We’re checking out the youngest celebrity fathers who had to pull double duty as dads while also attempting to get their careers off the ground.
We’ve already talked about the youngest celebrity mamas to ever give birth, and it always sounds a little seedier when it’s a young mother, for some strange reason. Lifetime makes movies about the struggles of single teen moms, MTV has a franchise of shows depicting the dramas and infighting between teenage mothers and the people around them, and it seems so shocking to learn of a woman who became a mom before she was even old enough to legally drink in the United States.
But what about that other 50% of the DNA that makes up a baby? When do the daddies get their due?
This week, before we get to Father’s Day, we’re checking out the youngest celebrity fathers who had to pull double duty as dads while also attempting to get their careers off the ground. There are a few instances of teenage fathers, with the youngest on our list being a sophomore in high school when he first became a papa! Others were in their early twenties but chose to either take a break from their work to grow their family or got surprised with a little bundle of joy.
Some of these dads did it the right way and stepped up, whereas others weren’t exactly model fathers, because celebrity, fame, and loads of cash don’t always buy parental aptitude!
15. Louis Tomlinson, 23
When it was revealed that One Direction member Louis Tomlinson was the father of a new baby boy, fans were up in arms. Directioners (what the band’s fans call themselves) directed hatred towards Tomlinson’s baby mama, California stylist Briana Jungwirth, who had had a brief relationship with the singer and thus set fire to the dreams of preteen girls everywhere.
Actually, the fans were pretty ridiculous when it was revealed that Tomlinson was a new father, with conspiracy theories abounding that his son, Freddie, was actually a doll.
They thought the whole pregnancy was designed to disguise a relationship between Tomlinson and fellow bandmate Harry Styles – or, as fans affectionately called them, “Larry”!
After becoming a father at 23, when he and Jungwirth were no longer together, it seems that there is a shared custody agreement, with little Freddie residing with Jungwirth in California, so as to enjoy a more stable upbringing as Tomlinson pursues a solo career since 1D’s indefinite hiatus/breakup. As far as romance goes, Tomlinson returned to his ex-girlfriend Eleanor Calder in 2017 and the two, by all accounts, are still together! And more babies aren’t out of the question for the singer, who told Metro’s Guilty Pleasures, “Definitely [more kids] at some point…That’s probably the stuff I get most excited about, doing all the family stuff and dad stuff.”
14. David Beckham, 23
David Beckham was at the height of his soccer career when he tied the knot with Posh Spice Victoria Beckham in July 1999, but, just a few months before he became a husband, he was already a proud papa! At 23 years old, Beckham welcomed his first son, Brooklyn, and the child acted as the couple’s ring bearer during their nuptials!
Since becoming a father in his early twenties (Victoria was 24 when she gave birth to Brooklyn), the soccer star has helped to add three more children to their beautiful and talented brood: Romeo James Beckham (born September 2002), Cruz Beckham (born February 2005), and Harper Seven Beckham (born July 2011).
As he wouldn’t be a celebrity without garnering at least a little controversy for his parenting style, Beckham earned the ire of parental shamers when he shared a photo of himself giving a sweet peck on the lips to daughter Harper back in July 2017. The Independent explains that he’s “very affectionate” with his kids because that was the way in which he was raised, Beckham stated, “We want to show our kids love and we protect them, look after them, and support them, and we’re very affectionate with them.” In fact, Victoria was also the subject of similar scrutiny for posting a photo of herself kissing Harper on the lips the year before!
13. John Lennon, 22
John Lennon may have been a man who spoke and sang about peace, love, and unity, but, according to his first son, Julian, the real-life man and father was actually anything but.
Becoming a dad at the young age of 22 might have meant that Lennon wasn’t exactly cut out for parenthood, at least not then.
Married to wife Cynthia Powell from 1962 to 1968, it was in 1963 that they welcomed son Julian to the world. (His second son, Sean, with wife Yoko Ono, would be born over a decade later, in 1975.) In fact, according to his own bandmate Paul McCartney, Lennon just didn’t know how to be a dad. He more or less corroborated that fact, according to The Telegraph, in an interview that “Julian was the result of ‘a bottle of whiskey’. Not exactly the kind of statement that would give you the warm and fuzzies!”
