Yendi Phillipps, charismatic Jamaican beauty queen, TV show host, motivational speaker and her beau, one of the industry's leading singer/songwriters, Daniel 'Chino' McGregor, are expecting a baby.
The talented young couple who are both multiple brand ambassadors, say they are elated about the birth of their child later this year. Though the two, who have been an item since 2011, have never publicly confirmed the status of their rumoured romance, Yendi surprised most of her Facebook friends with the couple's special announcement over the weekend.
"Seventeen weeks and counting ... I wish we could have shared it earlier but you know they say it's bad luck to announce too soon. I'm so excited to finally tell you that we have a little 'McGregor' on the way! You know how much I value "you" as you've been such a support through my various ventures so I wanted you to know first-hand as this one is perhaps my most exciting to date! I feel truly blessed and am more amazed everyday to experience our creator in such a miraculous and organic way. Seasoned mommies, don't hold back on the advice ... hehewinkLove, Blessings ... and Life," said Yendi.
Yendi, 26, created history two years ago when she became the first Jamaican woman to become first runner-up to Miss Universe and had previously placed 6th in the Miss World Pageant.
The undeniable beauty who has been featured on the covers and in the pages of Woman and Home, Namaqua Wine, Fair Lady, Basia, Soul, Jet and Ocean Style says she intends to continue working throughout the pregnancy.
"That is just how I am," she laughed, "I just can't seem to slow down. I have always been an extremely driven person and so is Daniel and we remain committed to our goals," Yendi explained.
Chino, who Yendi affectionately calls Daniel, is the father of a three-year-old daughter, who he describes as the joy of his life.
"I am an extremely private person, but anyone who knows me knows that I am an extremely family-oriented person. That's how I grew up, so putting family first has always come naturally to me," says the singer, who is also the son of reggae music legend, Freddie McGregor.
"I am very excited about the upcoming birth of my son or daughter. Yendi is an extremely responsible person and we were ready for this move, so I feel comfortable, excited and ready because she is a great partner and I have no doubt she will be a great mother who will help to instil positive values in our baby," says the heir to the thriving McGregor throne.
As for marriage, the couple says though it is within their thoughts for the future, their impending bundle of joy and their careers will form the backdrop for their immediate future.
Chino, a previous Coke Zero ambassador, will release his third Japan album this summer, and continues to be one of the largest selling reggae artistes in that country. The singer's Never Change album outranked Bob Marley's Legend sales for weeks after its release in 2010 on the iTunes Japan Reggae Chart. Last year, Chino again made history when he released his debut United States album, Chino. The album which was featured in a number of internationally acclaimed magazines and websites, including America Online (AOL) as an album of the week, raked in a number of hits including the monster-hit reggae single, Seal The Link - which in the first week of its release sold more than 150,000 units.
The singer then went on to become the national ambassador for the Mother's Power Patty brand, and can be seen on the company's paraphernalia across the island.
Yendi continues to be an "in demand" talent locally and internationally, hosting a wide range of events, and boasting brand ambassadorships for such entities as Digicel, Air Jamaica and Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Her commercial work includes internationally broadcast TV ads for Toyota, Sprite and Pepsi. She is also the host of Air Jamaica's/Caribbean Airlines Island Stylee in-flight video.
Other local and regional campaigns include promotions for Rainforest and she has acted as judge for the Food Network's Throw Down With Bobby Flay in New York.