The artist duo have been collaborating on music together and dating on and off since the release of their album, Twenty88, in 2016.
Once the couple embarked on a tour to promote the album, it became increasingly apparent to fans that their musical chemistry had translated to real life as they publicly displayed their affection onstage and gushed about one another in interviews.
“Jhené is more than just a friend. I don’t know how else to describe it — me and her are just cool like that. I love her and I know she loves me. I was down to make that commitment — something that will last and be different from the rest,” the rapper told Billboard in 2016.
From making music together to being each other’s biggest fans, here is the complete timeline of Big Sean and Jhené Aiko’s relationship.
May 2012: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko meet
Big Sean and Aiko first met at the studio of legendary producer No I.D. in 2012, as they told Flaunt Magazine during a 2016 interview. The duo collaborated on Big Sean’s “Beware” and “I’m Gonna Be” around the same time.
“It was just very comfortable,” Aiko said of their professional dynamic. “I think secretly there’s a little competition — I want my verse to sound better than his, and he wants his to sound better than mine.”
Shortly after meeting, the two attended a Los Angeles Lakers game together, although Aiko had a boyfriend at the time.
“We went on a date,” Aiko told the magazine. “We went to a Lakers game. It was a long time ago […] first of all, I had a boyfriend and me and Sean had already met. We were friends. So he asked me to go out with him and even though I had a boyfriend.”
“I didn’t care,” Big Sean added.
“It was pretty obvious after a while it was a date,” Aiko added. “We had never really been alone together. It was really fun.”
June 24, 2015: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko star in the “I Know” music video together
Though still labeling their relationship a friendship, Big Sean and Aiko teamed up for the track “I Know” on Big Sean’s sophomore album, Dark Sky Paradise. The pair also starred in the music video, where they played two elderly lovers sharing a special night together in a senior citizen’s home.
April 1, 2016: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko release Twenty88
After collaborating on songs for their own respective projects, Big Sean and Aiko decided to capitalize on their synchronicity with their collaborative EP titled Twenty88. The sexy album cover and the duo’s chemistry in the subsequent music videos had fans speculating that there was something going on between the two beyond just the music. However, Aiko was married to producer Dot da Genius at the time.
June 2016: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko kiss onstage
Big Sean and Aiko took the stage at Power 105.1’s Powerhouse festival for a joint performance. As they sang, Big Sean wrapped his arms around Aiko’s waist and they finished the set with a quick peck, sparking more dating rumors.
December 5, 2016: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko attend a Lakers game
After Aiko filed for divorce from Dot Da Genius citing “irreconcilable differences,” she and Big Sean made their first outing as an official couple at the Los Angeles Lakers game at the Staples Center. The pair were photographed holding hands and laughing as they sat courtside.
September 2017: Jhené Aiko calls Big Sean the love of her life
Upon releasing her second studio album, Aiko opened up about her relationship with Big Sean for the first time during an interview with Billboard. She told the outlet that after losing her brother Miyagi in 2012, she went on a quest to find herself and find a man who reminds her of Miyagi, and that journey led her to Big Sean. Aiko also explained that their relationship started as a friendship, which is what makes it so strong.
“When I met Sean, I had a boyfriend and he was showing interest in me, but I was like, I have a boyfriend. But we were friends, it was never, nothing disrespectful ever happened between me and Sean,” she said. “We were forced to really, really get to know each other on a friendship level, you know what I mean? And to the point where he was even at my brother’s funeral. We talk to each other on a friendship level throughout all of my relationship.”
Years later, they both found themselves single. “It just came to a point where it was like, ‘I’m single, you’re single, we love each other.’ We actually already loved each other as people and then it was like, ‘Okay, let’s just, you know, be together.’ So it was different because of that friendship. That comes first, we’re friends before anything. We can bicker like a friendship,” she said.
She added that she considers Big Sean family, referring to him as the love of her life: “I don’t know what the future holds, but as far as my life goes right now, yeah, he’s ‘L-O-M-L.’ “
October 10, 2017: Jhené Aiko gets a tattoo of Big Sean
A week after finalizing her divorce, Aiko made her love for Big Sean permanent with a tattoo of the rapper’s face. The new ink, which shows Big Sean in a bowtie and a tuxedo jacket, was done by celebrity tattoo artist Miryam “the Witchdoctor” Lumpini. The artist shared images of the tattoo on Instagram with the caption, “Art is love. Thanks Jheńe for allowing me to share this moment.”
March 19, 2018: Big Sean celebrates Jhene Aiko’s 30th birthday with a yacht party
To celebrate his girlfriend’s major birthday milestone, the “IDFWU” rapper threw her a surprise party on a yacht in L.A. Decked out in head-to-toe Versace, Aiko and guests dined on vegan appetizers while cruising around Marina Del Rey.
