Tiffany Evans Opens Up About Motherhood, Matthew Knowles & Rihanna Drama

Tiffany Evans has been laying low for what seems like a lifetime. But the barely legal starlet is back with a new EP and a baby in the oven. Best known for her Ciara-assisted single “Promise Ring”—and holding the title on Star Search as the only performer to receive perfect five scores on all of her appearances—the mommy-to-be is ready to tackle the music industry again. VIBE chatted with the 19-year-old prodigy, as she preps her new single, “If You Love Me." Tiff dishes on everything from her past musical career and her split with Matthew Knowles, to being accused of calling Rihanna a devil worshipper and her emancipation from her parents.

VIBE: Before we get into your new single, let’s rewind. Why did you part ways with Columbia Records and Matthew Knowles?

Tiffany Evans: I was with Columbia for about 10 years, and it was just time for that journey to end. I felt ready to move forward and try something different. I wanted to start learning the business for myself and be hands-on with my projects and my affairs. I think at that moment, it was just time for me to move on and they were very supportive of that. It was a very smooth and nice process. I’m thankful for that because sometimes situations like that really don’t work out that well.

And with Matthew?

With Matthew, it was sort of the same thing. It was a learning experience when I was dealing with him. At that point, I just think everyone was going in a different direction than I was. I wanted to do something different and be more hands on with Tiffany and her projects.

So with Columbia, was it a release or were you dropped from the label?

No drop situation. I actually asked for a release and they made it happen for me. It was a mutual thing, where they understood where I was coming from.

One of the former members of Destiny’s Child claimed that Matthew wasn’t surprised that he and Beyoncé parted ways due to finances. Was that the case with you guys?

No, it was completely different. Honestly, they handle their other artists separately and privately, so I really don’t know what went down in that situation. I just know what was happening with mine. I was just ready to move forward. It was a coincidence that we were parting ways at the same time [that he and Beyoncé parted ways], but I don’t know anything about their story. I tend to mind my own business. [Laughs]

A couple years ago, there was an accusation that you called Rihanna a “devil worshipper." Do you feel like that rubbed the industry the wrong way?

If anyone felt that someone had called them a devil worshipper, and they’re not, of course it would rub that person the wrong way! What I wanna clear up is, I did not call Rihanna a devil worshipper. Number one: I don’t even know her like that. We've only met a couple of times, and I would never say anything like that about any of my peers. It’s just not in my character. What I was talking about is just music—messages in the music. I was going through a really tough time in my life. I really believe that “Russian Roulette” was written beautifully, but I think it affected me in a different way because it was such a dark phase in my life. I just felt the need to speak on it. That’s the only thing I said about Rihanna. I didn’t think people would find that crazy or disrespectful. I just thought I was expressing myself in the best way that I knew how. I wasn’t trying to offend her. I didn’t say anything about anyone specifically devil worshipping. I guess that’s how things get out of hand. But I’ve learned my lesson. There are different ways to express yourself. I really want people to understand that I didn’t say that.

With everything that she was going through, I think her music was also very expressive of her life’s events at the time.

Right. That’s just how she was expressing herself, and you can only respect that. Like I said, at that point I was going though a lot and just trying to cope. It was just my way of expressing how I was feeling at that moment. But sometimes, when you use social media to say what you feel like you need to say, it can get taken out of context.

So what do you plan on doing differently this time around in the music industry?

Well, I can just tell you, I’m doing this thing on my own. I started my own company [Little Lady Entertainment] and I’m releasing music through that. One of the things I’m also doing differently is learning the business and handling my own affairs. When you’re signed to a label, you have so many people doing things for you. I didn’t get the chance to learn behind the scenes things that I feel like I should know as an artist, so now I have that chance. I have full creative control as far as what I want to put out there musically and what I want people to see me as.


(Continued From Page 1)

The single “If You Love Me” was sung with such passion and emotion. It had to come from a personal place. What was the inspiration behind it?

