As many of you already know, there are plenty of young girls who have starred in reality TV shows like 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and Teen Mom 2. Nobody is perfect and these shows brought attention to some stories of pregnant teenage girls in high school that are dealing with the hardships of teenage pregnancy. Most of the episodes come to an end when a girl’s baby is a few months old. But, there’s rarely a week that there’s not a headline (or two) made by one of these girls. To tell you the truth, life barely looks positive for the girls, but there are a handful of success stories, just not in reality TV.
You see, there’s a decent amount of rags-to-riches stories out in the mainstream media. There are celebrities who turn out to be millionaires–maybe even billionaires–despite growing up in poor families. There are also celebrities who became underage mothers, which prompts them to grow up quickly in order to support their children. They went on to have satisfactory careers in show business. Whether it’s Sofia Vergara from ABC’s mockumentary sitcom Modern Family or Bachelorette alum Emily Maynard, who was chosen by Brad Womack in Season 8, we’re sure you’ll be able to recognize some of these familiar faces.
There are a lot of myths about teen mothers that just aren’t true. We aren’t glamorizing teen pregnancy in any way, but here are 15 celebrities you’ll never believe were teen moms.
15. Evelyn Lozada
If you watch Basketball Wives, then you know who Evelyn Lozada is. The VH1 reality TV series focuses on the lives of the girlfriends and wives of NBA players. In case you didn’t know, Lozada is of Puerto Rican descent and was raised in a Roman Catholic household in Brooklyn, New York. She later moved to Miami, Florida in 2007.
Lozada’s love life hasn’t always been smooth-sailing, though. She gave birth to her daughter, Shaniece Hairston, on June 16, 1993. She got engaged to NBA star Antoine Walker. The couple had a 10-year relationship from 1998 to 2008. She then married NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson in Saint Martin, only to divorce him in 2012. After the failed marriage, she began dating MLB player Carl Crawford, better known as “The Perfect Storm,” in 2012. She gave birth to their son in 2014. However, the pair recently ended their engagement. Yikes!
14. Solange Knowles
Solange Knowles, the younger sister of Beyoncé, was a teen mom who didn’t let that bring her showbiz career down. As a child, she had several stints as a backup dancer for Destiny’s Child before signing with her father’s Music World Entertainment label. In February of 2004, she married Daniel Smith when she was 17 and he was 19. She gave birth to their son, Daniel Julez J. Smith, Jr., on October 18, 2004. Unfortunately, many young marriages don’t last, and this one ended in divorce in 2007. She brought Daniel to Los Angeles, where they established a new residence.
Knowles’ son has been the inspiration for songs including “6 O’Clock Blues” as well as her hip hop-themed line, Baby Jamz, that consists of toys and music for preschoolers. She eventually found a new flame, tying the knot with music video director, Alan Ferguson, on November 16, 2014. All the best!
13. Bristol Palin
Bristol Palin became the subject of media attention when she announced her pregnancy in the middle of her mother’s run for vice presidency. In February of 2009, she told Fox News that abstinence is “not realistic at all,” but that she would like it to become more accepted among people her age. Seven months later, she formed a lobbying, public relations, and political consulting services firm called BSMP, whose focus was to work with the Candie’s Foundation but was originally created to develop additional clients.
After that, Palin became a spokesperson for teen pregnancy prevention programs. She also published a memoir, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far, and competed on Season 15 of Dancing With The Stars. She was eliminated in the fourth week of the dance competition. She gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Sailor Grace on December 23, 2015. Shortly after, she married former Marine and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer. She gave birth to her third child and second with Meyer, a daughter named Atlee Bay, on May 8, 2017.
12. Kim Zolciak
Kim Zolciak was a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of Connecticut when she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Brielle Biermann, on February 25, 1997. Not surprisingly, Biermann has confessed that she wants to get engaged to her 21-year-old boyfriend, Michael Kopech. The couple has their own reality show about their lives.
In 2010, Zolciak said that she’s bisexual and that she was in a relationship with DJ Tracy Young. The same year, she met Atlanta Falcons football player Kroy Biermann at the charity event. Their meeting was later shown on season three of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The pair wed at their Roswell, Georgia home on November 11, 2011. They have four children together—Kroy Jagger and Kash Kade along with twins Kaia Rose and Kane Ren. In 2013, Biermann successfully filed to adopt Zolciak’s daughters, and the girls subsequently changed their last names to Brielle Biermann and Ariana Biermann.
11. Fantasia Taylor
Being a teen mom didn’t stop Fantasia Taylor from winning Season 3 of American Idol in 2004. In addition, she won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2010. She was born Fantasia Barrino to Diane and Joseph Barrino in High Point, North Carolina. She began singing at the age of five. She cites Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Tina Turner as her biggest musical influences. Moreover, music runs in her family. Her first cousins are R&B duo K-Ci & JoJo, and her uncles are the 1970’s R&B band The Barrino Brothers.
