On This Day: Carlos Santana and the Most Rock and Roll Proposal Ever

Many musicians might claim to live the rock and roll life, but few people can boast a proposal as rock and roll as legendary guitarist Carlos Santana. The Santana founder popped the question to one of the greatest female drummers of all time, Cindy Blackman, on July 9, 2010, three years after his divorce from his first wife and mother of his three children, Deborah King, due to irreconcilable differences.

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As difficult as his split from King might have been, his rock and roll proposal goes to show that everything in life happens for a reason. Moreover, the universe rarely, if ever, misses its cues.

Carlos Santana’s Rock And Roll Proposal

On the fateful day of Carlos Santana’s rock and roll wedding proposal, he and his band were performing in Tinley Park, Illinois, as part of Santana’s Universal Tone tour. Santana and the rest of his ten-piece band delighted the crowd with their musical prowess, but the audience had no idea the treat that was in store for them after the band’s fourth song.

No. 4 on the Universal Tone tour setlist was “Corazon Espinado,” which directly translates to “thorned heart.” However, hearts certainly didn’t appear thorny that night. The song ended with a killer drum solo by Cindy Blackman, after which Santana simultaneously addressed Blackman and the crowd. Speaking of Blackman, Santana told the audience, “She’s a great drummer. She used to play drums for Lenny Kravitz.”

“There’s a rumor going around that she’s going to be my wife,” Santana continued. “I’d be really proud and really honored to call this lady my queen and my wife. She’s going to be my wife” (via YouTube). Then, the couple was engaged, and the band continued their set.

Santana’s Journey From Heartbreak To Happiness

Carlos Santana’s first marriage began in 1973 to Deborah King. He and King had three children: Salvador, Stella, and Angelica. However, the couple split in 2007, citing irreconcilable differences. In an interview with AARP, Santana said, “I didn’t know back then that it’s not my mission to make my mother or my ex-wife happy. I was breaking my back. I was really trying to be the good guy and please them.”

Eventually, Santana realized he ought to prioritize his own happiness. Not long after that, his relationship with Cindy Blackman began. “I’ve never had a partner where there are no issues ever, no drama mill, no issues about insecurity, or someone with a laundry list of things I need to change. Nothing like that! We’re like two kids in a sandbox. She’s got the shovel, and I’ve got the bucket,” he told AARP.

“Your mind is a magnet,” Santana told Guitar World (via Ultimate Classic Rock). “You don’t attract what you need or what you want; you attract who you are. And I love who I am! I love who Cindy is ‘cause we both love the same things. It’s all about relationships. You and your instrument, you and your band, you and your mate. If your relationships are assigned and designed to make spiritual progress, it’s fun!”

Indeed, with a rock and roll proposal story like that, it’s clear how much Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman were made for each other.

Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for HBO

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