To this day, Faith Evans’ name remains synonymous with Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls) in the world of hip-hop. The “Never Gonna Let You Go” artist and the prolific spitter were only together for a short period, though they managed to leave their mark on the culture far beyond those few years in which they were married. Like so many other Black women, Evans often doesn’t get her flowers for everything she’s accomplished outside of her romantic life, such as being the former First Lady of Bad Boy Records.

During her come-up, the creative force of nature made her presence felt not only with her warm, golden vocals but also through embracing her natural beauty. Rather than leaning into cosmetic surgeries and enhancements like the women in today’s industry feel pressure to, Evans used makeup strategically to enhance her features. Whether her hair was platinum blonde or vibrant ginger, the 50-year-old has always looked confident in her own skin, though her tendency to fall into toxic relationships has admittedly been a distraction from her work.

Read on to revisit some of Evans’ most iconic moments from the 90s, starting with her high school graduation and first steps into parenthood, ending with her professional acting debut following her first major tour.


Faith Evans 90s pictured: Faith Evans and firstborn daughter Chyna
Photo by Catherine McGann/Getty Images

After graduating high school the year before, Faith Evans began studying Marketing at New York City’s Fordham University in 1992. It wasn’t long before the aspiring vocalist became pregnant with her first daughter, Chyna, who she shares with producer Kiyamma Griffin. When she was a young girl, Evans’ mother Helene worked in the music industry and wound up leaving her in the care of other relatives while going off to pursue her own dreams. The songstress knew all too well the troubling impacts an entertainment career can have on a family but moved forward confidently in hopes of building a better life.


In her 2008 memoir, Keep the Faith, Evans recalls her first time singing in front of an audience as a child. “After seeing [their] reaction, I knew I would be a singer. I knew I’d found my calling.” The same passion she felt back then is what pushed her towards making the move across the country to Los Angeles, where her vocal range found her work as a backup performer for “Nite and Day” hitmaker Al B. Sure!. This was a great starting gig for the then-mother of one, and more doors opened after Sean Combs, better known as Diddy, was intrigued by Evans’ work.


Faith Evans 90s pictured: Diddy, Faith Evans, and Christopher Wallace Jr. pose together
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The mid-90s is when things began seriously heating up for the Florida-born starlet. She was a blonde bombshell with stunning looks and singing skills that landed her not only the coveted title of Bad Boy Records‘ First Lady at just 20 years old but also the hand in marriage of the late Christopher Wallace. When she wasn’t falling head over heels for the rap legend, the embattled singer spent her time contributing backup vocals and co-writing to projects like Mary J. Blige’s My Life and Usher’s self-titled debut.

Evans and Biggie Smalls first crossed paths at a photo shoot for their record label, and a little more than a week afterward they tied the knot. Their relationship was tumultuous in nature, though their aesthetics together remain a reference point for many fashion lovers to this day.


On the topic of memorable outfits the pair donned, one that immediately comes to mind is their 1995 shoot with VIBE Magazine. For that they wore classy black ensembles with simple golden accessories. Evans’ blonde hair was pinned into a Pamela Anderson-style up-do, and her husband completed his look with a dapper hat. They posed candidly in the backseat of a blue car together, and in the accompanying interview, Biggie spoke openly about wishing he and the “I Love You” artist didn’t rush into such a serious commitment.

“I married her after knowing her eight days, and I was happy. That was my baby,” the late legend told the outlet. “At the same time, with us being so spontaneous, we did it backwards. Maybe she won’t admit it, but I will. We should have got to know each other and then got married. The relationship kind of dissolved, but we’re still going to be friends.” Amid the dissolution of her marriage, Evans kept busy working on her debut LP, Faith, which landed in late August. “You Used to Love Me” and “Soon as I Get Home” were the project’s most popular singles, and the album was certified platinum by the RIAA after selling over 1.5M copies.