To be honest, I was mad at my husband and he was mad at me. I’m such a down chick [Laughs]. I just believe in working things out. I don’t believe in being mad and angry for so long. If you guys love each other, stop acting like it’s the end of the world! Just come to an agreement where you guys can just move on. I believe in fighting for the right thing. When you’re going through things, it’s the perfect time to write because you’re going to have so much to pour out of your heart—and that’s what I did. I wrote “If You Love Me” in, like, 15 minutes. It just came all out of me and turned into this beautiful song. I played off of our situation and I played it for him the next day. He was like, “Wow, this is beautiful!” He almost shed a tear—he doesn’t cry off of anything! [Laughs]

Is that song going to be on the EP?

Yes, it’s definitely going to be on the EP. I'm titling it Take 1. There’s going to be lots of songs on there like “If You Love Me." Lots of soul, lots of R&B. Also, a lot of experimenting with a live instrumentation. It’s coming soon. I’m really excited about it. It’s so me, so revealing. I really can’t wait for people to hear it.

We're definitely excited for soul to be brought back into R&B.

Yes! That’s what I’m trying to do. Hopefully, people get the message when it comes out. I’m trying to stick to my R&B roots. The things you’ll hear on the EP are just me. When you hear the music, you’re going to feel it.

You’re 19, married and now pregnant. What do you have to say to people who think you’re too young for all of this?

You know, everyone has different life walks. I can’t step into anyone else’s journey and they can't step into mine. All we can do is learn from each other. With that being said, I had a different life. Some experiences I’ve been through have made me the person that I am. I’ve made decisions based off of my maturity. When people look at me, it’s so hard for them to believe that I’m not the average 19-year-old. I graduated high school at a very young age, I started in this business when I was 9 years old, I got signed when I was 10, and I was doing a lot on my own. That’s kind of how I’ve lived my life for the past 10 years. And all of this is real. When I got married, it was a decision that I feel was a great one. I just don’t want to explore and date a lot. To each his own. However, I feel like when you find someone who is genuine, especially in this industry, who really has your best interest, and you really love each other, why not? A lot of people are not going to understand that, but they have to understand that a lot of things that I’ve done in my life, I had to do on my own. I’ve been on my own for a very long time, so I had to learn different things earlier than a lot of people my age.

You guys have been married for 2 years, and you’re 19. Did you get married at 17?

I was actually married at 18. Our anniversary is coming up this year in September so I just say two years. My Birthday is in August—I was legal [Laughs].


You were emancipated from your mom. What’s the story behind that?

I was emancipated from my mom and dad when I was 15 years old. It’s a long, tough story, but I will say that making that decision was a great decision for me. Every family has its ups and downs, some a little more severe than others, but I hope that everything comes together in the end. That’s all I’m gonna say right now.

Understandable. Have you and your husband come up with a baby name yet?

We have! I’m not going to tell it just yet. It’s a beautiful name, though!

Since you’re having a baby girl, and you know all that comes along with the industry at a young age, would you let her become a child star?

Honestly, it’s hard to think about that. I know I have to prepare myself, but if she came to me, and she was really sincere with wanting to pursue the entertainment industry, I would just be there for her. I would tell her all of the information that she needs to know—the do's and don’ts and who to look out for. I want her to be able to talk to me. Your children have to be able to talk to you, because if they don’t they'll talk to someone else. You don’t know if that someone else will give them the right information. I just want her to be free with me from her heart, and I can help her out. That’s what I want. I’m sure we’re going to have a great relationship. I just want to be there for my daughter.

You’ve done some acting in the past. Is that something that you’re going to get back into or are we just focused on the music right now?

Most definitely! I love acting. I’m going to pursue it again. We have to take a break now, but after the baby I’m going to go back out to L.A and do some auditions. I was doing that earlier this year. My agent set up some meetings with directors and producers, and different auditions, but the next day I found out I was pregnant [Laughs]! We had to slow down, but the goal is to continue after the baby comes.

You have a very loyal fan base. Do you want to say anything to them?

I just wanna say that I love #TeamTiff so much, and I thank them for going to hard for me! They’ve been there since the beginning, and I appreciate them in ways that they don’t understand. I just can’t wait to give them everything that they want from me.

