On Sunday night, John Batiste won the Grammy for Album of the Year for We Are, but that’s not all the bandleader for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert has to be grateful for. On CBS Sunday Morning, he revealed that about a month before the award ceremony he married Suleika Jaouad, his longtime girlfriend of eight years.
Juouad, known for her memoir Between Two Kingdoms, was recently diagnosed with leukemia for a second time. A part of the interview herself, Juouad said, “We got married the day before I was admitted to the hospital to undergo my bone marrow transplant.”
The marriage has been in the works since the start of their relationship, “We have known that we wanted to get married, I think, from the first week that we started dating. That’s when Jon first brought up the topic of marriage to me. So, we’ve had 8 years. This is not, you know, a hasty decision!”
Batiste sees the marriage as an act of defiance as the darkness tries to take hold, “The darkness will try to overtake you, but just turn on the light. Focus on the light. Hold onto the light.”
There was plenty of light on Sunday as Batiste was the most nominated artist at the Grammys and showed up to the ceremony in a bedazzled cape. As he accepted his Album of the Year award, the biggest honor of the night, he said:
“You know, I really, I believe this to my core: There is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. The creative arts are subjective, and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most. A song or an album is made, and it almost has a radar to find the person when they need it the most.”
Batiste was five total trophies last night, but his biggest prize of the year was marrying the true love of his life.