Those who have followed Keyshia Cole’s career ever since she met MC Hammer at the age of 12 has seen her rise from aspiring musician to releasing hit songs like Never, I Should Have Cheated and Heaven Sent. She has sold millions of records, released multiple albums and went on international tours. Keyshia has equally expanded her entertainment career from music to acting and reality television, all in more than one and a half-decade.
The growth, however, is not limited to music and her career as an entertainer. The Oakland, Californian-born singer and songwriter has also become a woman, experiencing the joy of marriage, the excitement of motherhood, and the pain of divorce.
Keyshia Cole’s Marriage to Booby Gibson
After seven years as a professional musician and unsuccessful relationships with other notable music acts like Jeezy and The Game, Keyshia Cole began a relationship with former NBA player Daniel Gibson. He spent seven seasons in the NBA, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. During his time in the league, Daniel played 397 games, averaging 7.8 points per game. Since retiring, he has moved on to entertainment, appearing in shows like Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood and starting a rap career.
Daniel Gibson is the second sports player in the singer’s dating history, having previously dated former Dallas Mavericks player, DeShawn Stevenson. Their relationship progressed nicely and on January 1, 2010, they got engaged.
Five months after they got engaged, Keyshia and Daniel Gibson got married in a dream wedding in Hawaii. The ceremony was filmed and aired on the reality TV series, Keyshia and Daniel: Family First. Before they got married, the couple had a son, Daniel Hiram Gibson Jr., born on March 2, 2010.
Their Union May Have Ended Because of Infidelity
Sadly, the joy of their marriage and newborn child did not last very long. Three years after they got married, Keyshia Cole and Daniel Gibson separated. For a while, both parties kept mute on the cause of their separation, but a now-deleted Instagram post by the singer suggested that the former NBA player had cheated.
Due to spousal and child custody issues, as well as a reported attempt at working on their marriage, Keyshia and Daniel did not file for a divorce until September 2017. As at the time of writing this article, the former couple is yet to finalize their divorce. Regardless, both parties have moved on to new relationships, and in the case of Keyshia, started a new family.
Her New Boyfriend and Baby Daddy
While Keyshia Cole was in a custody battle with her ex-husband, she returned to the dating scene. She dated a few men, like Birdman, Mr. Ruggs, Shad Moss (Bow Wow). In 2017, she met and began dating her Niko Khale, an American singer who is 13 years younger than her.
Niko Khale was born on October 17, 1995, and he began his music career when he was a teenager. He has released a couple of albums, including Storytime Originals, Free Mind Rich Thoughts, and On My Own. Niko is currently signed to Foolie High Music Group.
The two met via Instagram after Keyshia found his remix to one of her songs, Let It Go. The intrigue of his lyrics led her to reach out to him, kickstarting a romantic relationship. Since the social media platform brought them together, they have stayed a couple and have given birth to a child, Tobias Khale, born on August 1, 2019. Both sons of the Never singer have Instagram pages, as part of their respective biological parents’ presence in their lives. A fact that wasn’t always true for their mother.
Keyshia Cole has Two Sets of Parents
On a scientific note, Keyshia Cole was born to Francine Lons and Virgil Hunter, on October 15, 1981. But her biological mother, at least, was only her parent for the first two years of her life. At the age of two, the singer was adopted by Leon and Yvonne Cole. They are two family friends who took over her care after her mother gave her up for adoption because she couldn’t adequately provide for her.
Prostitution, drug addiction, and going in and out of jail were some of the issues that kept Francine, also known as Frankie, from being a mother to Cole. Her adoptive mother, Yvonne Cole, is a preacher at Oakland’s Laodicea Baptist Church, and she famously passed on a $14,000 cheque to Keyshia – The first domino that led her to a successful music career.
Despite her rugged background, Keyshia Cole maintains a loving relationship with her adopted mother to date. As for her adoptive father, although we don’t know much about him, the singer speaks highly of him, suggesting he was just as good to her as her adoptive mother.
Her Biological Father is a Professional Boxing Trainer
Despite having the luck of growing up with good adoptive parents, Keyshia Cole never stopped wondering and looking for her biological parents, especially her father. While she did not have much trouble finding her birth mother, her birth father took a lot of effort. According to Keyshia, over the years, she met several men who claimed to be her father, and there were a lot of disappointing paternity tests.
Her search lasted for 34 years, culminating in an announcement in May 2016 when she revealed to the world that, Virgil Hunter, a renowned boxing trainer, is her father. Keyshia Cole detailed her search for her birth parents, along with insights into her childhood on the TV show, Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is.
Her father began training fighters after years of working in the probation department. Since he started his career, he has trained more than ten known boxers, including Amir Khan, Demetrius Andrade, and Nicola Adams. He was awarded the Futch-Condon Award for the Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2011.