You can purchase Tiffany Evans' new single If You Love Me" off iTunes by clicking [HERE]

From the Web

More on Vibe

Jamie McCarthy

Obie Trice Arrested For Felony Assault After Shooting Incident

Detroit rapper and D-12 associate Obi Trice was jailed after a domestic incident that ended with his girlfriend’s 18-year-old son getting shot. According to court records, Trice was booked into Oakland County Jail early Friday (Dec. 6) morning for aggressive felony assault against a family member and contempt of court for violating a protection order.

Neighbors called police after hearing commotion coming from Trice’s home, TMZ reports. Trice, who had allegedly been drinking all day, got into a physical altercation with his girlfriend when her son stepped in to take her out of the home. Before they could leave, Trice went to get his firearm. The gun went off during a struggle between the son and Trice, hitting the young man in the groin. He was able to drive himself to the hospital and is reportedly in stable condition.

Trice, 42, was allegedly carrying a gun when police arrived, but was arrested without incident. The former Shady Records artist who launched his own record label, Black Market Entertainment, released his fifth studio album, The Fifth, this past August.


Continue Reading
Alex Wong

Taraji P. Henson Says She Developed Anxiety After Trayvon Martin Shooting

Taraji P. Henson opens up about anxiety, mental health, menopause, and the myth that black women have to be strong at all times, in a new cover story for Self Magazine.

In one portion of the interview, Henson explains how Trayvon Martin’s death served as a turning point in her mental health journey. “All my life I've been bubbly and the life of the party,” said the Empire star. “Things started to shift for me when Trayvon Martin —when that happened.”

Martin, 17, was gunned down in 2012 on his way home from the store. His killer, George Zimmerman, was later acquitted of second degree murder. Adding insult to injury, Zimmerman recently filed a $100 million lawsuit against Martin’s family.

Henson’s son, Marcell Johnson, is close in age to Martin. “That's when I noticed anxiety started kicking in,” she says explaining a fear that many black people face daily.

“They're not going to [recognize] Taraji's son out here on these streets,” added Henson. “It's me that is the star. He's not.”

Henson fears are shared by her 95-year-old grandmother. “She worries about her children, her children's children, and her great-grandbabies because she knows that at any given moment you can be picked on or killed for the color of your skin.”

Later in the interview, Henson talks about depression and explains how generational trauma carried over from slavery, everyday racism and the current political climate, can be overwhelming for black people. “[It’s] 2019, going on 2020, with even more microaggressions against us every day that we got to see on the news…and we're supposed to be okay. It's a lot.”

Henson, who launched The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation last year, has been an advocate for erasing the stigma around mental health in the black community.

Continue Reading

Central Park Five Exoneree Raymond Santana Gets Engaged To Deelishis

Central Park Five Exoneree Raymond Santana is wrapping up whirlwind year with an engagement. Santana popped the question to former Flavor of Love star Deelishis, on Thursday (Dec. 5).

“Yea [it's] official..ya can really hate me now!! @iamsodeelishis is officially off the market… [she’s] all mines…#GODgavemethegoahead..,” Santana captioned a video of the surprise engagement during a lunch date in Atlanta.


View this post on Instagram


Yea its official..ya can really hate me now!! @iamsodeelishis is officially off the market... shes all mines...#GODgavemethegoahead..

A post shared by Raymond Santana (@santanaraymond) on Dec 5, 2019 at 1:01pm PST

The couple met over the summer at a birthday party for Kandi Burruss’ husband, Todd Tucker, Santana revealed in an interview with TMZ Live on Friday (Dec. 6).

“I had so many blessings this year, this was like the icing on the cake,” he said.

Santana, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned  in the Central park jogger case along with Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam, also spoke on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s run for president, and whether or not he would accept and apology from the billionaire for avoiding settling their multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city of New York.

The exonerees sued the city for racial discrimination, malicious prosecution and emotional distress in 2003. The suit was eventually settled for $40 million in 2014, after Mayor Bill DeBlasio took office. An additional lawsuit against the state of New York was settled for $3.9 in 2016.

Hear Santana’s thoughts on Bloomberg, and more on his engagement, in the video below.


Continue Reading

Top Stories