Chance the Rapper and his wife have a love story for the ages.
The Grammy winner (né Chancelor Johnathan Bennett) and his love, Kirsten Corley Bennett — who married last December, but had their wedding ceremony back in March — have known one another for nearly 16 years, a story he happily recounted while on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday.
According to Chance, he first saw Kristen when he was just 9 years old at his mom’s office Christmas party.
“My mom worked at a real estate agency with her mom,” Chance, 26, recalled. “Her daughters love to dance so they did a choreographed dance at this real estate party that I was at when I was 9. I saw her dancing and I was like, ‘Let’s get married!'”
When asked how Kristen has impacted his life, Chance said that she has been with him “since before I was successful, she was my girlfriend. If I’m successful now then yes, pre-success.”
Chance first shared the story of how he and Kirsten met in a series of tweets in March, just days before the two walked down the aisle. He even had a photo of Kirsten taken from that first encounter in 2003.
In his tweets, the rapper explained that he locked eyes with “the prettiest girl [he’d] ever seen” while Kirsten and her friends were doing a routine to “Independent Women Part 1” by Destiny’s Child.
“I really shouldn’t even say locked eyes cause really, I was just staring at her; as she and her girls were conquering this choreography and mastering the art of lip-syncing in a way even the most professional performers have yet to accomplish,” Chance wrote.
It was then Chance’s dad encouraged him to join the performance. But Chance, who already won 2 school-wide talent shows for dancing, decided to let the girl of his dreams shine.
“This wasn’t the time or the place. Not just because it wasn’t my party, not because it was their moment to dance, not even ’cause I was nervous about dancing in front of folks. It’s ’cause I knew I was gonna marry that girl and I ain’t wanna jump the gun,” Chance said. “So I shook my head with anxiety, moved to the back of the crowd, and never even introduced myself.”
Luckily, years later, the star got that dance at his March wedding.
“16 years later it’s happening. This weekend is the time, and the place is my wedding,” the artist wrote. “I’m gonna dance with my wife because this is my destiny.”
Chance and Kirsten officially began dating in 2013. After welcoming their daughter Kensli in 2015, the pair split in 2016 before reconciling the next year. After getting back together, Chance popped the question on July 4, 2018 at a family barbecue in their native Chicago. He confirmed the engagement the same day as the proposal, simply tweeting: “She said yes.”
Although the couple works to maintain their privacy, last May, Chance offered some insight into their relationship when he wished his wife a happy birthday on Instagram.
“From the beginning beginning to the end end. You are my oldest and best friend. You are responsible for everyone [sic] of the most wonderful things in my life,” he captioned a sweet slideshow of images. “I’m forever grateful that God made me find you, and even more grateful that you made me find God. Forever and ever babe.”
Just last week, the pair’s family expanded once again when Kirsten gave birth to their second baby girl, Marli Grace Bennett.
“I have a fresh, fresh baby,” Chance said on Ellen. “I can’t take all the credit, but I was there. I love her.”
Prior to his Ellen interview, on Monday, Chance announced the postponement of his tour to promote his first-ever album, The Big Day.
“I thought it over for the past week and I’ve decided to push back my tour,” Chance said on social media, explaining why he had chosen to delay his concerts just days ahead of its kickoff in San Francisco on Sept. 14.
“This year has been one of the greatest of my life; Marriage, new baby, first album etc,” Chance said. “But with it being so eventful it has also been very strenuous having to divide my time and energy between family and work. When Kensli was born, I went on tour 2 weeks later and missed some of the most important milestones in her life, but more importantly, I was absent when her mother needed me the most.”
He continued, “At this point as a husband and father of two, I realize that I can’t make that mistake again. I need to be as helpful and available as possible to my wife in these early months of raising Kensli and Marli. I apologize because I know how many people were counting on seeing me soon, but I hope you’ll understand and forgive me in time.”
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