Jon Batiste and longtime partner Suleika Jaouad revealed hours before he won five Grammys on Sunday that they tied the knot in a secret February ceremony, one day before Jaouad underwent a bone marrow transplant.
“We had this tiny, beautiful little ceremony. We didn’t have wedding bands, we used bread ties,” Jaouad said during a “CBS Sunday Morning” interview.
Jaouad, the author of the best-selling cancer memoir “Between Two Kingdoms,” is battling leukemia for the second time in a decade, Billboard reported.
Batiste’s proposal, however, had been in the works for months prior to Jaouad’s recurrence, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“He said to me, ‘I just want to be very clear, I’m not proposing to you because of this diagnosis. It’s taken me a year to design your ring. So, just know this timing has nothing to do with it. But what I do want you to know is that this diagnosis doesn’t change anything. It just makes it all the clearer to me that I want to commit to this and for us to be together.’ But once we realized we had this tiny window before the bone marrow transplant, we decided to go for it,” Jaouad told “CBS Sunday Morning.”
In turn, she said the couple “walked into that bone marrow transplant unit on cloud nine.”
“We were so happy, so brimming with love and positivity from this beautiful evening that we’d had, and I really believe that that carried us through. That sense of community, that sense of love, that sense of joy and spontaneity were so important,” Jaouad added.
Batiste, who led Sunday’s 64th Grammy Awards with 11 nominations, won five awards, including album of the year for “We Are.” He also won best American roots song, best American roots performance, best music video for “Freedom” and tied with Carlos Rafael Rivera for best score soundtrack for visual media for his work on “Soul.”
The crooner told “CBS Sunday Morning” that the couple’s marriage after eight years together was most certainly an “act of defiance.”
“The darkness will try to overtake you, but just turn on the light. Focus on the light. Hold onto the light,” he said.
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