The young age at which John Lennon became a father – and how bad he was at it, at least for his first son – have left an indelible mark on Julian who, at the age of 55, has still refrained from marrying or becoming a dad himself, explaining, “He was young and didn’t know what the [heck] he was doing…I didn’t want to do the same thing. No, I’m not ready. I want to know who I am first.”
12. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 20
When we were first introduced to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, he was simply “Aaron Johnson”, a gawky, bespectacled kid who played the titular hero in the R-rated film Kick-Ass. That film was released in 2010 but, the year before, in 2009 when Taylor-Johnson was just 19, he was already engaged – to his Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who was 23 years his senior!
Despite their age difference, the Taylor-Johnsons (they combined their last names) fell in love and got pregnant, with Sam giving birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter named Wylda Rae, which made Taylor-Johnson a dad at just 20 years old! In 2012, they had another daughter together, who they named Romy Hero, and they tied the knot that very same year, which allowed Taylor-Johnson to legally adopt his wife’s two other children from a previous marriage, making him a father of four by the age of 22!
While their love story and Taylor-Johnson’s subsequent rapid induction into the role of husband and father may raise a few eyebrows, the actor has said that he wouldn’t have it any other way and, in fact, that meeting his wife saved him from a self-destructive streak, according to The Daily Mail. In a 2015 interview, Taylor-Johnson gushed about being a father and husband, saying, “Being a father has been the happiest time of my life – it’s what I live for, it’s what I love doing – I have a real reason why I’m here.”
11. LeBron James, 19
A three-time NBA champion, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a four-time NBA MVP, a fourteen-time NBA All-Star and way, way more, Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James has amassed tons of awards (and, recently, become a pretty awesome meme).
But all of his awards might seem that much more impressive once you consider the fact that he became a father when he was still a teen!
James first became a father in 2004, when his first of three children was born with high school sweetheart Savannah Brinson – a son, named LeBron James Jr. Becoming a papa at the age of 19 didn’t slow James down though, obviously, as it was that exact same year that he won the coveted NBA Rookie of the Year award! By 2007, he became a dad for the second time, this time welcoming the couple’s second son, Bryce Maximus. With two sons in their family, James decided to propose to Brinson, and the two exchanged “I dos” in California on September 13, 2013. Just a little over a year later, they added a third child to their family, a daughter they named Zhuri.
While James is undoubtedly a beast on the court, from the sounds of his personal life, he’s enjoyed nothing short of a fairytale!
10. Taylor Hanson, 19
It doesn’t seem like all that long ago when we witnessed the three blonde Hanson brothers singing together to their infectious ‘90s hit “MMMBop”, and now, middle brother Taylor is the father of five children! However, when you consider the fact that he became a first-time father at the age of 19, it makes things seem even crazier! And, if you don’t feel like doing the math, that was just six years after “MMMBop” became a sensation and the family band’s album hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Born into an Eastern Orthodox Christian family (not Mormon, as many outlets have falsely stated), Hanson himself came from a large family of six brothers and sisters, and so, after getting married to wife Natalie Bryant when he was still a teen, it wasn’t long before the two had their first child together, a son they named Jordan Ezra, who will turn 16 this October! Since then, they’ve added four more babies to their brood: Penelope Anne (born April 2005), River Samuel (born September 2006), Viggo Moriah (born December 2008), and Wilhemina Jane “Willa” (born October 2012). While a big family may not be for everyone, in an article he wrote for Today’s Parent, Hanson described, “You’re part of a crew when you’re in a big family. You’re already included in a group.”
9. T.I., 19
If you thought five kiddos was a lot for one family, check out rapper T.I. – he’s the proud papa to six kids! (He has one additional child via marriage, a stepdaughter named Zonnique.) Considering the rapper and actor is only 37, he would’ve hard to start that baby-making early, which he did, becoming a father for the first time at the age of 19!
T.I. (born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) first became a dad at the age of 19 when he and LaShon Thompson got pregnant with the first of two sons.
Messiah Ya’Majesty Harris was born in February 2000 and was joined a little over a year later by his brother, Domani, who was born in March 2001. Domani has actually chosen to follow in dear old dad’s footsteps and enter the music industry himself, something both parents encouraged him to do on account of his being a “talented illustrator and lyric writer”, according to SandraRose.com.
After ending things with Thompson, T.I. was back on that baby makin’ train, this time with a daughter, Deyjah Imani, who was born only a few months after Domani – but by a different woman!