Taylor attended Andrews High School in High Point, North Carolina. She was reportedly raped by a classmate and felt so embarrassed after being harassed that she dropped out of high school. She became pregnant at 16 with her ex-boyfriend, Brandel Shouse, and gave birth to her daughter, Zion Quari Barrino, on August 8, 2001. That didn’t stop her from finding love as she married a businessman named Kendall Taylor on July 18, 2015.
10. Naomi Judd
Naomi Judd (born Diana Ellen Judd) was only 18 years old when she gave birth to her daughter, Christina Claire Ciminella—known monotonously as Wynonna. After the birth of her second daughter, Ashley, in 1968, Judd raised both of her daughters as a single parent. She first attended nursing school at the College of Marin in Marin County, California.
Judd later began a successful singing career with Wynonna, forming a very successful singing duo known as The Judds. As country music’s most popular mother-daughter duo, The Judds had 20 top-10 hits (including 15 at No. 1) and went undefeated for eight consecutive years at all three major country music awards shows. In addition, the duo won five Grammys and a wide range of other awards and honors. As a songwriter, Judd also won a Grammy for Country Song Of The Year with the hit “Love Can Build a Bridge.” Her second marriage was to Larry Strickland of the Palmetto State Quartet on May 6, 1989.
9. Jamie Lynn Spears
Jamie Lynn Spears is the younger sister of Britney Spears. She’s best known for her role as Zoey Brooks on the Nickelodeon teen sitcom Zoey 101 from 2005 to 2008. She became the subject of media attention and controversy in 2007 after she announced that she was pregnant by her then-boyfriend, Casey Aldridge, at age 16. This particular announcement sent her career into a hiatus. However, in 2013, Jamie launched a new career in country music, releasing her debut single “How Could I Want More?” along with a debut EP titled “The Journey.”
In 2011, Spears began a relationship with Jamie Watson, a voice actor and businessman who owns the communications service Advanced Media Partners. After two years of on-and-off dating, the couple announced their engagement in March of 2013. They got married in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 14, 2014. She looked every bit like a beautiful blushing bride, and let’s hope things between the lovely couple stay positive.
8. Keisha Castle-Hughes
Keisha Castle-Hughes is a New Zealand actress who rose to fame after playing Paikea “Pai” Apirana in the family drama film Whale Rider. The film was nominated for many awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress and an award at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Young Actor/Actress, which she won in 2004.
Since she made her film debut, Castle-Hughes has appeared in various films including Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger, Piece of My Heart, and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. She also played the Virgin Mary in the 2006 biblical drama film The Nativity Story. In 2015, she joined the cast of the HBO TV series Game of Thrones as Obara Sand.
Here’s one thing you may not have known about Castle-Hughes. The youthful actress gave birth to a daughter, Felicity-Amore Hull, at the age of 17. However, she broke up with her then-boyfriend, Bradley Hull, after seven years together. On a positive note, she has been married to Jonathan Morrison since Valentine’s Day 2013.
7. Niki Taylor
Niki Taylor is a model who was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Barbara and Ken Taylor. She was raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida and attended Cooper City High School. She has an older sister, Joelle, and had a younger sister, Krissy (1978–1995).
After graduating from high school in the spring of 1993, Taylor met former Miami Hooters linebacker Matt Martinez during a coin toss at an arena football game in Miami, Florida. The couple eloped in Las Vegas on January of 1994. Six months later, the four months pregnant woman married Martinez in a traditional wedding ceremony in McCammon, Idaho. They had twin sons, Jake and Hunter, in December of 1994. However, their marriage was short-lived, and they went their separate ways.
Taylor met NASCAR driver Burney Lamar at an autograph session in January of 2006. She became engaged to him after just three dates. Their wedding was held at the Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla, California on December 27, 2006. They share a son, Rex Harrison Lamar, and a daughter, Ciel Taylor Lamar.
6. Natalia Vodianova
Natalia Mikhailovna Vodianova, better known as Supernova, had her first of three kids at 19 years old. The Russian model grew up in a poor district of Avtozavod with her mother and two half-sisters, Kristina and Oksana. As a teenager, she helped her mother sell fruit on the street and later set up her own fruit stand with a friend to help her family escape poverty. Her father walked out on the family when she was a toddler, and she didn’t have any contact with him until after she became famous.
Supernova met Justin Portman, a half-brother of the 10th Viscount Portman, at a Paris dinner in 2001. The couple married later that year when she was eight months pregnant. They have three children—son Lucas Alexander, daughter Neva, and son Viktor. Viktor was named after Vodianova’s late grandfather, who helped raise her after her father left. Sadly, they announced their separation in June of 2011. Soon after, Vodianova began a relationship with Antoine Arnault, son of LVMH founder Bernard Arnault. They have two sons, Maxim and Roman, together.
5. Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr may have been born to a working-class Jewish family, but she has been through a lot in her early life prior to becoming an actress, comedian, writer, producer, and 2012 presidential nominee of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party. At 16, she was hit by a car that left her with a traumatic brain injury. Her behavior changed so much that she was institutionalized for eight months at Utah State Hospital. While institutionalized, she had a baby, which she gave up for adoption, but reunited with many years later. At 18, she moved out by telling her parents that she was going to visit a friend in Colorado for two weeks but never returned.
Barr married Bill Pentland, a Colorado-based motel clerk, on February 4, 1974. The couple had three children—Jessica, Jennifer, and Jake. They officially divorced on January 16, 1990. Four days later, Barr married comedian Tom Arnold in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and became known as Roseanne Arnold during the marriage. In 1988, she brought him onto her sitcom, Roseanne, as a writer.
4. Aretha Franklin
Renowned gospel singer Aretha Franklin is the mother of four sons. She gave birth to her first son, Clarence, shortly after she turned 14. Her first two sons’ fathers have never been identified. While Franklin was pursuing her musical career and hanging out with friends, her grandmother, Rachel, and sister, Erma, took turns raising the children. Her third child, Ted White, Jr., is professionally known as Teddy Richards. He has provided guitar backing for his mother’s band during live concerts.
Franklin has been married twice. She married Ted White in 1961, despite objections from her father. After a marriage that was plagued with domestic violence, she divorced White in 1969. She then married her second husband, Glynn Turman, in 1978 at her father’s church. By marrying Turman, she became a stepmother to Turman’s three children from a previous marriage. Franklin and Turman separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and the couple divorced in 1984.
3. Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith was arguably one of the hottest Playboy Playmates ever. She gained early game as a model for Guess and won the title of 1993 Playmate of the Year. On the contrary, she had a very troubled life with so many problems.
Smith dropped out of Mexia High School during her sophomore year. She was married to a Jim’s Krispy Fried Chicken cook in 1985. Her highly publicized second marriage to J. Howard Marshall resulted in widespread speculation that she married the octogenarian mainly for his money, which she vehemently denied. Following Marshall’s death, she began a lengthy legal battle over a share of his estate. Her case, Marshall v. Marshall, reached the U.S. Supreme Court on a question of federal jurisdiction and again on a question of bankruptcy court authority, now called Stern v. Marshall.
Smith died in a Hollywood, Florida, hotel room on February 8, 2007 as a result of an overdose of prescription drugs. During the final six months of her life, she was the focus of renewed press coverage surrounding the death of her son, Daniel, along with the paternity and custody battle over her newborn daughter, Dannielynn.
2. Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara is a Colombian actress and model. She rose to fame while co-hosting two television shows for the Spanish-language television network Univisión in the late 1990’s. Her first notable acting job in English was in the 2003 film Chasing Papi. Subsequently, she appeared in other films, including Four Brothers, and two Tyler Perry films, Meet the Browns and Madea Goes to Jail, receiving an ALMA Award nomination for the latter. Her success on television has earned her roles in several films. She was the top-earning actress on American television in 2012, 2013, and 2016.
Vergara currently stars on the ABC series Modern Family as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, for which she has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards. While you think you know everything about her, there’s a part of her past that you might’ve not known about. She married her high school sweetheart, Joe Gonzalez, at the age of 18. They have a son named Manolo. They divorced in 1993.
1. Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple is a classic American icon who started her family at a young age. In 1943, Temple (1928-2014) met John Agar (1921–2002), an Army Air Corps sergeant, physical training instructor, and a member of a Chicago meat-packing family. When Temple was 17, she married him on September 19, 1945 in front of 500 guests in an Episcopal ceremony at Wilshire Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Temple had a daughter, Linda Susan, on January 30, 1948, at the age of 19. Agar became an actor, and the couple made two films together—Fort Apache and Adventure in Baltimore. The marriage became turbulent, and Temple divorced Agar on December 5, 1949. She was awarded custody of their daughter. The divorce was finalized on December 5, 1950.
In 1950, Temple met Charles Alden Black, a World War II Navy intelligence officer and Silver Star recipient who was Assistant to the President of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. The couple married in his parents’ Del Monte, California home on December 16, 1950. The family moved to Washington, D.C. when Black was recalled to the Navy at the wake of the Korean War. Temple gave birth to a son, Charles Alden Black, Jr., in 1952. Their daughter, Lori Black, was born in 1954. Black went on to be a bassist for the rock band The Melvins. The couple were married for 54 years until his death on August 4, 2005.
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