ceelo and shani

Singer Cee Lo Green and fiance Shani James attend a Toys for Tots event in December 2014, where Shani appears to be wearing an engagement ring

*CeeLo Green recently revealed that he popped the question to his longtime girlfriend…nearly a year ago.

The 41-year-old told People magazine that he’s been engaged to Shani James, 38, for about a year, but didn’t want to publicly announce it.

“We’re a collective power together because our private life is sacred. But you know … maybe it is time for the world to know that I have a very secure situation and a loving woman supporting me the entire way,” he said.

Green and James tell People.com how he popped the question:

“It was just a typical night at the studio, but then again, not so typical cause I did something extra special, out of the ordinary,” Green, 41, tells PEOPLE.

“I went and purchased a ring that we had seen together, maybe four or five months or so prior. I went back and purchased the ring and I just kind of had it stashed away in some old equipment. And I said, ‘Will you reach in there and grab something for me?’

To James’ surprise, Green had a special (and shiny) gift waiting for her.

“It was the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever seen in my life. It was lit up by a light,” says James. “I said, ‘What is that?’ He just looked at me and said, ‘Well…?’ And I was just like ‘Oh my goodness.’

She adds, “I said, ‘Babe, I can’t believe it.’ He said, ‘You’ve been such a good woman. You’re such and amazing person. You’re my life partner. You’re my best friend. I want to share the rest of my life with you.'”

Aside from a new marriage in the coming months, Green will also release a new album, “Heart Blanche,” on Nov. 6.