Finally, in 2010, T.I. decided it was time to settle down, marrying Tameka Cottle, with whom he shared three other children, and a daughter from one of Cottle’s previous relationships, bringing his grandchildren total to seven, six biological!
8. Charlie Sheen, 19
When you think of the phrase “responsible father”, it’s unlikely that Charlie Sheen is the man who comes to mind. The actor has a history of substance issues, failed relationships, erratic behavior, and mental illness – not exactly the ideal characteristics one looks for in a dad.
While we’ve seen Sheen go off the rails in recent years, he wasn’t all that responsible early on, either, becoming a dad for the first time at 19 years old with his former high school girlfriend, Paula Profit. Daughter Cassandra Estevez (Sheen’s given surname before he changed it) was born in December of 1984, the same year Sheen got what could be called his “big break” by starring in the film Red Dawn.
Following a list of adult industry actresses and his first marriage to wife Donna Peele, Sheen became a father again, this time to two girls, Sam and Lola, with wife Denise Richards. A year after Lola was born, Richards filed for divorce. Sheen decided that he wasn’t done with marriage or fatherhood quite yet, and wed a third time, to Brooke Mueller, and the couple had twin sons Bob and Max in 2009.
In addition to being a father of five, Sheen is already a grandfather, too! His first daughter Cassandra became a mom at the age of 28 in 2013, to her own little girl, who she named Luna.
7. Ice-T, 18
Ice-T (born Tracy Lauren Marrow – you can see why he changed it) was barely old enough to vote when he became a father for the first time! The rapper/actor was just 18 in 1976 when he learned that he would become a proud papa to daughter LeTesha via his high school girlfriend Adrienne. The two actually made an effort to continue attending school while they were raising their baby, according to Ice-T’s memoir, Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption – From South Central to Hollywood.
More recently, he had another daughter. This time, he had his child with his longtime partner and wife Nicole “Coco” Austin, a girl they named Chanel, who was born in 2015.
Prior to that, he had a son with girlfriend Darlene Ortiz, after the two met on a film set in the 1980s.
While Ice-T was a young dad to his first daughter, he’s talked openly about how protective he is of all his kids, especially his youngest. In an interview with Hollywood Life, the Law & Order: SVU star declared, “I’m not an overbearing pops, but I’m definitely protective of anybody that I love. My reputation precedes me. So my daughter – I have an older daughter – she’s never had any problem. It’s kind of like if you’re a kid and you come from the mob of something, people know not to mess with you.”
6. Levi Johnston, 18
Hardly a celebrity by current standards, there was once a time when Levi Johnston was all over the news, after becoming a father at the age of 18 alongside potential vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol.
Palin and Johnston had been dating since their freshman year of high school and the two exchanged promise rings and vowed to get married. During the 2008 presidential election, according to MTV, it was revealed that the couple was about to be teenage parents, and Johnston disputed claims that they were being forced to walk down the aisle, declaring: “We were planning on getting married a long time ago, with or without the kid.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and, after the birth of their son, Tripp, the engagement was broken off just a few months later in March 2009. Showing just how immature they were, the pair reunited and were engaged yet again, before officially ending things in 2010, just three weeks after announcing their second engagement.
According to People, since the birth of son Tripp, the custody battle between Johnston and Palin has raged, totaling seven years and $100k in legal fees before they finally agreed upon joint custody of their son. Since Tripp, both Johnston and Palin have gone on to have children with other people; the former, a daughter named Indy Rae, and the latter, a daughter named Sailor Grace.
5. Lamar Odom, 18
Anyone who has picked up a tabloid in the last five years or logged onto a celebrity website would know that Khloé Kardashian and ex-husband Lamar Odom spent much of their time together attempting to conceive a child – something that Khloé has since admitted, according to People, that she “fake-tried” with her ex because she “knew the circumstances weren’t the healthiest”.
Prior to Khloé, though, Odom had already become a father three times, the first when he was just 18!
Daughter Destiny was born in 1998 to Odom and ex-girlfriend Liza Morales. For Destiny, having a father who was an NBA player already opened up the potential for public scrutiny but, once Kardashian entered the picture, things became much worse. According to People in a feature that detailed her father’s substance dependency, 17-year-old Destiny explained, “When [your dad] is marrying a reality TV star, things are so public and you don’t have a private life anymore.”
