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Everything to Know About August Alsina amid Revelations of Singer's Romance with Jada Pinkett Smith

People logo People 7/10/2020 Maria Pasquini
August Alsina wearing a neck tie © Michael Kovac/AMA2016/Getty August Alsina

August Alsina has made headlines this month about his relationship with Jada Pinkett Smith.

During a recent interview with Angela Yee on YouTube, the 27-year-old singer claimed he had a relationship with Pinkett Smith, whom he met through her and Will Smith's son Jaden, 22, back in 2015.

"I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really deeply love and have a ton of love for her," he said. "I devoted myself to it, I gave my full self to it — so much so to the point that I can die right now and be okay with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody."

In Friday’s episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith, 48, and her husband sat down to discuss her relationship with the singer, which she revealed took place years ago, while she and Smith, 51, were briefly separated.

"Four and a half years ago… I started a friendship with August and we actually became really, really good friends," she said. "And it all started with him just needing some help, me wanting to help his health, his mental state."

“We found all those different resources to help pull him through and from there you and I were going through a very difficult time,” she said, later clarifying that the pair “decided that we were going to separate for a period of time."

August Alsina, Jada Pinkett Smith are posing for a picture: Paras Griffin/Getty August Alsina and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2017 BET Awards © Provided by People Paras Griffin/Getty August Alsina and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2017 BET Awards

Although Pinkett Smith denied that her husband had given Alsina permission to carry on the relationship, explaining that “the only person that can give permission in that circumstance is myself,” she clarified that she thought the singer was trying “to make it clear he’s not a homewrecker because he’s not."

Here’s everything to know about Alsina and his relationship with the Smith family.

RELATED: Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals She Had a Relationship with August Alsina While Briefly Separated from Will Smith

Early struggles

In a 2013 interview with Complex, Alsina, who was born in New Orleans, said that both his father and his stepfather struggled with drug addiction — and that his mother “used to work two jobs to take care” of him and his siblings.

Although Alsina started a YouTube account when he was 14, which featured his music, he didn’t get serious about his career until after the death of his brother Melvin LaBranch III, who was fatally shot in 2010, shortly before Alsina’s 18th birthday, according to VH1.

“At that point I was like, 'I ain't got s— to lose but my life out here in these streets so why not give it a chance?'” he told Complex.

Tragedy would strike again in late 2018, when the singer announced that his sister Chandra, a mother of three, had died after a battle with cancer.

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A post shared by Yungin' (@augustalsina) on Dec 28, 2019 at 4:30pm PST

Rising Music Career

Alsina released his first mixtape The Product back in 2012 and the following year he released a breakthrough single, “I Luv This S—,” which went on to appear on his 2014 debut album Testimony.

The album spent a total of 60 weeks on the Billboard charts, and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. He was also named a member of XXL Magazine’s 2014 Freshman class alongside Chance the Rapper, Ty Dolla $ign, Vic Mensa and Kevin Gates.

Alsina went on to release his second studio album, This Thing Called Life in 2015, which featured collaborations with Lil Wayne and Chris Brown. Although he released a number of singles in the years since, his third album, The Product III: StateofEMERGEncy, was not released until last month.

a person wearing a costume: Gabriel Grams/WireImage August Alsina © Provided by People Gabriel Grams/WireImage August Alsina

Public Health Scares

Alsina has suffered from a number of health issues over the years.

In 2014, Alsina terrified fans when he collapsed while on stage in New York and the following year he revealed he had to have surgery on his eye due to an eye disease that was causing him to go blind.

During a 2018 appearance on an episode of Red Table Talk, Alsina went on to share that he suffers from an autoimmune disease that attacks his liver. In the episode, he also spoke about his past addiction to Percocet, and reaching out to the Smith family for help.

One year later, Alsina revealed that he had been hospitalized after losing the ability to walk. “I woke up one day and wasn’t able to walk,” he said in a 2019 Instagram video, adding that his doctor told him he had nerve damage “going on throughout my body.”

“My autoimmune disease is raging, but I’m fighting this thing & on my mission to shake back & be able to make it up to you!” he added in the video’s caption.

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A post shared by Yungin' (@augustalsina) on Jul 8, 2019 at 12:59pm PDT

Romance Speculation

A pair of birthday posts in 2018, which have since been deleted, prompted some fans to question whether there was anything more than friendship between Pinkett Smith and the singer.

“I don’t believe in luck,” he wrote in a 2018 birthday tribute, according to Vulture. “I believe in God’s divine order. & you are an example of God’s divinity in It’s covering over my life. A beautifully complex individual you are... I could spend a lifetime decoding you.”

In her own supportive post that year, Pinkett Smith commended the young singer for all that he had fought against in his life. “I’ve watched you fight for your health ... I’ve watched you fight for your sobriety and I’ve watched you fight for your meaning of life," she wrote. “ I’m so proud of you and I got all the love in the world for you. I’m wishing you the best of everything!”

Alsina also raised eyebrows last year when he remixed Kehlani’s song “Nunya.” In the music video, Alsina texts with a woman identified as “Koren” — which is the actress’ middle name — and also sends the woman a GIF of Pinkett Smith after singing the line, “You’re just an actress putting on a show.”

Jada Pinkett Smith, August Alsina posing for the camera: Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Jada Pinkett Smith, August Alsina © Provided by People Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Jada Pinkett Smith, August Alsina

RELATED: Jada Pinkett Smith Says She Wanted to ‘Feel Good’ During August Alsina Romance: ‘I Was Very Broken’

His relationship with Pinkett Smith came back into the spotlight last week, amid the release of his new album.

"I love these people. I really, genuinely do," he said of the Smith family in the YouTube interview. "I've never been in love in that kind of a way. So much so that being intertwined in that way — walking away from it butchered me. I’m shakin' right now because it almost killed me. Not almost; It did. It pushed me into being another person, my newer self. It. Broke. Me. Down."

In her own episode of her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith spoke about the lessons she learned during her relationship with Alsina.

"In the process of that relationship, I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself and luckily enough you and I were going through a process of healing in a much different manner," she told her husband. "I would definitely say you and I did everything that we could to get away from each other only to realize that wasn’t possible."

"And as I came through and started to realize certain things about you and I, he decided to break all communication with me, which was totally understandable," she added. "And I let that be and hadn't talked to him since."


Gallery: 5 Things to Know About Jada Pinkett Smith's Ex August Alsina (US Weekly)

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