Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan prefers keeping his personal life private and coming forward for his music and passion for winemaking. So, not many know about the woman behind his back. Today, we will explore the life of Lei Li, a woman who stands as an important part of Keenan’s world.
Who is Lei Li?
Born in the late 1970s, Lei Li celebrates her birthday every 12th of August. While specific details about her early life and family background remain unknown, we do know that she is of Asian ethnicity. Photographs hint at her spiritual connection, with Lei Li obtaining blessings from Tibetan monks in the past.
As for her educational background, she has a high school diploma and a bachelor of science degree.
Her Professional Career
Located in Jerome, Arizona, Caduceus Cellars Winery specializes in high-elevation wines, primarily from Italian and Spanish varietals. Lei Li works there with Keenan as the Lab Manager. She closely collaborates with the wine-making and cellar teams to ensure optimal wine production. Her responsibilities include the analysis and evaluation of wines through various tests to guarantee their quality from the aging process up to the finished bottled product.
Moreover, she is also a product developer for Maynard’s band Puscifer and has her own clothing line named Licorice Lust.
A Love Story Amidst the Vines
Lei Li and Maynard James Keenan’s paths crossed at Caduceus Cellars, where Keenan is the owner, and she is an important employee. Their professional relationship soon blossomed into romance after Keenan’s divorce from his previous wife, Jennifer Ferguson, in the mid-2000s.
The couple took a step forward in June 2010. During a visit to New York, Keenan proposed to Lei Li on the Empire State Building’s observation deck. They later sealed their commitment with a private wedding ceremony in 2012.
The Keenan Family
The couple’s union has been blessed with a daughter named Lei Li Agostina Maria, born on July 25, 2014. Her name carries the legacy of both her mother and grandmother. The family resides in Arizona, occasionally setting out on global escapades like their visit to the Giza Pyramid in Egypt.
Keenan’s son Devo is from a prior relationship, and he often joins in these family moments. Interested in music like his father, Devo lent his voice as a backup singer for A Perfect Circle’s second album ‘Thirteenth Step’ in 2003 and showcased his cello talent during Keenan’s 50th birthday celebration in 2014.
Lei Li’s Battle with Cancer
2020 presented a challenge for Lei Li and her family when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After discovering a lump in her breast in November, by Christmas Eve, the diagnosis was confirmed. However, Lei Li’s approach to this life-altering news was nothing short of inspirational.
According to Keenan’s Instagram post, she immediately charted a treatment plan. Lei Li had chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation head-on. Her resilience not only became a beacon of hope for her family but also caught the attention of countless fans when Keenan praised his wife in the post, celebrating her birthday and calling her ‘his rock’:
“Today is my wife’s Birthday. I’m going to guess that it will be viewed as her favorite. In late November, she felt a lump in her breast. On X-mas Eve, she was diagnosed with cancer. She didn’t collapse into a pile of self-pity. She didn’t launch into an entitlement rage. She didn’t act out in any self-destructive manner. Instead, she asked the right questions, listened to her doctors, made a plan, and stuck to it. And when there were things she couldn’t do on her own, she asked for help.
Before the chemo could take her hair, she cut it all off and had our friend Brooke make her a wig to match. And then she went to work. No one was the wiser. She’s successfully navigated both the chemo and the surgery and now begins the radiation. And all without whining or bitching. She is my rock. She is my muse. She is my all. Be like Jen. Happy Birthday, my love. Cheers to this one and many more.”
Despite Keenan’s global fame as Tool’s frontman, the couple tends to keep their personal life away from the spotlight, focusing instead on their shared ventures, family, and local community. Still, you can follow Keenan and Lei Li on Instagram.