Taraji P. Henson’s Fiance Kelvin Hayden & The ‘Empire’ Star Kept Things Quiet For A Long Time

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On Monday, Taraji P. Henson revealed on social media that she was engaged to her longtime boyfriend. Taraji P. Henson's fiancé, Kelvin Hayden, is a former football player, and even made it to the Super Bowl. Hayden was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts in 2005, but also played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears. He was a cornerback for the Colts, and an interception he made helped lead the team to victory in Super Bowl XLI in 2007. Unfortunately, he suffered multiple injuries in 2014 and retired from the NFL. It's not clear if the football star intends to continue to work in sports now that he's no longer playing, but he clearly made room for his personal life in recent years. Hayden asked Henson to marry him on Sunday, and she happily said yes.

According to E!, Hayden was first linked to Henson in 2015, when the two were spotted holding hands on a beach in Miami. However, the two have only recently opened up about their relationship, and the engagement post was an unexpected share from the couple.

On Instagram, Henson posted a photo of her engagement ring, along with a celebratory dessert plate. She wrote: "I said yes y’all!!! He started with the Cartier love bracelet BUT that was my #Mothersday gift and then he dropped to his knee and I almost passed out!!!" On Sunday, the star posted a picture wearing matching gold love bracelet with Hayden. She captioned the picture "Forever Kinda Love".

Henson is pretty private about her personal life, but opened up about her relationship with the former-NFL player in a 2017 interview. On the Essence podcast Hey, Girl!, she revealed that their relationship was going strong.

"I'm not the type to blast my personal business. But, you know, I think that's important for people to know," she said. "I'm happy. I'm very very happy. I just am. And you know, we've been together for two years. No one would really know that because I don't really blast my info like that. But I'm very happy."

It's been a major couple of professional years for Henson, who won a Golden Globe in 2016 for her role in Empire. She was twice nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress for the role. She also starred in the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures.

In January, she competed in the Lip Sync Battle's live episode in honor of Michael Jackson. In an interview with People, Henson confirmed that Hayden would watch her appearance on the reality show. "He’s watching right now,” she told the publication. “I just got off FaceTime with him. He was like, ‘Baby, I’m watching right now!’ It doesn’t make me nervous, because he supports me.”

When People asked about which of Henson's projects was Hayden's favorite, she had an adorable answer. “He doesn’t really have one, he likes it all,” she told the magazine. “He’s just like, my no. 1 fan, there for support. What I love is that he doesn’t really pay attention to it all. He loves me for me.” Not long after she began to open up about her relationship in interviews, she made the relationship official on social media. On Valentine's Day, Henson shared a selfie with her then-boyfriend. The caption read: "Happy Love Bug Day LOVE BUGS!!! #ILoveMeSumHim".

Henson also shared their going-out looks for V-Day, and the two seemed very happy together. Henson doesn't often share relationship updates online, so the engagement is a nice surprise for fans. On Twitter, people rushed to wish her well. Here are some of their congratulatory messages:

It's been a peak couple of years for Henson's acting career, and it's nice to know that she's thriving in her personal life, as well. It's not clear how man details about wedding planning she plans to share with fans, but she is known for her incredible style, so it's sure to be a beautiful day.