Who's the new Taylor in Kanye's life?

By Ruth Kinane
August 29, 2016 at 08:00 PM EDT
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Kanye West made one of the most memorable moments of the VMAs when he debuted the new music video for “Fade,” off The Life of Pablo, on Sunday night. Starring Teyana Taylor, the clip shows her dancing like she’s in Flashdance, writhing in an empty gym, wearing a grey sports bra and matching underwear. If her moves weren’t captivating enough to hold the viewer’s attention, the video ends with the toned dancer looking into the camera, her features morphed into a cat’s face. She appears next to her fiancée, NBA player Iman Shumpert, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

So, who is that girl from the video? Here are five things to know about the video star:

1. She sings

Back in 2007 when she was just a teen, Taylor signed to Pharrell Williams’ Star Trak Entertainment imprint at Interscope Records and released her debut single “Google Me,” in early 2008. She later enjoyed a short stint in girl group U.G.L.Y., in 2010.

Taylor released her debut album, VII, which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in 2014.

She’s currently working on new music for her second studio album, and in the meantime has paired up with Chris Brown to record “Freak On,” released in June 2016.

2. She has friends in high places

Before Sunday night’s video premiere, Taylor and West were already familiar one another. Taylor has been signed to West’s GOOD Music label and Def Jam since 2012. She also provides vocals on the rapper’s songs “Dark Fantasy,” “Hell of a Life” and “Christmas in Harlem.” She’s also previously teamed with Missy Elliott, Trey Songz, and Jadakiss, and back in 2007 she danced in the music video for Jay Z’s single “Blue Magic.”

3. She’s engaged to Cleveland Cavaliers player Iman Shumpert

They’re not just costars in West’s “Fade” video, in which they take a steamy shower together. Taylor has been engaged to Shumpert since November 2015. When the NBA player proposed, she posted a pic of her ring on Instagram with the caption: “Thank You @imanshumpert for putting the color back in my life! I love you so much.” The couple have one daughter together.

 

4. She gave birth in her bathroom

Taylor made a splash in the news in December 2015 when she shared the story of her daughter’s less-than-conventional birth in an Instagram post. Waking up at 6 a.m. to discover she was in labor, Taylor ended up giving birth to her baby girl on the bathroom floor with the help from Shumpert and a pair of headphones.

“On Dec 16th at 6:42am in our bathroom Junie decided she wanted to take her first breath into this world. She came out as a wonderful surprise to everyone!” she announced on Instagram.

 

5. She was once on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen

Taylor isn’t new to MTV. Yes, Sunday night’s VMAs were a big moment for her, but her relationship with the network actually began back when the singer was just 16 years old. That’s right, the video star was featured on My Super Sweet Sixteen, in which almost-16-year-olds plan and partake in exuberant birthday bashes complete with flashy cars, costumes, and celebrity appearances. Teenage Taylor’s party had an ’80’s theme — maybe that was where she first learned her Flashdance-inspired moves? — and featured invitations delivered via ice cream truck, $700 sneakers, and an appearance by Pharrell Williams. Watch the episode over at MTV.com.

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