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Team Effort Key for Erykah Badu’s ‘Little Tribe’

08/26/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Bryan Bedder/Getty

She might be a single mom, but Erykah Badu says son Seven Sirius, 12, has been co-parented by dad André Benjamin every step of the way.

“He spends a lot of time with his son and is present for every program, every report, and has him in the summer,” Badu, 39, explains to Working Mother.

“Seven is getting to an age where he needs his father more, and his father has made himself available … He’s like an encyclopedia for his son.”

The lessons he’s learned are taking hold, and Badu says that Seven benefits from all the one-on-one time with dad. “He makes very good decisions,” she reveals.

Her other children — Puma Sabti, 6, and Mars Merkaba, 18 months — also spend time with their fathers, even if it’s not always in-person. Of her youngest child, Badu reveals,

“Even though she’s one, when she sees somebody walk off with a computer, she gets upset, because she thinks that’s her daddy [on video chat].”

It would be a mistake for an outsider to judge her relationships, Badu says. The singer/songwriter goes on to call her children’s fathers “my friends, my supporters, my confidants.”

“We have a great team effort going on, and each of the fathers support one another’s children,” she reveals. “This is a little tribe.”

That spirit of helping is apparently infectious, for Seven, Puma and Mars are always eager to lend a hand.

“Whenever they see me or anyone else needing a hand, they ask if I need help, or they just start helping,” she explains. “A lot of people ask, ‘Do you need help?’ hoping that you’ll say no. My children ask hoping you’ll say yes.”

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Showing 18 comments

Mari Mari Quite Contrary on

Wonderful of her to give so much credit and positive comments to Seven’s Dad. If parents cannot live together anymore, this is the way to co-parent successfully.

Bianca on

There is a little part of me that is taken aback by the idea of having three children with three different people, but it sounds like she is making every effort to make this work for her family. Erykah Badu has built her fame on her avant garde lifestyle, career, communication style and it is fantastic to read, what sound like, words of love and respect in her family! Refreshing given all the hard realities out there!

Haleiwa on

I really like that whenever there is a mention of any of her children’s father’s she always has something positive to say and she never makes any kind of vague snarky comment.

Shannon on

She seems like a great mom who has figured out how to successfully co-parent.

Kat_momof3 on

Wonderful that she realizes how important a present father is to a child… especially boys of that age. She proves to so many of us that adults can be, whether the relationships work out or not, ADULTS… and do what is best for the child(ren)

Crystal on

Whenever I think of Andre 3000 and Seven I always think of the song “I’m Sorry Ms. Jackson.” In the song he said he would be present for everything involving his son and it’s nice to see a man take his fatherly responsibilities seriously. It’s also good that he and Erykah seem to have a good relationship which makes things so much easier for all involved (esp the children).

Lau on

Uhm, if the father is there for his son then she is very much not a single mom! Single moms are women who are all alone in taking care of their children.

I really like her, by the way =)

Mom on

From my view, she is really hoping her kids will be ok with this type of upbringing! Children cope, parents think they know how the kids feel about the lifestyle the parent gives them, but so many of us looking back at our family life know we coped and we wish our parents had done many things differently.

Sarah M. on

Bianca – I agree with you. But at least they aren’t very close in age to each other. There’s 6 years between the first two and 5 1/2 years between the 2nd and 3rd. That’s infinitely better than the several others that you hear about having 7 kids with 6 people and similar scenarios.

Lau – That’s not my view of what a single parent is. To me, a single parent is one where they are the only adult living in a home with 1 or more children. That would mean that even though mom and dad are divorced and the kids see both of them on a regular basis, then they are being raised in 2 single parent households. Meaning mom is a single mom and dad is a single dad. Erykah falls into this category by this definition.

They seem like they have a system that works great for all of them and I don’t think there’s anything better than that!

meghan on

Of course she’s hoping things will turn out OK despite the unorthodox nature of their family. Sometimes that is all a parent can do, hope that everything turns out well, no matter what type of family it is. Of course we can’t always know until we look back on things after the fact. It sounds like this family is thriving within an atypical situation. It’s important for Seven (and Puma and Mars, too) to hear their mom speak highly of their father and to hear their father treat their mother with respect and kindness. When parents are not together that can really make all the diference! Sounds like the ‘Badu Tribe’ is succeeding quite nicely at that!

(Sorry for rambling! My parents were divorced like so many couples, but they were never able to coparent in a civil manner for any length of time. Life would have been much easier if they could have, even now it’s an ordeal. So I applaud anyone who can put away their own hurt for the sake of their children.)

sidjaz on

Well said Meghan, an applause for you!!! I agree with you Lau. I hate the fact that the title “single mom” is thrown around for every parent that’s not with the child/ren father when there’s a perfectly capable father who is still in the picture taking care of his responsiblity or vice versa. My mother was a single in the true sense of the word, my deadbeath sperm donor left her to raise us with no emotional or financially support, now that’s a single mom. If I get a divorce from my hubs, I know for a fact that he’ll be there for our girls and wouldn’t want anyone calling me a single mom. Its really not a title I aspire to have, knowing the struggles my mom had raising 3 children by herself.

amanda on

Haleiwam in South Africa, when a woman has 2 babies with three DIFF men we calling a Fruit Salad :)

And yup, there is something mildly ummm bout it…

all props to her for making it work, but i’d like to know how the children REALLY feel…

Kim on

Christie Brinkley has 3 kids by 3 different fathers is anyone taken aback by that.

ShakingHerHead on

“Christie Brinkley has 3 kids by 3 different fathers is anyone taken aback by that.”

Thanks for pointing this out.

Nicholle on

But Christie Brinkely was MARRIED each child’s father, so no I am not “taked aback” by that.
I wish Erykah and her children the best. I hope each father takes as much time with their children as see says Andre does.

Erykah, Seven, Puma and Mars be blessed!!

Terri on

Sounds like she has three great kids that are blessed with three great fathers and a wonderful mom to boot!

CelebBabyLover on

amanda- I’m confused! How can a woman have two babies with three different men?

Alex on

“But Christie Brinkely was MARRIED each child’s father” And? As if signing a contract somehow gives her more of a right live her life, or have or not have children. She is not above her. The only differance between the two is three divorces. It doesn’t make her any better or worse. She fell in love, had children, then fell out of love. It’s called LIFE. There is nothing for you to feel “taken aback” about.

BTW, Great Job Erykah!

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