Kendrick Lamar is one of hip-hop’s biggest superstars, and the year 2022 has only proven that. In February, he performed in the Super Bowl LVI halftime show alongside his iconic peers Dr. Dr, Snoop Dog, Mary J. Bligeand Eminem. Plus, he was announced as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live for its Season 48 premiere. Even more impressively, it will be his fifth time performing on the hit sketch series. On the way to him becoming a household name, the 34-year-old rapper, songwriter, and producer has accomplished the unthinkable feat of earning 13 Grammys, a Brit Award, 11 MTV Video Music Awards, and an Academy Award nomination. And in case you missed that, Kendrick won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his powerful album, Damn.
Even with all his accolades, fame, and financial success, Kendrick has managed to keep a low-key lifestyle. His personal life is especially private, and he shares very little about the woman he intends to marry, Whitney Alford. Learn all there is to know about Kendrick’s gorgeous fiancée below!
1. Whitney Grew Up in Compton
Born on May 12, 1986, Whitney was raised in the southern Los Angeles neighborhood of Compton. Whitney would go on to attend Centennial High, the same school as Kendrick. Interestingly, Dr. Dre, who would become a mentor to Kendrick, is also an alumnus of the high school.
Whitney and Kendrick have been together since high school at the turn of the 20th century. The pair were friends at first, but their relationship eventually blossomed into a romance. “She’s been here since Day 1,” Kendrick told The New York Times Magazine in 2014.
2. Whitney Has Struggled With Her Mental Health
Like her fiancé, Whitney is fiercely protective of her private life (the pair didn’t make their first red carpet debut until 2014!). She also does not use social media often, despite boasting over 35,000 Instagram followers. However, she has been a bit more active since Kendrick’s fifth studio album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppersdropped in May 2022. She shared the cover for it on May 11, which featured her sitting on a bed tending to her youngest child and Kendrick holding their oldest.
In a beautiful portrait of herself she posted on May 22, though, Whitney was possibly the most vulnerable and open she ever has been about her life and recalled her mental health journey. “I was stuck in a time and place that was no longer my reality and was no longer serving me. My babies forced me to take a long look at myself and journey back through the very things that made me,” she explained before revealing she was able to find her voice again after meeting with a therapist.
“After a few years of hard work, I can finally say I hear my own voice again. And it’s very powerful. I use my smile when it feels genuine. And it’s beautiful,” she penned. “Allowing the world in and sharing my experience is one of my greatest fears. But truth is always very important for me. I’ve lived a sober life, feeling every single part of it, with the exception of mastering how to float when it’s all too much. But I yearn to be centered. To flow. To heal. To enjoy life.”
3. Whitney And Kendrick Collaborated On ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’
Kendrick used Whitney’s dulcet voice on his 2015 album, To Pimp a Butterfly. She was featured as a background vocalist on two songs from the project: “King Kunta” and “Wesley’s Theory”. In the music video for the “King Kunta”, Whitney could be seen rocking her engagement ring.
As noted above, they collaborated for the cover art of Kendrick’s long-awaited 2022 album. The family affair included their toddler daughter, who was born in 2019, and their newest addition to the family. The album cover served as the announcement that they had become a family of four in the past year. The pair have yet to speak publicly of their little one, but Whitney shared a photo of the foursome together to celebrate Father’s Day in 2022.
4. Kendrick Calls Whitney His ‘Best Friend’
Back in Jan. 2015, Kendrick explained that his relationship with Whitney is one for the ages. “That’s my best friend,” he told Billboard. “I don’t even like the term that society has put in the world as far as being a companion — she’s somebody I can tell my fears to.”
Just a few months later, he confirmed that he had asked Whitney for her hand in marriage. “I’m loyal to the soil. At the end of the day you want to always have real people around you period,” he noted on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club (via XXL). “Everybody that’s been around me has been down since day one and I can’t change that. I don’t change for nobody. I always show respect when respect is being given and people that’s been by your side, you supposed to honor that. That’s how you stand up.”
Whitney certainly feels the same for Kendrick, who she praised for being such a present father during her above-mentioned Father’s Day post. “I was almost 30 the first time I celebrated Father’s Day and it’s still one of the hardest for me,” she admitted. “I know there are many women like me. So men it’s not as important for us to celebrate you, as it is for You to celebrate You. Celebrate your contribution to the next generation. I am grateful for the men that are showing me a different picture, my lens was very narrow before but not anymore.”
5. Whitney Has An Accounting Degree
After high school, Whitney attended the California State University, Long Beach where she would go on to graduate with a degree in accounting. But just a few years after she left college, she also left behind a career in accounting to follow her passion for the beauty industry, according to Black Excellence. She now works in the entertainment industry as a freelance makeup artist and skincare specialist.