Israel Houghton reveals why Adrienne is 'the one' amid backlash for divorcing ex-wife of 21 years

Claudine Varela
Jun 13, 2018
09:30 A.M.

The gospel singer finally opens up about his misinterpreted relationship with his new wife, revealing their special bond that led them together against all odds.


Israel Houghton married Adrienne Bailon just shortly after he divorced his wife of 21 years, Meleasa Houghton. This led people to cast their doubts on his new wife who seemed to have caused the gospel’s singer’s long-term marriage to end. Now clearing the air, Israel sits down with his new wife in her YouTube show ‘All Things Adrienne and sheds light on their misjudged love story.


According to the Christian singer, the couple had been friends a long time before they actually forged a relationship. They first met while working on the film ‘I’m In Love With a Church Girl’ and would stay in touch since then. Israel also admitted they formed a special friendship.

“We would see each other from time to time at different functions, that sort of thing. I don’t know how to put this, but you just know when someone’s going to be in your life forever. You don’t know in what capacity, but you just know, ‘I like hanging out with them. I like talking to them.'”

By February 2016, the couple were officially dating. At the time, Israel was already separated from his first wife though they only made it public in March. Worried about the impact of their relationship on Adrienne’s reputation, having started their relationship, fresh out of his last marriage, he revealed he gave her a way out but she refused. This, according to the 47-year-old, proved he had found true love.

“I knew she was the one, really kind of on our first real date. Our first real getaway together. It started a bit crazy and it had a lot of chaos connected to it with paparazzi and what not. I had recently announced that I’d been divorced, even though I’d been divorced for quite a while. So everybody was kind of speculating, saying different things and saying crazy things about her. At which point I just said, ‘Hey, listen. I’m happy to take one for the team. This is new, you can simply say, I didn’t know it was all that.’ And she said, ‘I was your friend before this happened. I’m your friend now, and let’s just power through it.’ That moment I knew, this is everything, and she is everything to me. Eight months later we were married.”


Now enjoying a year and a half of marital bliss, the couple revealed they have a lot of fun together. Adrienne said,

“We literally will just sit in the corner and have our own — we’re in our own little world. We just die laughing.”

Israel added that it helps that he just doesn’t love his wife but likes her too making the work of sustaining a marriage so much easier.

“I believe it is just as important to like the person as to love them. We all know people who were in relationships, and sure you love the person you’re with. But if you guys do not get along, if you don’t like each other, you’re going to have a difficult time making it work. We do not have a difficult time making it work. We genuinely like being around each other, so much so that we feel separation anxiety when she has to be working somewhere and I’m working out of the country.”


There are no regrets with these two who would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Speaking to her husband, Adrienne said,


“If I have a choice, I prefer you. I want to be with you.”

In response, Israel replied,


The couple were married in Paris on November 11, 2016. Adrienne’s ‘The Real’ co-hosts were among the guests who attended the affair. Months earlier in April, they sealed their engagement in front of the Eiffel Tower with Adrienne sharing a video of her sparkler on her finger against the background of the famous landmark.

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