Born Stanley Kirk Burrell in Oakland, California, on March 30, 1962, MC Hammer has been around the block more than once and has seen a thing a two. He’s had over 30 million dollars, sold over 50 million albums, he’s been on top and he’s been at the bottom. He’s now a businessman, tech entrepreneur and start up investor and pitch man. But through it all, there has been one constant, his wife Stephanie.
The couple have been married since 1985, before he came out with his groundbreaking first album, “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em.” She’s seen it all right there with him, but their marriage almost didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, Hammer was being set up to marry the legendary Whitney Houston (yes, THAT Whitney Houston).
Hammer says that while at Super Bowl XXV, where Houston gave her memorable rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, the late singer’s father, John, attempted to play match maker for the two stars.
“Whitney’s dad pulled me and Whitney in a room and said you know Hammer, you should really consider marrying Whitney. And, I said, I’d love to but I’m already married.” Hammer continued, saying, “I love my wife dearly but, I always laughed about that. Always a big fan of Whitney. I loved Whitney and miss her dearly.”
At the time, Hammer had just celebrated his five-year wedding anniversary. Now, the couple will be celebrating 35 years married! Wow!
So what’s the key? One simple answer is, no matter what you see in the videos or on screen, Hammer puts family first.
Hammer simply says, “You have wealth when you have a family. Family is all that I need.” Praying for them, listening to them and taking his wife and family with him on his travels is apart of Hammer’s routine of building a close, tight-knit family.
And don’t let the flashy-ness fool you.
“When he’s home, he’s a little more reserved,” Stephanie says.
The couple has five children together, and Stephanie says he’s a hands-on dad. “There’s nothing that comes across in the family that he’s not involved in,” she says.
“People have to understand that I started working when I was 8 years old for the Oakland Raiders until I was 18. So way before I became MC Hammer, I was generating revenue and had four houses and two Porsches. Therefore, making money has never been a challenge for me because…
…I’m a hard worker and creator. I don’t operate from a losing mentality.”
Hammer says he’s in a good place now. “Some people ask me sometimes, would I go back and change things?” he says. “They are flabbergasted by my answer. My real, true answer is I wouldn’t change one thing. I really believe in the butterfly effect. Meaning that if I change one thing, everything else changes. I lose the kids I have now. I lose the relationships I have now. I lose the peace I have now. So I’m very happy with my decision.”