Renowned singer/songwriter Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and wife Nicole Pantenburg have decided to pull the plug on their marriage of seven years. Per a statement they shared with TMZ, the decision was an understandably difficult one to make.
“After much thought and with great sadness, we have decided to end our marriage,” the statement read. “We continue to care and have respect for one another and share eternal love for our daughter and her well-being. We ask for personal privacy for ourselves and our daughter as we navigate these new steps as a family.”
Though they’ve only been married for seven years, Pantenburg, who used to be a backup dancer for the singer (and also for Janet Jackson), had been in a relationship with the star since 2007. They share a 12-year-old daughter named Peyton Nicole.
He announced in 2014 that they were engaged when friend and longtime collaborator Toni Braxton asked him if he thought he would marry again while they promoted their album, Love, Marriage and Divorce. “I’ve already considered it. I’m engaged, so yes,” he shared. When asked by Braxton what he learned from his past relationships that gave him confidence in what he had with Pantenburg, Babyface said it was the importance of acknowledging your feelings and communicating about them.
“The main thing is being honest with yourself and being honest with your feelings. When we’re not honest with ourselves we just accept situations, don’t talk about them, and as you said, ignore the elephant in the room,” he said at the time. “You better recognize there is an elephant in the room and deal with it, because a lot of times the elephant in the room is the one that you put in there, so you have to deal with it.”
They wed that spring in a Southern California wedding in front of famous friends, including Oprah.
This was Babyface’s third marriage. He was previously married to a woman named Denise early in his career. They had no children together. In 1992, he married Tracey Edmonds and they called it quits in 2005. They share sons Brandon and Dylan.
Check out photos of the couple from over the years, during happier times.