Power Couples On the Move

Power Couples On the Move
ESSENCE.COM Sep, 22, 2011

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The ultimate power couple, the Obamas have raised the bar for Black love. Long before this couple resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they were breaking down barriers individually and collectively. From Mrs. Obama’s awe-inspiring story of taking a chance on a funny-named intern to the way the Commander-in-Chief looks at his better half, this couple reminds us that beside every great man, there definitely is a great woman.

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Don’t believe that love can conquer all? Meet the Johnsons, who have raised millions to help others and have spread awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention—after Magic contracted the disease from another woman. The duo have built an enterprise that includes movie theaters, a fashion line and other entities.

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More than a decade after marrying, Will Smith and sassy wife Jada Pinkett remain intact and show us that Hollywood couples can last. They both maintain enviable careers as actors and musicians, and still find time to give back to our youth and keep their sex life steamy.

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What happens when the world’s hottest R&B singer falls in love with the biggest player in the hip-hop game? You get Beyoncé and Jay-Z of course. The talented twosome secretly wed in an intimate New York City affair on April 4, 2008, and despite the media’s love affair with their relationship, the couple remains tight-lipped about their union. Whatever they’re doing seems to be working. Jay and B continue to score top spots on Forbes magazine’s highest earning couples in entertainment.

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The superstar singer merged her power status when marrying super producer Swizz Beatz in 2009. Most recently he was named Vice President of Creative Design by the Lotus car company.

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This acting duo has been inseparable since their first date in the fall of 1996. Both thespians are Yale University grads and wed in 1997. In between lighting up both on the small and big screens, the pair welcomed twins into the world in January 2006 and published a book — “Friends: A Love Story” together in 2007.

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They’re young and influential, Monica and Shannon Brown are making their mark as one of entertainment’s hardest working couples.

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With Carmelo Anthony’s move from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks, he and his new wife TV personality LaLa Vazquez are in for a whole new set of changes. It will all be documented on the couple’s reality TV show, “LaLa’s Full Court Life,” on VH1.

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Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey are both hopeless romantics who love to give each other affection. The hot couple and expecting parents of twins keeps proving the cynical ones wrong with every wedding anniversary.

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One of the sexiest couples on the planet, Kimora and Djimon always light up the red carpet and we adore how genuinely happy seem together. Their grew their family a year a go with a son, Kenzo, and are yet another example that love is possible the second time around.

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Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill and soul songstress Tamia have been through the fire together but continue to hold on to love. While Hill has experienced a successful career in the NBA, multiple injuries and consequent surgeries have caused him to have a bumpy career ride. And wife Tamia announced she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003. Yet they are active philanthropists and remain supporters of organizations like Habitat for Humanity and are avid supporters of Black fine art.

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Life-of-the-party actress and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Hughes prove that we should never give up on love. The couple met through a mutual friend and were engaged for two years before they jumped the broom. It is the second marriage for both and we definitely think it is also the last.

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We fell in love with Boris and Nicole when the actors first appeared on Showtime’s hit series “Soul Food.” The picture-perfect pair was nominated for NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding actor and actress categories between 2001 and 2005. They exchanged vows in Germany two months after the birth of their daughter and about a year and a half later their son was born. Their daughter was born with spina bifida, a serious birth defect, and the couple is committed to raising awareness of the disease.

Read our interview with Boris Kodjoe »

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Married for over 15 years, this Hollywood couple still has that honeymoon glow. Meeting when Rodney was a top NFL player and Holly was America’s television sweetheart, the two made time for love and four children. They have dedicated themselves to the HollyRod Foundation to help those impacted by Parkinson’s disease, and also raise awareness for children with autism.

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The Obamas aren’t the only Black power couple holding down the District. Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty got more than a degree as a student at Howard University Law School; he also met a soul mate. His wife, Michelle, continues to practice law.

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United States Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, are power personified. Holder regularly rubs elbows with the nation’s political elite as a member of President Obama’s inner circle. Malone, a gynecologist and obstetrician in private practice, has delivered more than 500 babies in the D.C. area alone.

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This celebrity DJ keeps the crowd rocking at their weekly parties in New York City. They tied the knot on January 15, 2011 and vowed to keep on stepping in the name of love.

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The ups and downs of Hollywood, drug abuse and raising a family have only made Morehouse man Samuel Jackson and his Spelman sweetheart LaTanya stronger. While Samuel has become one of the entertainment industry’s heaviest hitters, his better half is busy flexing her own acting muscles in film and onstage.

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Filmmaker Spike Lee is just as popular for his quick wit as he is for his movies depicting the Black experience. He met his match in lawyer and author Tonya and the two married in 1993 and have two children.

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It’s not easy running a multimillion dollar international enterprise to change lives, which is why the Bishop is happy to have his wife by his side. While he preaches to the masses from The Potters House and writes motivational books, the Mrs. travels the country empowering women and girls.

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This young couple got tired of hearing of the lack of strong Black families and launched BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com to connect strong Black couples and families. They are growing their franchise and have released three DVDs — “Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage,” “You Saved Me,” and “Men Ain’t Boys.”

Read our interview with Ronnie and Lamar »

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Tyler Perry struck gold when he cast this duo in his movies and plays. The two now star as father and daughter on the TBS series “Meet the Browns.” The happy couple married at 21 and are still going strong, after having raised five children.

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Who’s House? Run and Justine’s. The rapper and his better half are this generation’s Huxtables. After much praise from fans of their hit show “Run’s House,” the duo shared their secrets to a strong family in their book, “Take Back Your Family: How to raise respectful and Loving Kids in a Dysfunctional World.”

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Love can come when you least expect it. These two news broadcasters met working on the “Today” show and realized they had plenty in common. Al is America’s beloved weatherman, while Deborah investigates big stories on ABC’s “20/20.”

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These high school sweethearts worked their way to success, as Robin continues to work the R&B scene and Paula keeps improving her acting chops. The dashing couple welcomed a son, Julian Fuego, into their lives on April 6, 2010.

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Seven-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade met his match when he paired up with actress and active philanthropist Gabrielle Union. Although Dwyane recently finalized his divorce, Gabby says they’re not rushing things.

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Who better to understand a creative person, than another creative? Actress and writer Victoria married her visual artist beau after meeting him through friend LaTanya Richardson Jackson during a book tour. The two instantly connected and Bailey joined his lady for the rest of her tour through India, Germany and the Caribbean.

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These Hollywood veterans both wear a pants leg in their strong relationship of 13 years. At 40, Tisha gave birth to their second son and continues to work in front of the camera. Duane is keeping busy off camera, as he grows the family’s portfolio of investments.

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With Carmelo Anthony’s move from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks, he and his new wife TV personality LaLa Vazquez are in for a whole new set of changes. It will all be documented on the couple’s reality TV show, “LaLa’s Full Court Life,” on VH1. Will you be watching?

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The Obamas have raised the bar for Black love. Long before this couple resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they were breaking down barriers individually and collectively. From Mrs. Obama’s awe-inspiring story of taking a chance on a funny-named intern to the way the Commander-in-Chief looks at his better half, this couple reminds us that beside every great man, there definitely is a great woman.

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With Carmelo Anthony’s move from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks, he and his new wife TV personality LaLa Vazquez are in for a whole new set of changes. It will all be documented on the couple’s reality TV show, “LaLa’s Full Court Life,” on VH1. Will you be watching?

32 of 32 Ann Billingsley