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2016 Essence Festival - Day 1

Source: Prince Williams / Getty

Women of color in the entertainment industry are usually told that they’re too dark to play a certain role or have a certain position — but it’s rare to have the opposite issue of being too light.

Well, for Faith Evans, that was the case after she notoriously married Biggie Smalls just nine days after the pair first met. She told the the New York Post about her quickie nuptials while being newly signed to Bad Boy records, saying, [Puffy] didn’t want me and [Big’s] mother to meet.”

She added, “She probably thought I was some groupie! But my daughter Chyna [then a toddler, from a previous relationship] was around quite a bit, and she saw the love I had for her. And the fact that I was a church girl and believe in the difference between right and wrong helped, too.” When asked about Puff Daddy’s high standards and demands back in the 90’s, Faith revealed, “Oh, yeah. Puffy’s always had high standards. Very early in my career, Puff used to walk me to the tanning salon every other day because I was pale and he wanted to tan me up! And he told me he wanted me to walk out of the house and look glamorous all the time.”

She continued, “When he wanted me to sing ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ at the [1997] MTV Awards with Sting, I didn’t want to do anything. I was still grieving. But he got me on the phone and was like, ‘Listen, you ain’t about to eff my thing up.’ I thought my crying would work, but he persuaded me to do it. He was right though, because people still ask me about that performance all the time.”

Sounds like the Diddy we know and love today. Find out more personal gems in Faith Evans’ new album, The King and I, out Friday.

Check out what else the singer had to say about the Bad Boy glory days here.

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