The Life and Times of Faith Evans

Faith Evans
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 09, 2009

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Faith Evans released her memoir, “Keep the Faith,” in 2008 and presented newcomer actress Antonique Smith with a copy to help her prepare for her role in “Notorious” as The First Lady of Bad Boy Records

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Faith, who married the late Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace after two-month whirlwhind romance, says she loved Biggie’s charm. “No matter what your walk in life is, you get to know B.I.G. through his words.”

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Biggie and Evans were hip-hop’s beloved couple and have a son “CJ”, 12, together. “I had a career before I met B.I.G. He wasn’t popular like that when we met,” says Evans, who has since remarried. “We both came out the gate on Bad Boy and God aligned it that way.”

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Evans and son Christopher Wallace, Jr., carry on the legacy of Biggie at the 1997 Video Music Awards following his death that year. “[CJ]’s even more reserved and laidback than his dad, so it was interesting to watch him [portray his father],” says Evans. “I believe it was meant for him to do [this film] because he didn’t know B.I.G. and he learned a lot about his dad from this film.”

Read our exclusive interview with Faith Evans »

Read our exclusive interview Antonique Smith, the actress who plays Faith in the movie “Notorious” »

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After Biggie’s tragic shooting in Los Angeles, his mother, Voletta, and ex-wife, Evans, fought for the case to be solved. “I’m proud of Ms. Wallace and I support her project,” says Evans. “I told her if there was anything they needed they could call on me for it.”

Read our exclusive interview with Faith Evans »

Read our exclusive interview Antonique Smith, the actress who plays Faith in the movie “Notorious” »

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Evans with Biggie’s eldest daughter, T’yanna, mother Voletta, and son Christopher, accept a tribute in his honor at the 2005 VH1 Hip Hop Honors.

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Christopher Wallace, Jr., Faith and Biggie’s son, portrays his father as a child in “Notorious,” with Angela Bassett starring as Voletta Wallace. “He was the last kid to audition and they said he nailed it,” says Evans. “He is so shy. I was shocked. He really impressed the [casting director].”

Read our exclusive interview with Faith Evans »

Read our exclusive interview Antonique Smith, the actress who plays Faith in the movie “Notorious” »

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Through all she’s been through, Faith says her darkest moments made her stronger.

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Read our exclusive interview Antonique Smith, the actress who plays Faith in the movie “Notorious” »

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Biggie’s mom, Voletta Wallace, and Evans continue to share a close relationship. The two enjoy a tender moment at the “Notorious” premiere after party in New York.

Read our exclusive interview with Faith Evans »

Read our exclusive interview Antonique Smith, the actress who plays Faith in the movie “Notorious” »

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Motherhood is top priority for Faith, with children Chyna Griffin, left, Joshua Russaw, and Christopher Jr. The close-knit clan attends the New York premiere of “Notorious.”

Read our exclusive interview with Faith Evans »

Read our exclusive interview Antonique Smith, the actress who plays Faith in the movie “Notorious” »

See photos from the premiere of “Notorious” »

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