For actor and singer Tyrese, you could always find his daughter Shayla by his side at red carpet events and during TV appearances over the years. Her megawatt smile matched her famous father’s as they posed back to back, the crooner towering over his mini-me.
But at the premiere of F9 on Friday, which is possibly the final installment of the Fast & Furious saga (we doubt it though), Shayla was no longer the teeny kid from past occasions. She’s a teenager now, just a few inches shorter than her famous father, and she’s growing into a little lady. The proud papa can’t take it.
“Shay please stop growing up PLEASE!!!!!!” he wrote on Instagram as the caption to a photo of them posing at the premiere. “My forever baby my firstborn my world my everything!”
No more back to back poses as she pulled out the cool kid peace sign in her crop top, ripped jeans and Jordans.
“My daughter Shayla wants to grow up so badly I just won’t let her,” he wrote for another photo. “Yup she’s 13 and wearing J’s but in my mind she is and will forever be my baby…….”
Shayla is Tyrese’s first child with his ex-wife Norma Mitchell. He also has a 2-year-old daughter named Soraya from his marriage to estranged wife Samantha Lee. The two announced they were calling it quits in December 2020.
The singer’s journey as a father, when it comes to Shayla, has come with obstacles. He was locked in a support and custody battle with Mitchell that was spurred by her claims that his methods of disciplining their daughter were physically abusive. She filed for a restraining order in 2017. Tyrese notably took to social media at the time to plead with his ex “Don’t take my baby” and “I’m at $13,000 a month. What more do you want from me?” He broke down in tears after saying he hadn’t seen his daughter in two months.
Things became so complicated that at one point, he wasn’t allowed to post pictures of Shayla to his social media, blurring her face out in images. But following a child support ruling in his favor and shared custody being restored, things are seemingly back to normal in regards to his bond with his daughter. With all that in mind, this premiere outing is great to see.
“She’s so smart, she’s so powerful and mature,” he wrote about Shayla in 2019. “She’s so kind to everyone and curious about everything. She’s such a great big sister and she told me the other day that her greatest gift is being my daughter and a big sister.”
Something else to know about her is that she’s growing up. For a reminder of the little Shayla you’re probably used to, a stark contrast to the teen you’re seeing now, take a look at a collection of images of the 13-year-old from over the years.