The Real Wives of Hollywood

The real black wives we salute in Hollywood.
ESSENCE.COM Jul, 11, 2011

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Mrs. Smith has made headline after headline for having a healthy happy marriage to hubby Will Smith, a successful career, and two lovely and talented children. Jada gave up her desire to launch a music career in favor of her son’s acting career. She recalls in a recent interview that she thought to herself, “Should I be a star? Should I be a mom? A wife? You can’t be all three, something has to give." You’re still all three to us, Jada!

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The fashion mogul may have kept her old married name but she’s not a Simmons anymore. Kimora is completely devoted to her new husband Djimon Hounsou, her two daughters with Simmons, and her new son with Djimon. One of the things we admire most about Kimora is that she always puts her kids first and doesn’t allow time for drama in her life; just fabulousity

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Paula and her husband, singer Robin Thicke, have a one year-old-son (Julian Fuego) and two very busy careers. She’s starring in the new ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ that’s out this summer. What’s her balance secret? Don’t over plan! “I didn’t really think this through, to be honest with you,” she once said in an interview while pregnant. “I knew it would never seem like the perfect time; When do you take a break from everything?”

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We all know the love story of Jey and Bey. They may not have kids just yet, but with their combined schedule craze it’s shocking how they still manage to be there for each other every step of the way. These two sure know how to squeeze in quality time. We heart Bey because she supports her man and her marriage without sacrificing her own dreams. She offers proof that you can have true love and success.

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With her grace, courage, and intellect, Michelle Obama proves every day that you really can have it all. Her marriage withstood a presidential election and a media circus and throughout it all she stood strong by her personal convictions and her man. What’s not to love about Michelle? She really does inspire us all.

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LaLa Anthony, thanks to her marriage to New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, has been unofficially dubbed the first lady of the NBA. In 2008 she and Melo established Krossover Productions, which produced a critically acclaimed Tyson documentary. The couple has a son Kiyan Carmelo Anthony. LaLa says Will and Jada inspire them.

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Holly and NFL quarterback Rodney Peete have been happily married for over 15 years. She’s a co-host of daytime talk show ‘The Talk’, mother of four, and autism activist. Her son Rodney Jr. was diagnosed with autism at age three. To be able to wrangle four kids and a career of your own takes tough skin and perseverance. Hats off to you Holly!

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Mary met record industry executive Martin Kendu Isaacs (known as “Kendu”), fell in love and pledged “no more drama” from that point out. The two have lived happily married ever since and her career is at an all time high. Now that’s what we call love empowerment.

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In addition to an R&B career, four-time Grammy nominated Canadian singer Tamia juggles marriage (to NBA player Grant Hill), mommyhood (they have two daughters) and the occasional modeling, acting, songwriting, ad producing. Somehow she manages to do all of that and still make time for what comes first, her family. Plus, she always looks great. Where she finds the time we’ll never know.

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Atlanta based power couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker Kodjoe are a shining example of celebrities putting parenting first. Though both have had successful acting careers and could take on major roles at any time they choose not to and to instead focus on family first. The couple has two children and their daughter Sophie has spina bifida. Nicole is a champion of spina bifida causes and care.