Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been the talk of Hollywood for more than a decade. Kardashian rose to fame in 2007 with the hit reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, while West first made a splash with his 2004 debut album, College Dropout, and cemented his place music history with chart-topping albums like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) and Yeezus (2013).
First meeting in 2003, before either was a household name, the pair was just friends for nearly 10 years before their relationship turned romantic. From their lavish 2014 wedding and their four kids to the multiple business ventures, scandals and even presidential runs in between, the Kardashian-West union has been one of the most enduring pop-culture topics in recent years.
They first met through Brandy almost a decade before they started dating
In 2003, Kardashian was with her friend Brandy when the singer went into the studio with West, who was producing her single, and Kardashian immediately caught his eye.
“I vividly remember hanging out with him and then they did a video together, so I’d see him a few times. He was asking his friends: ‘Who is this Kim Kardajan?’ He didn’t know what my name was,” she remembered at the Keeping Up with the Kardashians ten-year anniversary special.
At the time of their first meeting, Kardashian was married to producer Damon Thomas, the first of her two marriages before her relationship with West, so the two didn’t form anything more than a friendship.
A 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries made Kardashian realize she loved West
Even after West seemingly rapped about the reality star in a 2008 song, telling her to “leave your boyfriend now,” the two were just friends and Kardashian went on to date NBA player Kris Humphries.
Kardashian and Humphries married in August 2011 and promptly split just 72 days later. She eventually admitted she was already having feelings for West when she married Humphries.
“Right before I got married to Kris Humphries, [Kanye and I] were talking and I just went a different direction. I think I had to go through that to figure out what I wanted,” she said on the KUWTK anniversary special.
After her split, West invited her to his Paris fashion show in October 2011 and the two started seeing each other. “I swear from the moment I landed, I fell madly in love with him and I thought, ‘Oh my god, why didn’t I do this sooner?’ Like, this is what real life is like — love and fun and real support,” she added.
The two went public with their love in April 2012 and West even addressed falling in love with her before her marriage in the song “Cold.”
“And I’ll admit, I had fell in love with Kim / Around the same time she had fell in love with him / Well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thang / Lucky I ain’t had Jay drop him from the team.”
After the couple welcomed their first two children, they experienced friction in their relationship
Eight months after going public with Kardashian, West announced at a December 2012 show that the two were expecting their first child. They later welcomed their first child, daughter North, in June 2013.
West surprised Kardashian with an elaborate proposal four months later by renting out San Francisco’s baseball stadium and using the jumbotron. The couple’s family joined them on the field to watch fireworks after Kardashian said yes.
Their lavish wedding took place in May 2014 in Paris, France and Florence, Italy. Kardashian later shared a sweet shot from the wedding, which became Instagram’s most-liked photo of the year.
The couple welcomed their second child, Saint, in December 2015. But just two months later, a series of puzzling Twitter rants from West created friction in their relationship.
Then in October 2016, the family underwent even more stress when Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris during fashion week. The robbers entered the hotel room she was staying in while alone at night before walking away with all of her jewelry. It was later revealed they had been tracking the reality star and the $4.9 million diamond ring West had recently given her, which she showed off on Instagram.
The following month, West canceled the rest of his tour and was hospitalized for exhaustion.
Kardashian has stayed by West’s side during his mental health struggles
After having pregnancy issues, Kardashian and West turned to surrogacy for their next two children. They welcomed daughter Chicago in January 2018 and son Psalm in May 2019.
The same month their youngest son was born, the couple celebrated their fifth anniversary by renewing their vows in a private ceremony, later revealed in an episode of KUWTK.
In 2020, West’s mental health struggles, including a bipolar diagnosis, became concerning as he announced a presidential run on the platform of following Christian values. At a rally, West revealed that he and Kardashian almost had an abortion when she became pregnant with North. This revelation prompted more erratic Twitter rants from West and accusations that Kardashian wanted to have him committed.
West later apologized for revealing private family matters, and Kardashian released a lengthy statement on Instagram about her husband’s continuing mental health issues.
“Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions,” Kardashian wrote. “Living with bi-polar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some. That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams do come true.”