and when both were single they started dating.
4: Teyana is Her Mother’s Only Child, But Her Dad is All Over the Place
Nikki Taylor is Teyana’s mom, and she is currently Teyana’s manager. Nikki is independently wealthy, and has connections to the fashion industry. Teyana is Nikki’s only child, but her father has had multiple children. Teyana, who is part Trinidadian, acknowledges her father’s lifestyle and is accepting of her situation.
“My dad was pretty much out there with the women. I’m cool with all of my dad’s baby mothers though… and my dad just had another baby by another shorty,” she said in 2010. “Sometimes I think, man how you gonna keep having babies when u can’t take care of the ones you got?? He’s only like 35 or 36 years old.”
5: Her Twitter Beef With Rihanna Cost Her a Shoe Deal
Where Teyana Taylor goes, drama usually follows. It’s not purposeful, but the swagger that Taylor cultivated growing up in Harlem can brush some celebrities the wrong way. When it comes to Rihanna, however, Taylor’s altercation caused her to lose a sneaker deal with Adidas.
Teyana, a devout sneakerhead, was signed with Adidas to produce original shoes for the brand. The first pair, called the Original Harlem Good Luck Charm adidas, was released in February 2013 to massive success. Fans eagerly anticipated another release, presumably to come later that year.
Enter Rihanna. After Taylor posted a video of her singing on her Instagram, Rihanna posted a similar video of one of her male stylists mocking her singing. Taylor posted a slew of tweets directed at Rihanna, who responded by posting a picture of the two women’s net worth side by side. Taylor, who is valued at $500k to Ri’s $90 million, eventually made the lowest blow: photoshopping the two women’s faces onto boxers, using Rihanna’s headshot after being assaulted by Chris Brown.
Two months later, an adidas representative was quoted as saying, “All I can say is that adidas partners with athletes and artists who blend well with our brand values. We evaluate our relationships with partners based on the values we hold at adidas and we don’t condone violence of any kind.”
Teyana’s a better singer anyway.