Attn: Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson Were Spotted Together at Beyoncé’s Renaissance Birthday Show

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In case you happened to miss the truly wild cultural reset that was Keke Palmer announcing her pregnancy on Saturday Night Live, let us remind you: It. Was. Iconic. And not only did it shine a light on the actor’s new bundle of joy, but it also made people (me) curious to know more about Keke’s longtime boyfriend Darius Jackson.

Although the two kept their relationship relatively low-key when they first began dating in 2021, we got glimpses of their romance here and there once in a while. Case in point? During a March 2022 interview with Bustle, Keke gushed, “This is the happiest I’ve ever felt with someone. So why would I go out of my way to hide this person? That’s a lot more work than just living in my life and being in my life. You know what I’m saying?”

Now, for the nosy among us, let’s get into everything there is to know about Darius, shall we?

2023 atlanta film festival
Derek White - Getty Images

Darius is apparently really ~sporty~

As in, while I was trying to do field research to test whether French toast tasted better depending on the different dorms, Darius was out here playing football at Fresno State University.

And his interest in sports never went away. In fact, it drove him to pursue a career in sports media, and he wound up going to school for a certificate in broadcasting, per People. Now, Darius is a fitness instructor at Inspire Fitness Studio where he aims to “help others and himself to stay in shape as he enjoys being in a team-oriented environment,” according to the studio’s website.

His brother is an actor

Yep, Darius’ brother is actor Sarunas Jackson, and you might recognize him because he played Alejandro “Dro” Peña on the HBO’s hit show Insecure from 2017 to 2021. Cute lil family pic, incoming:

Watch Insecure now!

And here’s a pic of the two of them, just because:

alo house day 3
Stefanie Keenan - Getty Images

...which is how he met Keke

Turns out, both Darius and Keke’s connection to Insecure ultimately led to their meet-cute. Keke—who made a brief cameo on the series during an episode of season 5—and Darius first became acquainted during a Memorial Day party in 2021 hosted by Insecure creator and star Issa Rae and rapper Diddy. And the rest was truly history!

Darius and Keke started dating in 2021

And by that August, the two went Instagram official (eep!) and the fitness instructor even dedicated a sweet tribute to his girlfriend on her birthday that year in a since-deleted post, per People.

“Never would have expected summer 2021 to turn out the way it did, but here we are,” Darius began. “I’m glad we were able to help each other throughout our lowest of times & show one another that what we are bringing to the table is everything that we got.”

In the years following, Keke definitely repaid the favor, penning this emotional caption for Darius’s birthday earlier this year:

“I can easily write long emotional posts for all my girls birthdays, but it’s so cringy writing a birthday post for you 🥴 because the love is so sacred. It almost feels asinine to try to share or give a glimpse into something that only we could understand. I can share most things so easily, but not you. Happiest Birthday to the best Aquarius, Darius, my guy! Let’s go Birds! 🦅”

More recently, it was Darius' turn to make Keke feel the love, as the two spent her 30th birthday in August 2023 together. Ahem, observe:

Plus, in a since-deleted Twitter X post, the fitness instructor gushed, “Happy Birthday to a one of a kind being. Hoping your 30s brings you many joys & triumphs!” alongside a sweet vid of the actor spending quality time with their bb. 🥺❤️

They're a v private couple

But that’s an important facet of any relationship Keke is in! Back in March 2020—way before she started dating Darius—the actor spoke with Harper’s Bazaar about why she likes to keep her dating life low-key: “I don’t really do relationship stuff online, mainly because I don’t know how I would do it without looking, like, cheesy or something, you know?” she confessed to the publication. “Yes, I’m a hundred percent authentic, but there is stuff that I do save for family and friends.”

Fast-forward to November 2021, and Keke opened up on The Tamron Hall Show about how she has slowly become more okay with being public about her romance with Darius. “It became more difficult to hide,” she said of choosing to post pics of her boyfriend at the time. “We spend all this time together, and he really is my closest friend, so it just becomes a thing where I’m not gonna hide something that makes me happy. It’s not gonna be everything you see, my job is my job, but at the end of the day this is somebody that is important to me so why not.”

He and Keke welcomed a baby boy in February 2023

I mean, how could you forget the iconic Saturday Night Live moment that was Keke announcing her pregnancy during her opening monologue in December 2022?!

“There’s some rumors going around, people have been in my comments saying, ‘Keke’s having a baby, Keke’s pregnant,’ and I wanna set the record straight—I am!” the actor exclaimed as she unbuttoned her jacket to reveal her growing baby bump in front of the live audience—and the world, for that matter. Let’s rewatch for the ~mems~, shall we?

Fast-forward a few months later, and Keke and Darius’s bb, Leodis Andrellton Jackson, was born on February 25, 2023. And because she knows how to give the people what they want, Keke allowed fans to see the pics of “baby Leo” on her Instagram a couple days later:

In the time since, Darius has also posted tons of content not only of himself and Keke, but of their son too:

There were reports for a hot sec that Darius had “moved on” from the relationship

Before we get into this ^^, we actually have to backtrack a bit to July 2023 when Darius called out the Nope actor for wearing a fitted bodysuit under a transparent dress to watch Usher perform at his Las Vegas Residency.

“We live in a generation where a man of the family doesn’t want the wife & mother to his kids to showcase booty cheeks to please others & he gets told how much of a hater he is,” he wrote in one tweet (which has since been deleted), before adding, “This is my family & my representation. I have standards & morals to what I believe. I rest my case.” P.S. The personal trainer's tweet came hours after he posted a video of Keke dancing with Usher alongside the text, “It's the outfit a mom.” Mood about this whole 'sitch right now:?!?!?!?!?

Anyway! In response, Keke subsequently dropped 🔥🔥🔥 pics of herself in her concert 'fit, writing, “I wish I had taken more pictures but we were running late! I am telling y’all right now, if you haven’t seen @usher YOU MUST GO!! HE WAS SO FABULOUS!! Giving theater, Atlanta downnn, tips and tricks and just absolutely iconic. I was truly inspired as a performer. I whooped some ass in spades too! Where is that pic of us all together with the King himself??”

Fast-forward to August 15 and the actor teased that she was set to be starring in the music video for Usher’s latest song called “Boyfriend,” which dropped the following day.

And drop it did!!!!!

In the wake of the music vid, a source dished to People that Darius had “moved on.”

According to the insider, he was shifting focus to an acting career and wanted to put the situation behind him. In terms of co-parenting, the source also mused, “you don't have to be in the same household to be good parents,” which fair! However, it seems as though the two fully squashed any separation rumors because...

They saw *the* Beyoncé during her iconic September 4th birthday concert

Yep, the duo (along with, like, practically every other celeb in Hollywood) attended Beyoncé’s Renaissance birthday show at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and shared some sweet moments from the concert.

In one Instagram Story that Darius posted, he and Keke took part in the Houston-born celeb's “everybody on mute” challenge, which consists of the entire stadium going silent while she sings the lyric to her iconic song “Energy.”

Once “everybody on mute” was heard, the duo turned to face each other and put their fingers over their lips before jumping and screaming after Beyoncé sang “Look around, it’s me and my crew, big energy.”

darius jackson keke palmer
Darius Jackson - Instagram

More Bey b-day content c/o Keke, ahead:

Unclear where exactly these two stand ATM, but something tells us we're gonna be seeing a lot more of them in the near future. 👀

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