Raising a child is one of the hardest things that someone can do. Not only is it a lifelong commitment it’s also a day to day succubus of our time, money and energy. Imagine these pressures of raising a child when we were only just ignorant, pimply teenagers. In 2014 approximately 24 out of every 1000 adolescent teens aged 15-19 experienced teen pregnancy to full term. This is a common occurrence across the country between all races and many argue on the issue of how to prevent teen pregnancy. When teens get pregnant they sometimes put the child up for adoption maybe because of a lack of money or inability to raise the child. But many teen mothers also keep their babies, it all depends on the woman’s choice.
This phenomena exists in the world of celebrities too. Tons of celebrities have had children in the late and early teens and still raised those babies while rising to success. These singers, actresses, and athletes have all brought children into the world in their teens and continued to follow their passion. That makes this list of celebrities also a list of inspiring individuals because raising a baby at a young age is seriously no easy task.
15 Lil’ Wayne
That’s right, despite all of the gay rumors rapper Lil’ Wayne became a father at the young age of 16. He had his little girl Reginae was born with his high school sweetheart Antonia “Toya” Carter. The couple got married in 2004 on Valentine’s Day and were divorced just two years later in 2006. His family is made up of three other children with three other women. He has been linked romantically since then to Trina and Christina Milian.
The singer prefers to go by Wayne and not his birth name Dwayne because of his own poor relationship with his father. Apparently, he is Dwayne Carter II and the original Dwayne is still alive but not in the rapper’s life. Because of his father’s absence Wayne prefers to drop the D, this is all despite naming his first son Dwayne III. The first of the rapper’s many tattoos was actually his father’s name, he got it when he was 14.
14 Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr is a hilarious well-known comedian most widely known for her television sitcom aptly named Roseanne. The show ran for 9 seasons and won her an Emmy and Golden Globe before going off the air in 1997. She was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Salt Lake City, Utah where she had a very devout upbringing. Despite being practicing jews the family lived in secrecy so that the surrounding LDS neighbors wouldn’t judge them. When she was just 16 Barr was hit by a car in a traumatic injury that had a deep impact on her brain. Her behavior became erratic and the young comedienne was institutionalized for eight months at the Utah State Hospital. While she was institutionalized Barr gave birth to a baby boy who she gave up for adoption. The mother-son duo were later reunited. Barr now lives with her husband on a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii.
13 Anna Nicole Smith
The 1993 Playboy Playmate of the Year came to her tragic end in 2007 after an overdose of prescription drugs in a hotel in Hollywood, Florida. Anna Nicole was born Vickie Lynn Hogan and raised by her mother and aunt alongside five other siblings. She dropped out of high school in her Sophomore year and got a job at Krispy Fried Chicken in Mexia, Texas. This is where she met Billy Wayne Smith, a cook at the restaurant. Anna Nicole and Billy Wayne Smith had Daniel Wayne Smith in 1986 in Mexia, Texas. The two divorced just a year after his birth and the boy was primarily raised by his mother and grandmother. He was a less prominent character in the retired model’s reality show The Anna Nicole Show, as Anna Nicole mother was concerned that the cameras were bothering him. At the young age of 20, Daniel died of a prescription overdose at his mother’s bedside only three days after the birth of his half-sister.
This R&B singer-songwriter got her big break on season 3 of American Idol after she won the entire competition. Her heartfelt rendition of "Summertime" immediately won her approval from fans and her story of rising to fame after being a struggling single mom gave her the edge to win it all. Her first single after the show, "I Believe", debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her first album Free Yourself went platinum in 2006 and won the singer 3 Grammy awards.
The singer got her inspiration from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Patti LaBelle. Music is also a part of her genetic line as famous R&B duo KC & JoJo are her first cousins and The Barrino Brothers are her uncles. Despite this natural disposition to be a talented musician Fantasia had a rough start before American Idol. At 16 Fantasia gave birth to her daughter with now ex-boyfriend Brandel Shouse, they named her Zion Quari Barrino.
