They say behind every successful man is his lady, but when it comes to Swizz Beatz, he and his wife, Alicia Keys, are both putting in major work in the music industry. Beatz is one-half of one of the most powerful couples in music, and although he hangs behind the scenes a bit more than Keys, his impact has definitely been felt. Whether he’s hitting the studio solo, or teaming up with his wife on a project, Beatz is one of the most distinguished producers today, though he often steers clear of the spotlight. You probably already know everything there is to know about Keys and her chart-topping hits, and Swizz’s accomplishments are equally as impressive. These facts about Swizz Beatz will fill you in on what you need to know.
1. Swizz Beatz isn’t his real name.
Beatz was actually born Kasseem Dean. Hailing from New York City, Beatz got his big break in music in Atlanta thanks to DMX, who purchased a sample from him which would go on to become "Ruff Ryders’ Anthem."
2. Beatz has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Beyoncé.
Yep, Queen Bey bought samples from Beatz for a number of tracks including "Ring The Alarm," and so has her husband, JAY-Z. Beatz has also worked with Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, DMX, T.I., and more hip-hop industry heavy-hitters.
3. He’s an accomplished philanthropist.
Beatz was the first Global Ambassador for New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation. Through the organization, Beatz has performed at fundraisers for a number of organizations including American Cancer Society, Boost Mobile RockCorps, and the Bronx Charter School for the Arts. He is passionate about charity work, and is heavily involved in the Keep A Child Alive foundation, which Keys co-founded.
4. He’s a Grammy winner, too.
In 2010, Beatz took home the Grammy Award for best rap performance by a duo or group for "On To The Next One" with JAY-Z. To give you an idea of how active he is in the rap game, he was actually nominated twice in that category that year. The second nom was for "Fancy" with Drake and T.I.
5. He & Keys are constant collaborators, even beyond music.
In 2018, Beatz and Keys received P&E Wing honors for their contributions to music, a true honor in the entertainment industry. If there was any doubt before, the award solidified their spot as one of music’s biggest power couples.
More recently, in 2019, he and Keys announced plans to open an art and music center in upstate New York, which will focus on teaching emerging artists the ins and outs of the entertainment industry.
6. He & Keys have two kids together.
Beatz found love with Keys in 2008, and they said "I do" two years later. The two now share two adorable sons named Genesis Ali Dean, and Egypt Daoud Dean, and their family is pretty picture perfect.
7. He has five children in total.
Beatz is also a loving father to his 11-year-old son, Kasseem “KJ” Dean, whom he shares with his ex-wife, Mashonda Tifrere. He shares 18-year-old son, Prince Nasir Dean, with ex Nicole Levy; and daughter Nicole with Zhanna Andrianova.
8. He’s a Harvard graduate.
Beatz earned his degree from the esteemed university in November 2017. He had attended Harvard University Business School’s Owner/President Management program.
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Today is graduation day 🙏🏽 In life we must keep graduating until the end. When I say we must graduate I'm talking about on all levels not just school. This moment is special to me and my family because many people look up to me and they use my drive to thrive. 🙏🏽 Today I will become Harvard alumni and although I'm not getting an “MBA” no one can EVER take this accomplishment away from me 🙏🏽 I was suppose to be gone a long time ago according to some of my old teachers 🙂 This one is for you! Blessings!🙏🏽 Never shoot people's dreams down because you don't have your own!!!! This is my #tbt pic👨🏽🎓👨🏽🎓👨🏽🎓👨🏽🎓👨🏽🎓🕺🏽🕺🏽🕺🏽 #OPM50 #fromthebronxtoharvard Doc coming Soon ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
With five kids, a bustling music career, and a loving relationship with Keys to maintain, you’d think Beatz would be one busy guy. And he is. But he seems to manage this all with ease, and in 2020, he’ll be cheering his wife on as she hosts the Grammy Awards again, another step in the ascension of their musical empire.
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