Years after Chyna’s birth, Evans became a mother for the second time, welcoming baby Christopher George Latore Wallace Jr. on October 29th. Not only was she still celebrating the success of her self-titled album in 1996, but the New Jersey-raised icon also had the joys of two young ones running around to keep her smiling. Unfortunately, rumors of her alleged affair with Biggie’s nemesis, Tupac Shakur, only led to more tensions rising in hip-hop’s infamous East vs. West Coast battle that was playing out.

No matter what MC was rumored to be spending time with the R&B crooner, her good looks continued to keep all eyes on her. Rather than overdoing it with makeup, Evans opted to emphasize her naturally plump pout and lightly accentuate her beautiful brown eyes with minimal but impactful beauty looks.


Though she and Wallace were no longer together at this point, Evans had become globally recognizable as Biggie’s wife, and a vocalist in her own right. In her 2008 memoir, the mother of four wrote eloquently about how she often felt overshadowed by her ex’s reputation. “I want people to understand that although he was a large part of my life, my story doesn’t actually begin or end with Big’s death,” she explained to readers.

The New York-based MC lost his life in a murder that remains unsolved all this time later on March 9th. Before he was killed in a shooting, Wallace’s ex-wife launched a new relationship with record executive Todd Russaw. Afterward, she and Diddy linked up with 112 for “I’ll Be Missing You” – a tribute song dedicated to her other half, which made an unforgettable debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, where it subsequently stayed for 11 weeks.

“My journey has been complicated on many levels. And since I am always linked to Big, there are a lot of misconceptions about who I really am. It’s not easy putting your life out there for the masses. But I’ve decided I’ll tell my own story. For Big. For my children. And for myself,” her book additionally states.


Faith Evans 90s pictured: Faith Evans performing
Photo by JMEnternational/Getty Images

Of course, Small’s untimely passing was difficult for Evans, who was left to raise their son and her other children without the rhymer’s support. It made it more difficult for Evans to show up as her best self, but it didn’t stop the timeless beauty from working entirely. Her Keep the Faith LP dropped in 1998, with a tracklist that was almost entirely written and produced by the recording artist herself. “A highlight of 1990s soul-pop music” is how Allmusic referenced Evans’ sophomore effort. The cover art gives listeners a close-up look at her pretty face, a look of deep emotion overcoming her eyes. As was customary for her at that point, the multi-talent let her natural beauty speak for itself with minimal makeup, her strawberry blonde hair perfectly framing her face.

“Love Like This” and “All Night Long” are among titles that helped earn Evans another RIAA certification, and her work with Diddy on their tribute to Biggie brought home her first Grammy Award. Lots of celebrating was taking place in 1998, as that’s also when the former Bad Boy artist welcomed her third baby (and first with Russaw) on her 25th birthday (June 10th). She and Joshua’s father tied the knot that summer as they worked to build a healthy, happy, family unit. Long-time fans of Evans will know this isn’t the last time she was a bride, though it’s been important to her to keep some sort of structure in place for her children after witnessing so much chaos at such a young age.


While Biggie’s discography could only be expanded with posthumous releases at this point, Evans continued to expand hers, and the rest of her creative portfolio far beyond the 90s. In the final year of the decade, she was nominated for two more Grammy awards, both for her “Heartbreak Hotel” collaborative single with Whitney Houston and Kelly Price. That made its debut at No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart and made a popular addition to the setlist on her Keep the Faith Tour.

The 90s introduced us to Faith Evans as a singer, mother, wife, and visionary, but as the millennium began, the world got to know her far beyond that. In 2000 she made her feature film debut in Turn It Up by Robert Adetuyi, which also stars The Fugees member Pras Michel, Ja Rule, and Jason Statham. Beyond that she has numerous film and television credits, the most recent being her 2021 appearance on The Masked Singer. Now that she’s entered a new decade of life, R&B lovers are curious to see what’s next for Evans, and how the road she paved for herself so many years ago continues to shape her today, not to mention influence up-and-coming artists.