Leilani Malia Mendoza (L) and Brian McKnight attend Celebrity Fight Night XXV on March 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)

About Leilani Malia Mendoza
Age44 Years
BirthFebruary 11, 1980
SpouseBrian McKnight (2017-present)
ChildrenJulia McPhee, Jack McPhee, Kekoa Matteo McKnight, Brian Kainoa Makoa McKnight
ParentsJustin Kanoa, Keilani Carolina Mendoza
JobPediatric neurophysiologist
AlumniUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

If you follow Grammy-nominated artist Brian McKnight on his social media profiles, you’d be familiar with his supportive other half. The R&B crooner can’t resist displaying his love for his wife and family—not only on his Instagram, but also at his concerts. He even dedicates his music to this remarkable woman, who is his second wife. So, read on to learn about Brian McKnight’s wife, Leilani Malia Mendoza, in this wiki.

Leilani Mendoza’s Family

Leilani Malia Mendoza was born on February 11, 1980, to Justin Kanoa and Kailani Carolina Mendoza. She is of Filipino and Hawaiian descent.

Her father, Justin Kanoa, studied in the Philippines. And her mother, Kailani Mendoza, graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Leilani Mendoza’s Children

Leilani Mendoza has two children from a previous relationship—a daughter, Julia McPhee (born December 13, 1999), and a son, Jack McPhee (born September 9, 2002).

Julia McPhee, or Jules as her parents call her, graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2021. She also worked at the UCSB recreation center.

The McPhee siblings are close to their stepfather. In addition to Brian McKnight’s wife, Leilani Mendoza, the R&B singer also shows how much he adores them on social media. McKnight has four children, Brian Jr., Briana, Niko, and Clyde, from previous relationships.

Brian Jr., Niko, and Clyde are reportedly from his previous marriage to Julie McKnight. Briana’s mother is Patricia Driver.

McKnight’s Instagram display about his wife and her kids reportedly rubbed his older children the wrong way. Brian Jr. and Briana aired their grievances on social media, alleging that their father had replaced them with his new family.

Brian McKnight Sr. refuted claims he abandoned his older children. He also countered that Mendoza offered his sons jobs where she worked to help them get on their feet. He further alleged that Brian Jr. vandalized their home and placed a picture of Brian and Julie McKnight on Mendoza’s vanity.

Mendoza revealed on Instagram that they suffered a pregnancy loss. The couple was expecting a son they named Kekoa Matteo.

In November 2022, they announced with a family picture and her baby bump that they were expecting a rainbow baby. The couple welcomed their youngest child, Brian Kainoa Makoa McKnight, in January 2023.

Leilani Mendoza’s Career

Mendoza has been seen wearing scrubs in her social media pictures often. That led many of her and McKnight’s followers to make the blind assumption that she is a nurse.

So, McKnight took to Instagram to shut down the stereotype about women in scrubs. He revealed that Leilani Mendoza is a pediatric neurophysiologist.

She went back to school after the birth of Julia and Jack and earned her qualifications after 12 years. According to an old LinkedIn profile, she was affiliated with UCLA.


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Leilani Mendoza and Brian McKnight’s Relationship

After divorcing Julie McKnight, the singer dated another Filipina, Annalisa Mungcal. But they had split by the time he began dating Leilani Mendoza in 2014.

The couple got engaged in May 2017, three years into their relationship. Leilani Mendoza and Brian McKnight married on December 30, 2017.

They tied the knot in New York’s famed Oheka Castle. And Mendoza’s sheer gown, covered in 50,000 hand-beaded Swarovski crystals by Sabrina & Mannings, attracted much attention.