Eve is an American hip-hop artist and actress. She is the inaugural winner of the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Eve has collaborated with numerous well-known musicians, including Prince, The Roots, and Gwen Stefani. She most recently was the host of The VH1 Honors: All Hail The Queens, being number 48 herself on VH1’s “50 Greatest Women of the Video Era” list. Eve is considered among the most successful women in hip-hop.

Eve Bio: AGE, EARLY LIFE AND RAP BEGINNINGS

Eve was born Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper on November 10, 1978 (now 37) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Julie Wilch and Jerry Jaffers. Her mother was a publishing company supervisor while her father supervised a chemical plant, although she grew up with her mother in a single-parent household in the local housing projects; Eve has stated that as a teenager she saw little of her father, and subsequently, the two do not have a relationship.

While attending Martin Luther King High School, Eve sang in choirs and formed the singing group D.G.P., Dope Girls Posse. The group toured local talent shows and even had a manager. At the age of 13, taking a suggestion from that same manager, Even switched to rap, forming the duo Edjp (pronounced like Egypt) with her fellow female rapper Jenny Poo and performing under the name Eve of Destruction. Eve would keep this moniker long after ending the group.

Before jumping headlong into the music business, Eve worked briefly at a record store in Philadelphia and at a strip club in New York City; her backup plan was to be a makeup artist.

Eve Bio: RAPPING WITH THE RUFF RYDERS AND HER BIG BREAK

At 18 years old, Eve got her break, getting signed to Dr. Dre’s label, Aftermath Entertainment. Appearing on the Bulworth soundtrack in 1998, she spent eight months in Los Angeles with minimal promotion, until Dr. Dre dropped her and she moved back to Philadelphia. Back home, Even became friends with rapper DMX, who introduced her to the New York-based rapper and producer collective, the Ruff Ryders. Looking back on her connection with the often controversial hip-hop artist in an interview with Hello Beautiful, Eve only expresses good wishes:

“I can’t give up an opinion on what he needs. When I see him, I see him in the best light. When I see him, he’s laughing, joking, being crazy and we’re laughing and reminiscing. I don’t get that X that everyone else sees–those moments that other people see. The X that I get is the X that I love. I’ve seen him in bad situations, but the majority of the time I’m with X, it’s awesome.”

DMX had the up-and-comer audition for the group on the spot, using lyrics she had written for Dr. Dre’s label. Impressed with her “an oven-roasted voice, smooth flows and a thuggish attitude for days,” as recounted in a Rolling Stone interview, the collective took her in as their only female member. Eve spoke exclusively to uInterview about coming up in the hip-hop collective, and how unlike common experiences of inequality in the rap industry, the Ruff Ryders supported her like another artist. “If there was a cipher or a battle, a rap battle, on a street corner in Harlem or in the studio, I was expected to get in it and show my skills and do my thing,” she said. “I always have appreciated that they never looked at me like ‘Oh, she’s the girl of the group, we kind of don’t put her in those situations… they treated me as equal.”

Eve made her second album debut on the Ruff Ryders’ top-selling compilation Ryde or Die Vol. 1,
her song “What Y’all Want.” This opened the door for many future musical collaborations, with Eve appearing on tracks by The Roots, Janet Jackson and Blackstreet. This built to the release of her own debut album, Let There Be Eve Ruff Ryder’s First Lady in 1999; the album sold over two million copies and marked her style as a cross between the tough, empowering style of Queen Latifah and the more sex-driven verse of Lil’ Kim.

 

Eve Bio: SCORPION, EVE-OLUTION AND AN ACTING CAREER

Eve released her second album, Scorpion (a title taken from her astrological sign) in 2001. Produced by Stephen and Damian Marley, as well as boyfriend and rapper Stevie J, her sophomore work went gold in two months. The second single off the album, ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind,’ featured pop singer Gwen Stefani, and made the Billboard Top 100. It was for this track that Eve also won a Grammy in 2002. Scorpion stood out from her previous album in its various mixes of music, notably incorporating more of Eve’s singing voice.

Eve-Olution, her third album, also went gold when it was released in 2002. While it only reached the Billboard Top 200, her collaborations once again achieved great success, her track ‘Gangsta Lovin,’ which featured Alicia Keys, was a number two hit. Eve also began collaboration more on other artists’ work, lending her rap skills to Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, and Keyshia Cole.

After the release of Eve-Olution, the hip-hop star began to branch out into acting. She starred alongside Vin Diesel in the action flick XXX, while appearing with fellow rapper Ice Cube in the Barbershop film franchise. Following the route of Queen Latifah, Eve also starred in her own sitcom, Eve, for three seasons, the show ending in 2006. Eve has also worked with Drew Barrymore, first acting alongside her it Whip It, and most recently completed the horror film Animal, produced by Barrymore.

Eve has also appeared on two episodes of Glee, guest-starring as rival choir coach, Grace Hitchens, and on reality television shows RuPaul’s Drag Race and Sisterhood of Hip Hop.

Eve Bio: Personal Life

Eve currently splits her time between London, New York and Los Angeles, coinciding with her relationship with British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper in 2010. After dating for three years, the couple was engaged in December of 2013, before tying the knot on June 14, 2014, in Ibiza, Spain. Eve has four stepchildren through the marriage. Eve’s previously romantic relationships have often been with former mentors and collaborators. This has led to Stevie J, who produced her second album, claiming that he “showed her how to be a woman” in an interview on VH1: Live! This was in response to Eve claiming she didn’t really remember dating Stevie. Eve also briefly dated luxury jean-designer, Fred Segal, in 2008.

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