11 Shirley Temple
This classic actress is so famous that there’s even a drink named after her, but much less heard about the star is her rollercoaster of a personal life. When she was only 15 Temple met John Agar, an Army Air Corps sergeant from a good family. Two years later, when Temple was 17 years old, the two were married in an Episcopalian ceremony. After another two years when she was just 19 Temple and Agar had their first child, named Linda Susan. The marriage went south and in 1950 the divorce between the young wife and her first husband was finalized. Right after their divorce was finalized Temple met one of the richest young men in California, Charles Alden Black. The two were married just under a year after they met and the ceremony was held in front of friends and family. The actress bore two more children and stayed married to Black until his death in 2005.
10 Jamie Lynn Spears
The youngest of three siblings, Spears grew up in Mississippi with famous sister Britney Spears of pop star fame. Jamie Lynn stared on super popular tween show Zoey 101 on Nickelodeon until it stopped airing in 2008. Just two years later the actress and singer controversially announced that she was pregnant at the age of 16. She announced her pregnancy to the world through the mouthpiece of OK! Magazine where she also revealed the father was her then-boyfriend Casey Aldridge.
Some months after this announcement she and Aldridge got engaged, the couple moved back to Mississippi and bought a house together. Many accused Jamie Lynn of glamorizing teen pregnancy and were shocked that her behavior in real life was so different from her “goody goody” character in Zoey 101. A year later the pair canceled their engagement and after much on and off dating completely ended things in 2010. In April of 2010 Spears moved from Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her singing career. She put out her EP entitled The Journey in 2014.
9 Keisha Castle-Hughes
Born in Australia but working in New Zealand, Castle-Hughes is an award-winning actress who rose up in Hollywood in her early teens. She first gained acknowledgment from the public eye after her prominent role in the critically acclaimed movie Whale Riders. After her Whale Riders success, the actress starred in some well-received films before landing her most exciting role yet in popular HBO series Game of Thrones.
Three years after Whale Riders Castle-Hughes and boyfriend of three years Bradley Hull announced that they were having a baby together. Their daughter Felicity-Amore Hull was born just one month after the actress turned 17. The couple broke up in 2010 but still co-parent their little one. Since the end of that seven-year relationship, the young actress began dating Michael Graves who was eventually arrested for assaulting her on the drive home from the Oscars Party in Auckland. She later married Jonathan Morrison after just six weeks of dating and has most recently admitted to suffering from bipolar disorder.
8 Naomi Judd
Born Diana Ellen Judd in Ashland, Kentucky Naomi Judd is now the matriarch of a super talented Hollywood family. Judd married Michael Ciminella and the two had daughter Christina Ciminella, later renamed Wynonna Judd when Naomi was just 18. A couple of years later Ashley Judd was born and shortly after her birth the marriage between Naomi and Michael dissolved. Naomi became a single parent and attended nursing school at the College of Marin in California.
Eventually, Naomi and Wynonna formed famous singing group “The Judds” and toured the country together jamming to country tunes. The two have acquired more than 20 Top 10 hits and for eight consecutive years were undefeated at all three major country music award shows. She has also won a Grammy as a songwriter when she wrote “The Judds” hit “Love Can Build a Bridge”. The third Judd, Ashley, is a famous actress that has starred in tons of great movies. The tale of the Judds is a true single teen mother success story.
7 Niki Taylor
The American model was born in Florida and signed to her first modeling agency when she was only 13 years old. Just months after Taylor graduated from high school she met Matt Martinez, linebacker for the Miami Hurricanes while doing a coin toss for an Arena football game. The two immediately hit it off and eloped to Las Vegas, just two months later they were expecting twins.
At the age of 19 Taylor gave birth to two baby boys but her and Martinez were divorced less than two years later. More than 10 years later Taylor became enamored with Nascar driver Burney Lamar and the two were married after just three dates. The pair have two children and the whole family lives together blissfully in a gorgeous French colonial house in Brentwood, Tennessee. She has worked in some reality television and has been profiled by channels like E! Entertainment but in recent years Taylor hasn’t been modeling as much as she did in the highlight of her career.
6 Solange Knowles
American singer, songwriter, actress and model Solange is also the little sister of famous singer Beyonce. She has always been obsessed with music, studying dance and theater as a child and serving multiple temporary stints in Destiny’s Child. When she was just five years old Solange made her singing debut at an amusement park and began writing her own songs when she was only nine. At 15 she joined in on her big sister’s success as a backup dancer on tour with Destiny’s Child. At 16 Knowles’ father signed her to his recording label and she put out her first album Solo Star.
