Teddy Riley, known as the new jack swing music genre creator, is also the proud father of eight children.
His eldest, Deja Riley, became a seasoned entertainer and is now happily married to her longtime boyfriend as she ventures into her own business. Even though she is a celebrity kid, she's not a spoiled brat.
Instead, the 33-year-old got her education and a stable family background thanks to her parents, Teddy Riley and Donna Roberts.
“GROWING UP HIP HOP”
She had a short stint on reality TV as part of the cast of “Growing Up Hip Hop,” but after witnessing the behavior of some of her co-stars, she decided that the show wasn’t for her.
“I’m a positive person. I am a light in this world. And I don’t want to be anything other than that,” she said in an interview with Impact magazine. “I’d rather be seen by ten people [minding my business] than by ten thousand people playing myself on camera.”
Deja also got to experience life as a singer when she and her sisters formed the girl group, Riley. However, they only got to release one single before the group was left in the dark, and each sibling moved on with their life. Nia Riley, for example, went on to appear on "Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood."
DANCE IS LIFE
Deja is now earning a living by doing something she loves: dancing and being a fitness instructor. After moving to LA at 19 to be a Laker Girl, she started dancing professionally and soon after became the assistant to renowned choreographer Laurieann “Boomkack” Gibson.
Deja, trained in different genres from ballet to flamenco, has worked with some of the top names in the industry, such as Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj.
And while having such a famous dad would have helped her get those jobs, Deja assures it was all hard work on her side.
“My dad did not make one single phone call to help me. I never wanted anybody to look at me for anything other than my talent, my skill, and my drive. People didn’t find out [who my dad is] until after,” she stated.
FITNESS AS A LIFESTYLE
However, being a dancer does not always pay off to lead a steady life and make ends meet, so Riley decided to pursue another path that involves dancing, mostly focused on fitness and wellness. In an interview with Essence, she stated:
"Feel good fitness quickly became my niche and it’s a decision I’m so glad I made."
That’s how she went off to become a boxing coach and fitness instructor. She’s also a brand ambassador for Puma and many other sports-related companies.
Since she took the decision, she has been leading dancing and boxing workouts for POPSUGAR Fitness. She also has her own workout, the "Dance Out of the Box" series that fuses shadowboxing and cardio with dance.
She became one of the first Lululemon ambassador x MIRROR trainers. She is also on Lululemon’s advisory board as an inclusivity, diversity, equity, and action (IDEA) representative.
Riley is now creating her own fitness line for women called “Be 88,” referencing the year she was born. On top of having a successful career, Deja is also winning in her personal life.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
She married her longtime boyfriend, Jimmy Izydorczyk, in October 2018. The happy couple shared pics from their wedding ceremony on social media and sent each other heartwarming messages that prove how in love they are.
Jimmy called Deja “the girl of my dreams” and expressed how happy he is for spending his life with her.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🎉🎉🎉 to the LOVE of my LIFE ❤️❤️❤️@dejariley You mean the world to me!!! I love you! 😘 3/3 #33"
Having eight children, Teddy is as quick to support his kids. He is also quick to put them in their place when they step out of line.
Teddy Riley and all his kids as he is honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 16, 2019 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images
She then signed a deal with EMI Music Publishing and EMI Virgin Music and claimed co-writing credit and a 25% interest in the song.
In the end, he sued his daughter, EMI, and Sony/ATV for copyright infringement, fraudulent copyright registration, unfair competition, and accounting.
Besides that little public family disagreement, his children have always supported him and are always by his side during his proudest moments.
When he had a battle with Babyface, all his kids sent him a video to give him words of encouragement. They also called him the greatest dad.