Chris and Malaak met in 1994 after he crashed an awards show with friends. He was a 29-year-old budding comedian, and she was 24.
“She’s changed me,” Chris said of Malaak in a 1997 interview. “She’s really calmed me down and centered my life.”
Malaak and then baby daughter Lola Simone (born in 2002) congratulate Chris on being awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
The beautiful couple welcomed daughter Zahra Savannah in 2004.
Chris and Malaak attended their friend Star Jones’ wedding to Al Reynolds in 2004.
Chris and Malaak attend the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
A career woman in her own right Malaak is the founder and executive director of StyleWorks, a non-profit, full-service salon that provides free services for women leaving welfare and entering the workforce.
On marriage the ever candid comedian says, “The best part is just having a partner.”
By now regulars at red carpet events, Malaak and Chris attend the premiere of “I Think I Love My Wife” in 2007.
The couple, who live in New Jersey, can often be found courtside watching the New York Knicks.
Malaak and Chris enjoy the sights and sounds of the 2008 ESSENCE Music Festival.
Malaak has had to make a few sacrifices in order to support her husband’s success. “I needed to make an adjustment in my life to make both my marriage and career work,” she said.
Malaak and Chris take their girls to a Broadway play.
“My girls want a playdate” with the Obama girls, Chris told PEOPLE. “They look at the youngest and they’re like, ‘We can play with her, Daddy.’ We’ll see.”
We adore Malaak’s braided look for her husband’s first documentary, “Good Hair,” premiere in Los Angeles.
Malaak and Chris have also made their name in philanthropy and recently partnered with Target to make a $1 million donation to the Bushwick Salvation Army where Chris grew up.
Asked what he most admires about Malaak, Chris answered: “She’s a giving person, she’s caring and she’s beautiful.”
“It was an attraction,” Chris said in an interview of the first night he met his wife 17 years ago. “It was like at first sight. I was with someone, and she was with someone, but we talked and we hit it off.”
Through it all — the rumors of divorce, the mega success — Chris and Malaak remain consistent and remind us of the power of Black love.
The family enjoys family time at Arthur