Throwback R&B Couples That We Wish Stayed Together

-By Seher Sikandar

With the revolving door of celebrity relationships, it can be difficult to take anything seriously sometimes.  Yet a handful of R&B artist couples inspired love in the masses.  Witnessed by the world, these pairs entered our mushy little hearts, too.  And when they split, our universe crumbled and our meanings of life and love were questioned.  Why?  WHY!  We don’t know why, but what we do know is who need to get their lives together and get back together. Come on Usher and Chili —don’t leave us this way!


What a magical duo.  The enchanting fairie that is Erykah Badu may well have her pick of any man, but nothing quite compared to how she matched with the equally charmingly eccentric and dazzling Andre.  They appear to maintain a fun, comfortable friendship while co-parenting their son, even to this day.  Then they play with our hearts like after Erykah’s 2012 quote revering Mr. Benjamin as ‘the piece of art she’d like to own’.  Awkward phrasing but we’ll take it.  Later that year, we had Three Stacks rapping about trying again with Badu on T.I.’s “Sorry”.  Wishing on a star that this reunion happens ASAP.



While their pairing was never confirmed, these two babes were thought to have had some sexytime around the period they worked on ‘Carmen’ together.  Jay-Z is cool and whatever, but we can’t help but wonder how Beyonce’s public character would have evolved with someone like Yasiin Bey.  A revolutionary megastar for the people?  Harry Belafonte approved, perhaps?  Bey and Bey, BAYBAY!  Is there anything at all aside from resounding perfection happening here?!  Pretty much not.



While Cassie appears not much more than a statue and Ryan Leslie seems kinda like a douche in ways, we just feel sorta bad how sir-ever-changing-names-new-identity-every-other-week Sean Combs did the boy Ryan by stealing his girl.  Though she’s been quite successful with fashion, maybe Cassie would have formed more of an identity for herself if she’d stayed with Ryan and not become Puff’s wallpaper wherever he goes.  Seems like Ryan never got over Cassie, either.  Just saying.



Though their relationship was never official, this June Trey admitted that Lauren was one of the two women he’s ever loved.  Got him sitting at home ripping off his shirt for himself.  Travesty.  Lauren, give a player a chance!


There’s the tempered for the public Jay and Bey ‘crazy in love’ and then there’s actual crazy in love with Nas and Kelis.  These dynamic lovebirds left us all in our feelings after their messy split.  And are they both even over it?  We can’t say we’re quite sold on that.  Kelis still sounds bitter in interviews and Nas was writing raps about the divorce years later, also speaking in an interview about how he felt their relationship was ‘inspiring people to love.’  He’s definitely not wrong there – that chemistry was a rare sight.  Seems like they’ve both grown, too – can’t say we’d be mad at all if they found their way back to one another.



Prince’s first wife caught his eye when she was only 16 years old.  While the reasons they broke up are still mostly urban legend, people say Prince was clearly shook and never quite the same after.  The two were visibly madly in love and all smiles all around.  Doesn’t the idea of an in love Prince over not-a-player-i-just-crush-a-lot Prince make you all mushy inside?  Straight jello.



How cute were they? After crushing on her for years, Usher plotted hard on Chilli and got her as the female lead in the “U Remind Me” video.  The rest was history.  Though they broke up a decade ago, in 2013 Chilli fessed up to Usher being her ‘first real love’ and said ‘she’ll always love him’.  Aren’t they both single right now?!  Hello.



Yeah yeah, Ciara and Future do look immaculate together.  But while their status currently ping-pongs back and forth, let’s talk.  There’s something to say for the person that rode with you early on.  These two came up together as wee teens in the music biz and were just as darling as could be.  A rock on Ciara’s finger also suggested a potential engagement at a point.  Though infidelity seemed to pull the two apart in 2006, that was awfully long ago and Bow Wow was still a young stupid chap.  He did say in a popularly awkward interview with Ciara last year that his mama still considers Ciara a daughter.  Was a he opening up a door or is that just us?!


These two’s glitzy personas always complimented one another so well.  Yeah, y’all got arrested and what not, but can we look past that?  We’re mourning the loss of a power couple here and we need it back.  What do you say, guys?  How about a little whirl around town for old times’ sake?



With Brandy tallying up her second broken engagement now, we really wish our girl could win with love any day now.  And then we inevitably think of Brandy’s first love, Wanya, and how she was forced to keep their relationship secret.  It’s hard not think what could have been would their relationship been allowed to flourish.  How epic of a couple, people!



Yes, she’s happily married to a Qatari billionare and living a simple luxurious life of obscurity.  Theoretically we’re overjoyed, but her absence has also left a crater in our hearts.  When she was with Jermaine, we feel like we simply just saw more of our legendary boo.  Tell us, we’re selfish.  We can take it.



Angie is quoted talking about how she saw the beauty in D’Angelo when no one else was paying attention to him, when he didn’t really know how to love himself.  But despite Angie having his child, co-writing and inspiring his songs, background singing for him, and generally holding her man down, it appears as though D’Angelo’s rising fame and the glitter of the celebrity lifestyle ultimately diverted his attention away from the relationship.  We can only dream of how D’Angelo’s path may have looked – probably a bit healthier – had a woman like Angie stayed in his life.

[Photo: Getty Images]