In 2004 at the age of 17 Solange married boyfriend Daniel Smith and nine months later gave birth to their son Daniel Julez Judo Smith. The family moved to Moscow, Idaho together so that Daniel could pursue his college degree but eventually the two divorced. The mother-son pair moved to Los Angeles, California after the divorce and eventually settled together in New Orleans, Louisiana.
5 Aretha Franklin
One of the most prominent voices in R&B Aretha Franklin was also a teen mother. Raised by a preacher in the small country town of Shelby, Mississippi Franklin got her start singing in the gospel choir at church. Her father’s emotional and passionate sermons gained much acclaim and led to him gaining thousands in donations for churches around the world. Because of this grandeur Franklin’s house was visited by various celebrities including Martin Luther King Jr. and Sam Cooke.
Franklin is the mother of four sons the first of which, Clarence, was born when she was just 14 years old. In 1961 Franklin married Ted White despite loud objections from her preacher father, after too much violent abuse in 8 years Aretha left White. Since then she has had some great romances and engagements including two engagements to her beloved friend Willie Wilkerson. The popular singer has had an immensely successful career despite not having the best taste in men.
4 Sofia Vergara
In the late ‘90s Vergara was well known for hosting two shows on popular station Univision but now she is best known for her role as hilarious step-mom Gloria on Modern Family. She has been nominated for four Golden Globes, four Primetime Emmy Awards and seven Screen Actor’s Guild awards. In her early years Vergara studied dentistry at the University of Colombia but after much interest in modeling she left school just two semesters before getting her degree.
When her brother was murdered following unrest in Colombia, Vergara moved to Miami, Florida. She got her first job in acting after walking along the beach and being approached by casting officials. She was nervous about taking it until the nuns at her Catholic school gave her their permission. When she was 18 years old Vergara was married to her high school sweetheart and the two had a baby together, they named him Manolo.
3 Lebron James
Now famous and rich, James had a rough start in his early life in Akron, Ohio. The basketball star was born to a 16-year-old mother and the family struggled as they moved from cheap apartment to cheap apartment. Local football coach Frank Walker introduce James to football when he was nine years old and seeing a more stable life for her son his mother let LeBron James move in with Walker. The natural born athlete was proposed to his high school sweetheart in 2011 and the pair were married a year later. Their first child, LeBron Jr., was born 10 years before their nuptials when James was just 19. The pair are still together now and have a total of three children together. In November 2015 the family settled into an East Coast style mansion in Brentwood, Los Angeles after leaving his long tenure with the Miami Heat.
2 Loretta Lynn
For almost 60 years Loretta Lynn has been gracing the world with her country crooning tunes. The singer has multiple gold albums and has earned acclaim as a duet artist and solo country star. At the age of 15 Loretta married Oliver “DooLittle” Lynn and 5 years later he bought her a guitar. She taught herself how to play and eventually started her own band, all with full support and even a little nudge from her husband. She had their first child just a smidge over one year after they were married when she was 16. The couple went on to have 5 more children together and were married for more than 50 years. Although they stayed together there was a lot of gossip surrounding their rocky marriage. Apparently Doo, as she affectionately called him, cheated on her and once even left her side while she was giving birth. She was only a child when they were married so it’s amazing that they stayed together at all.
1 Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou had one son named Guy when she was just a teen. She describes his birth and her pregnancy in her autobiography. As she’s shared with us in her books Angelou didn’t always easy and sometimes had to fight for her baby and worked hard to give him everything that he needed. The poet and writer worked as a short-order cook and a waitress, she even accidentally became a hooker in her early 20’s in East Bay, CA. She has written seven autobiographies that have received much acclaim, she’s also released three books of essays, several books of poetry, plays, movies, and television shows over the span of 50 years. She has received over 50 honorary degrees and tons of awards, the writer and civil rights activist is beloved to this day. In 1993 Angelou was invited to read her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at the President Bill Clinton’s Inauguration making her the first poet to read at an inauguration since Robert Frost in 1961.
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