After becoming a dad to Destiny, it would be a few more years before Lamar welcomed his next two children to the world, sons named Lamar Jr. (born in 2002) and Jayden. Tragically, son Jayden passed away at only six months due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
4. Tom Jones, 17
No, that’s not a photo of singer Tom Jones and his lookalike brother – it’s actually the crooner’s own son! Becoming a dad at the age of just 17, it’s easy to see how the two might be mistaken for a pair of brothers, but son Mark Woodward isn’t only the singer’s offspring – he’s his manager too!
Married to his wife Linda (born Melinda Rose Trenchard) in 1957 until her death two years ago, Jones and Trenchard welcomed their only son, Mark, when they were just young teenagers, 17 and 16, respectively. In fact, Jones has said that it was Mark’s birth that spurred him to try harder at becoming a singer, explaining in Express that he felt he had more responsibility.
Despite many of Jones’ infidelities (according to the Telegraph, he claimed to have bedded 250 groupies a year at the height of his fame), the couple stayed together, even after Jones fathered a son with model Katherine Berkery, who was 30 years younger than his first son! Unfortunately, Jones has shown absolutely zero interest in meeting this new progeny, despite DNA tests confirming his paternity.
Since Mark took on the role of manager, he completely overhauled his father’s look, replete with leather pants and dyed hair, and made him into something more “gentlemanly”.
3. Rod Stewart, 17
Another singer in his 70s who had his fair share of ladies during his heyday (and even after), Rod Stewart was only 17 years old when he first became a father, to a little girl named Sarah. After meeting an art student by the name of Susannah Boffey at a nightclub in 1963, Boffey got pregnant. The result of that tryst was Sarah, who was given up for adoption by her biological parents, something that, as recently as 2011 (according to The Daily Mail) Stewart still feels immense guilt over. For the first five years of her life, Sarah was moved between foster carers and children’s homes, before finally being adopted by a couple who have since passed away. For years, Sarah had no idea that the popular singer was in fact her biological father.
She was 18 by the time she learned of her true parentage.
While Stewart has gone on to become the father of eight children (the most recent being born in 2011), his relationship with Sarah was always tenuous at best. Meeting him for the first time when she was in her early twenties, Sarah admitted in TheDaily Mail to harboring a lot of resentment over her father’s lavish lifestyle compared to her more modest and troubled one. As for her biological mother, Boffey, Sarah has found it difficult to deal with her bitterness and has become estranged from her.
2. Tyler Baltierra, 16
Not exactly a celebrity by traditional standards, Tyler Baltierra was first introduced to the world via the MTV show 16 and Pregnant, which is fitting, since he, too, was 16 years old when he first became a father in 2009!
As far as the couples on the MTV reality show go, it’s worth noting that Baltierra and his wife, Catelynn Lowell, have actually stuck it out since they first received the news, muddling through fame, shared trauma, and more together. After first welcoming their daughter Carly to the world, both Baltierra and Lowell decided to give the child up for adoption to a married couple – something that, of course, the network documented ad nauseum.
While a teen pregnancy and subsequent adoption could prove to be too much for any couple, let alone one that came together when they were just children, Lowell and Baltierra ended up marrying in 2015, the same year they had their second child, another daughter they named Nova.
Considering the amount of poor father figures 16 and Pregnant and its spinoff, Teen Mom, depicted, it’s worth noting that Baltierra, while not a shining example of a father or a husband, is still a pretty decent one (although the bar isn’t set very high).
1. Lil Wayne, 15
Lil Wayne was a kid who grew up fast. In a 2009 interview with Playboy, the rapper said that he first became intimate with a girl when he was just 11 years old, and the girl in question was a mere 13 herself! (An added dose of irony is that the two got together with the help of a board game, showing just how young they really were.)
Following that, Lil Wayne (born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) opted to drop out of school when he was 14 in order to pursue his music career – and less than a year later, he became a dad for the first time!
At just 15, Lil Wayne’s daughter, Reginae, was born to his high school sweetheart, Antonia “Toya” Johnson, who the rapper eventually married in 2004.
But the rapper wasn’t done with his baby-making abilities just yet!
He ended up having three other kids with three different women, totaling four children with four baby mamas – all before he was 26! Hey, when you’re a multi-platinum-selling artist and busy on tour, you’ve got to have your legacy secured so you can keep doing what you’re doing, right? Daughter Reginae is already signed to her dad’s label, Young Money, as a member of the music group OMG.