Exclusive: LION BABE Singer Jillian Hervey Welcomes First Child
Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman | Getty

LION BABE has welcomed a lion cub.

Singer Jillian Hervey recently gave birth to her first child in December, doing so with her partner — in love and music — Lucas Goodman. The pair welcomed a baby boy after managing to keep Hervey’s pregnancy quiet for the entire nine months. With that space, she was able to ride the wave of changes that comes with such a whirlwind time in peace.

“Pregnancy for me was a huge reset,” ESSENCE’s January 2016 cover star tells us. “It’s still hard to describe because I haven’t had a moment to really process. Since the moment I discovered it was happening, I have been birthing new thoughts, feelings, intentions and parts of myself. At first, I was super anxious and overwhelmed, but I quickly shifted into embracing my path and surrendering to it. Being pregnant allowed me to reflect on appreciating the life I have lived, and it gave me a whole new perspective on how I want to move through the world. I knew I needed to make sure I did my best to create a calm, loving environment for my baby to grow.”

Exclusive: LION BABE Singer Jillian Hervey Welcomes First Child
Delphine Diallo

LION BABE continued to play shows, work on new music and managed to shoot music videos while keeping the news under wraps. One of their latest offerings is the song and accompanying video “Radiant Child” from their Rainbow Child album. Handling business while with child was “equal parts grace and challenge” according to Hervey, but she made it work while also prioritizing important things — and dealing with a persistent craving for sweets.

“For the most part I spent time with family and kept to myself, seeing a few friends here and there,” she says. “You always hear ‘you never sleep again’ as a parent, so I made sure to get plenty of rest. I definitely got the cliché sweet tooth, but nothing too crazy, just an increased intake of hot chocolate, Toll House chocolate chip cookies, and when available, Café du Monde beignets.” 

Getting to keep the news private, in addition to her relationship with Goodman, was also very important to the star. Very few, except those in their circle, were aware that the pair are a couple.

“My personal life, like my creative life is sacred, but coming from the upbringing I have had, I never wanted to overshare,” she says. “Lucas and I have always valued our privacy and up until this point have never spoken of our relationship. There is an endless connection in the words I write, images we create, and music we make, that invites you into our personal life. Although we are in the age of sharing everything, I am far more old-school and prefer to make sure that I have a life full of experiences that are just for me/us.”

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She adds, “I also think pregnancy always invites opinions, and as soon as I found out, I knew that I had a lot of thoughts of my own about what was going on, and didn’t want to add additional pressure to what I was already creating in my own mind. Our LION BABE world does feel like a family though, so that is why it now feels appropriate. This is a huge milestone filled with love in our lives, and we didn’t want to start another year of creating, without our fans, community and supporters knowing that this miracle had just occurred.”

After months of preparing for her son’s arrival, shifting her mindset amid an ever-changing world in a pandemic, and moving around in oversized hoodies and bubble jackets to hide her bump (“Tutus, baby doll dresses, tunics and oversized coats saved the day” on stage), he is now here. Hervey is refreshingly honest about the significant changes she’s grappling with in her day-to-day, including physically and emotionally.

“It’s still so daunting to me that in our society we skip over how crucial, challenging, and emotional postpartum is, especially for the mothers,” she says. “The hormone level drop that occurs right after birth really threw me for a loop, and I am so thankful that we worked with doulas and had our families during this journey to help guide, inform and support us. In all walks of life, having time to prepare for the physical, mental, financial and emotional hurdles with our community really boosted our confidence in taking this step.”

Someone also experiencing a big change is Hervey’s mom, actress Vanessa Williams. The newest addition to the family is her first grandchild and she’s overjoyed.

Exclusive: LION BABE Singer Jillian Hervey Welcomes First Child
Courtney Harvier

“Any new phase in life is loaded with hopes, expectations, uncertainty all hopefully leading to joy.  Well, my heart is bursting now!” she tells ESSENCE. “It’s full of promise and gratitude as I welcome the true extension of love into the world. To be blessed with the gift of a healthy grandson and know he will be supported by our loving family is a dream come true. I can’t wait to introduce him to all the wonders in the world, read to him on my lap and of course sing sweet songs for as long as I’m able.”

For now, he’s still getting accustomed to life on the outside, doing what infants do — keeping his parents up all times of the day and night. As for all first-time parents, it’s a major adjustment for Hervey and Goodman, but it’s also one they’re grateful to have to make.

“Our little one really makes all the lack of sleep (guess they were all right), farts, cries, and disorder worth it,” Hervey says. “In a weird way, being artists, especially independent ones at that, prepared us well for this initial part. It feels like we are on a tour but instead of long nights on stage, tons of travel and little sleep, we are just home, flowing with the newness of it all, and wishing we could clone ourselves to get all that is on our plate done at once. Both force you to just run off the adrenaline of the love you are giving and receiving.” 

Check out the “Radiant Child” video from LION BABE’s Rainbow Child album. The song is featured in their behind-the-scenes photo shoot.