The secret is out!
Singer Jon Batiste won big at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night, taking home five awards. Even with those victories, it’s safe to say that Batiste got his biggest win of the year earlier in February.
The 35-year old Metairie, Louisiana native secretly married his longtime partner Suleika Jaouad in February, the couple told CBS Sunday Morning. The decision came after Jaouad, the author of the bestselling cancer memoir ‘Between Two Kingdoms’, was diagnosed with leukemia for the second time.
“We have known that we wanted to get married, I think, from the first week that we started dating. That’s when Jon first brought up the topic of marriage to me. So, we’ve had eight years. This is not, you know, a hasty decision!”
The couple got married the day before Jaouad was admitted to the hospital to undergo her bone marrow transplant. Despite the timing of the union, Jaouad said that the diagnosis wasn’t really a factor in Batiste deciding to propose. Batiste’s plan to tie the knot had been in the works for quite a while according to the 33-year old New York native.
“He said to me, ‘I just want to be very clear, I’m not proposing to you because of this diagnosis. It’s taken me a year to design your ring. So, just know this timing has nothing to do with it. But what I do want you to know is that this diagnosis doesn’t change anything. It just makes it all the clearer to me that I want to commit to this and for us to be together.’ But once we realized we had this tiny window before the bone marrow transplant, we decided to go for it.”
Of course with the circumstances being what they were, the two weren’t able to have a normal wedding. Thanks to a close friend, Batiste and Jaouad were able to secure their marriage license at the very last minute. The couple had what Jaouad described as a private, tiny and perfect wedding. She also revealed that she and Batiste used bread ties instead of formal wedding rings!
“And I’ll tell you, we walked into that bone marrow transplant unit on cloud nine,” Jaouad added. “We were so happy, so brimming with love and positivity from this beautiful evening that we’d had. And I really believe that that carried us through. That sense of community, that sense of love, that sense of joy and spontaneity were so important.”
After being nominated for a staggering 11 categories, Batiste took home five Grammy awards Sunday night, including Best Music Video and Album of the Year. Following his wins, Batiste spoke in the Grammy press room on the duality of the moment given the situation in his personal life.
“It puts it in perspective. Life has ups and downs. And sometimes the ups and downs occur at the same time,” he said. “And when you have that happening, it really lets you know by shaking your consciousness and saying, ‘Be present. Be here.’ So what’s going on back home and what’s happening today are both in their proper place for me.”
Congrats to Jon & Suleika on their Grammy’s success and more importantly on their union!