Big Sean also gave his girl a birthday shoutout in a now-deleted Instagram post, writing in the caption, “My partner in crime! My love! Happy Birthday @jheneaiko #88❤❤❤ I love you unconditionally @jheneaiko! 3.16 Queen.”
A few days before the party, the couple shut down rumors on social media that Big Sean was “all over” Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger at a 2018 Oscars after party.
March 2019: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko break up
After a few quiet months, Aiko confirmed the suspicions that the two had gone their separate ways via a comment on an Instagram post from The Shade Room.
“Me and Sean are good. I’ve got tons of love for him,” she wrote. “My next album is all freestyles where I touch on many subjects and relationships … past, present and future. I know you all love the drama and would like to think everything I do or say is about him, but I’ve been through plenty of other things and situations that I pull inspiration from when I sit down to create a song. Have a good day.”
July 27, 2019: Big Sean releases “Single Again” and Jhené Aiko shows her support
In July 2019, Big Sean dropped his track “Single Again,” which Aiko did backup vocals for, and the lyrics suggested that it was about their breakup. Nonetheless, the exes proved that things were amicable on social media when Aiko tweeted a link to the song.
Big Sean responded, “I appreciate you supporting me on this one and I want to just say I love you unconditionally. You amazing, talented, every song we do special to me! People gon say whatever but it is what it is. I could have txt u this I know but I want people to know I appreciate you.”
November 9, 2019: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko collaborate again
Big Sean collaborated with Aiko on her track “None of Her Concern,” which details their breakup with rap lyrics like “No, there’s not a day in these modern times / you haven’t crossed my mind / we both crossed the line” and “I only want the best for you moving forward.” The rapper also appeared in the music video, though they did not have any scenes together.
March 16, 2020: Big Sean wishes Jhené Aiko a happy birthday
The couple’s relationship appeared to back on when Big Sean wished Aiko a happy birthday in 2020 and shared some personal moments of the two on Instagram. He captioned the post, “Happy 3.16 Queen @jheneaiko! Always proud but never surprised cause I know how great you are at everything you do. Even tho we gotta be inside n quarantine, you even make that sound good. I Love you from da past life to the next.”
March 14, 2021: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko attend the Grammys together
The pair hit the red carpet for the first time since their split at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Big Sean was up for best rap performance and Aiko’s album Chilombo had been nominated for three different categories. Aiko wore a stunning pink tulle dress while Big Sean donned a black suit and shawl as they posed for pictures.
January 31, 2022: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko are mistaken for Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. on a jumbotron
While attending the NFL Championship Game between the L.A. Rams and San Francisco 49ers, Big Sean and Aiko were mistaken for actress Sarah Michelle Gellar and her husband Freddie Prinze Jr on the jumbotron. Both couples laughed at the mixup with Gellar posting on Instagram, “@bigsean do you get mistaken for me as often as I get mistaken for you?”
February 13, 2022: Jhené Aiko sings “America the Beautiful” at Super Bowl 2022 and Big Sean cheers her on
Aiko delivered an incredible performance of “America the Beautiful” to kick off Super Bowl LVI, which saw the L.A. Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was particularly special for the singer as her father is from Cincinnati and her mother hails from L.A. Big Sean was right by her side for the big moment, and the singer posted a series of photos from the game to Instagram, including a shot of the couple backstage.
March, 26 2022: Jhené Aiko honors Big Sean with a birthday tribute
In honor of Big Sean’s 34th birthday, Aiko posted a sweet tribute to the rapper on Instagram, which featured several photos and videos from throughout their relationship. “Happy birthday to the most talented, hardworking, anime, dc, marvel, movie, tv show nerd ? you are the GOAT !! a living light and a living legend ? you’re a major source of inspiration and joy for everyone lucky enough to know you,” she wrote in the caption.
July 3, 2022: Big Sean and Jhené Aiko are expecting their first child together
The couple was spotted on a walk in L.A. in early July 2022, with Aiko displaying a baby bump. PEOPLE then confirmed that she and Big Sean were expecting their first child together.
“The couple is overjoyed and looks forward to this next chapter,” a source told PEOPLE. The baby will be Big Sean’s first child and Aiko’s second.
The rapper expressed his excitement in an Instagram Story writing, “Whole new motivation foreal! Very grateful God continues to bless us, Thank you.” He wrote in a separate story, “Can’t wait to be a Dad.”
Aiko also seemingly confirmed the news on her own page, uploading a childhood photo of herself holding her stomach with an excited emoji as the caption.