Our Favorite Blended Families

Blended Family
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 03, 2011

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Rap mogul Russell Simmons is always comfortable attending events with his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons, her hubby Djimon Hounsou and their children. “I want her to be happy,” Russell told PEOPLE.

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Monica’s recent wedding to Shannon Brown means her two sons, Rocko and Romelo, get to have a new younger brother, Shannon Christopher Brown.

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The fierce Hollywood couple that is Will and Jada show us just how loving a blended family can be. Will’s oldest son, Trey, from his first marriage frequently appears on the red carpet with younger bro and sis Jaden and Willow.

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By becoming Mrs. Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys gets to be a stepmom to his three children, including Prince Nasir (pictured).

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Seal married supermodel Heidi Klum when she was pregnant with her daughter Leni, from a previous relationship. Together, the couple has three biological children. Heidi praises her husband’s fathering skills. “He has infinite amounts of love and patience for our kids,” she said.

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Diana Ross had her first daughter Rhonda with Motown founder Barry Gordy. Her second marriage produced our celebrity girl crush, Tracee Ellis Ross, and sis Chudney. Her sons Ross and Evan were from her third marriage. Regardless of their differences, it’s all love between Ms. Ross’s children.

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Madonna added to her big happy blended family by adopting her son David Banda in 2006, and daughter Mercy in 2009. Both are from Malawi. “They are all so different and completely full-on,” the megastar says abut her clan.

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Former Spice Girl Mel B. had two children — daughters Phoenix and Angel (with Eddie Murphy) — when she married Stephen Belafonte. He has a 6-year-old daughter, Giselle (middle). The two are expecting their first child together.

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Hollywood power couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, are one busy family. The couple has six children — three adopted, and three biological. Daughter Zahara (pictured, right) was adopted from Ethiopia. “I am very grateful for our life and everything that we have,” Jolie said in an interview.

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Funnyman Steve Harvey makes no jokes about one thing in life: his love of family. He and his wife Marjorie (in Black dress) share a beautiful blended union bringing together a combined seven children from previous relationships.

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Rap royalty Rev Run of Run-D.M.C. fame invited us into his New Jersey home via MTV cameras and we’ve been in love with his wife, Justine, daughters Vanessa and Angela and sons, JoJo, Diggy and Russy ever since. The fun family also welcomed baby sis Miley (not shown) into their brood last year.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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We entered the lives of Lisa Wu and Ed Hartwell on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and even though the couple had children from preceding relationships, it was apparent that this family never saw it as a difficult adjustment. Ed told ESSENCE.com about his bond with Lisa’s children. “Me and my sons have a great relationship,” he said. “I tell everyone I have three sons. They call me dad. I never say my stepkids; they are my sons.” Ed also has a teenage son from a previous relationship.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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When the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul married record producer Kendu Isaacs in 2003, she also got a three-deal bonus: Isaac’s three children, Jordan, Nas and Brianna. Blige has expressed her adoration for her husband’s kids, declaring she loves them as her own.

“They’re just so loving,” she told ESSENCE about Nas, 7, and Jordan, 8. “They’re a product of their mother and father. The kids are so sweet, and they’re so smart. They asked, ‘You want us to call you Mom?’ I said, ‘No, call me what you want, and if you’re ready to ever call me Mom, you do so. But for now, we’re friends.’”

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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The fierce Hollywood couple that is Will and Jada show us just how loving a blended family can be. Will’s oldest son, Trey, from his first marriage frequently appears on the red carpet with younger bro and sis Jaden and Willow.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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Funnyman Steve Harvey makes no jokes about one thing in life: his love of family. He and his wife Marjorie (not pictured) share a beautiful blended union bringing together a combined seven children from previous relationships.

“The greatest thing that’s ever happened to me is the union of this family,” Harvey shared with ESSENCE in June 2008. Pictured here (from left to right) with Harvey are Jason, Lori, Brandi, Karli, Stevie, Wynton and Morgan.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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It’s seldom that we see Faith Evans without her husband, Todd Russaw, and her four children. When Russaw entered the picture, Evans was already the mother to daughter Chyna and son Christopher (also the son of late rapper Biggie Smalls). The singer/author and her husband/manager later had two sons together Joshua and Ryder.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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Usher and Tameka Foster Raymond welcomed their second son together, Naviyd Ely Raymond, in December 2008. Married in September 2007, the newlyweds had their first son, Usher V, in November 2007. Tameka has three other sons from previous relationships that Usher has taken under his wing.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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Hip-hop icon Nas wed R&B fly girl Kelis during a star-studded Atlanta ceremony in 2005. When the musical couple tied the knot, the duo also welcomed little Destiny to their union, Nas’s daughter from a previous relationship. The couple is now expecting their first child together.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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Singers Chante Moore and Kenny Lattimore continue to keep their love and music careers going strong. They also put much effort into their family and signified that bond when they jumped the broom with Chante’s daughter Sophia (from her previous marriage to actor Kadeem Hardison).

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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Best friends-turned-lovers Malinda Williams and Derrick “D-Nice” Jones married in a fairy-tale wedding in August 2008. Her son Omi Phifer served as ring bearer and his daughter Ashli Jones was a junior bridesmaid.

Read expert advice on making your blended family work »

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