Alicia Keys did not fall in love at first sight — or even second or third — with now-husband Swizz Beatz. In fact, for several years after they met, she tried her best to avoid the hip hop star/record producer.
"Honestly, I didn't really like him that much," the "Girl on Fire" singer, 32, tells Marie Claire U.K. in a new interview for the magazine's July issue. "I thought he was too ostentatious."
"Swizz will have the fastest car, the biggest jewelry, the loudest jacket," she explains. "Everything with him is really over the top. I used to see him and think, 'He is so annoying.'"
These days, of course, she has a much higher opinion of her spouse. But it didn't come easy. She says she resisted several attempts on her management's part to get the two into the studio together. "I fought it tooth and nail," she tells the mag. "Why should I work with him? Finally, though, we did it and we had a ball."
Their professional relationship eventually turned personal, and in 2009, Beatz (real name: Kasseem Dean) proposed to Keys. They tied the knot on the French island of Corsica in July 2010, three months before the "Empire State of Mind" songstress gave birth to their son, Egypt, now 2.
"I think we've taught each other a lot," she says of her husband, 34. "He's taught me to live more fully, and I think I've taught him to live more deeply."