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Celebs who had babies when they were just teens

While many people prefer to wait to have children until they are older and established in their careers, not everyone follows this route. These famous figures all had children before they reached the age of 20, and many of them raised their kids on their own. Being a teenage parent is by no means easy, but these people managed to raise kids and have incredibly successful careers. The path to fame is never an easy one, but these celebs were able to juggle parenthood and success.

Anna Nicole Smith

Before she launched her modeling career, Anna Nicole Smith was a high school dropout working at a fried chicken restaurant. It was there that she met her first husband, Billy Smith. The couple were married when she was just 17 years old and Smith gave birth to a son, Daniel Wayne Smith, less than a year later. The marriage was a short and unhappy one, but Smith was devoted to her son. Daniel died from an accidental overdose when he was 20 years old, leaving Smith devastated. When she died a few months later, her ex-boyfriend, Mark Hatten, claimed that it was from a broken heart. "When I heard Daniel died I knew she wouldn't last long," he told In Touch. "I've seen people pamper their kids but he was literally her world."

Loretta Lynn

Country superstar Loretta Lynn has never made a secret of the hard life she had before becoming famous. She wrote in her autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter, that she was married at the age of 13 and had four children by the time she was 18. While some documents refute this, showing that Lynn was actually married at 15, it is certain that she gave birth to more than one child while she was still in her teens. Still, despite a difficult childhood and and life as a teenager mother, Lynn became the first woman honored with the Country Music Association's "Entertainer of the Year" award in 1972.

Jourdan Dunn

Model Jourdan Dunn was 18 when she found out that she was pregnant with her son, Riley. Dunn told Vogue that telling her mother about her pregnancy was "the hardest thing" and that her mother was "angry and upset" when she heard the news. "She had me at a young age and didn't want me to go through her struggle," Dunn said. Dunn knew that being a teenage mother wouldn't be easy, but decided that she "was just going to have to make it work." Her son has sickle-cell anemia and has to be monitored carefully; fortunately, Dunn has the support of her mother who is helping her raise Riley. Dunn said that her son keeps her motivated. "I'm his voice, I'm his lifeline, I have to be driven," she said. "I think he pushed me in the right direction. I've always been ambitious, but now I have more focus. I'm more hardworking."

Tom Jones

British crooner Tom Jones has a voice made for lullabies, perhaps because he got practice from a very young age. Jones left school at the age of 16 and, the following year, he married his childhood sweetheart, Melinda Trenchard. A month after the couple got married, Trenchard gave birth to their son, Mark. Jones had barely started his music career at that point and worked in a paper mill to support his family while waiting for his big break. Soon after his son was born, he quit the paper mill and started singing for a local band, Tommy Scott and the Senators. The rest, as they say, is history.

Natalia Vodianova

While many mothers struggle to lose the baby weight after giving birth, Russian supermodel Natalia Vodionova had no trouble getting back on the runway after having her son, Lucas, at the age of 19. Far from having trouble getting her figure back, it actually helped her become famous. "I lost a lot of weight for my height," she told Vanity Fair in 2005. "In two weeks after giving birth to Lucas, I was on the catwalk. I was so skinny and the clothes just sat on me incredibly and no one could believe it. Everyone wanted to put me in their shows. I did everything." Vodionova was thrilled to be a mother. "I have always dreamed about having children, a lot of children," she said. "I actually want to have very soon another one." The model has fulfilled her dream of having a large family and, as of this writing, has five children.

Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd entered the workforce as a nurse, not as a singer. For years, she struggled to support her two children, Wynonna and Ashley. Judd was only 18 years old when she gave birth to Wynonna in 1964. Ashley followed four years later, and Judd raised both girls as a single mother. It wasn't until 1983 that the mother-daughter singing duo of Naomi and Wynonna Judd were signed to RCA Records, launching a successful music career as The Judds. When Judd retired from singing in 1991 due to complications with chronic hepatitis C, Wynonna entered a successful solo career, while Ashley pursued a career in acting. In 1998, Judd returned to the spotlight with her daughter Wynonna. The two last toured together in 2010 after which Judd struggled with "completely debilitating and life-threatening" depression that led to hospitalizations. In Judd's 2016 interview with ABC News, she said the treatment she has received for depression has now made her "content and at peace."

Aretha Franklin

Vocal powerhouse Aretha Franklin was already making a name for herself as a singer when she had her first child shortly after her fourteenth birthday. The child prodigy had already recorded some songs and gone on tour, which thrust her into an adult world as a young teenager. Motherhood didn't deter Franklin from her career. The single mother continued to perform even after having another child two years after her first. By the time she was in her 20s, she was balancing motherhood with churning out hits that topped the music charts. With 18 Grammy Awards as of this writing, the Queen of Soul certainly didn't let anything, even the struggles of being a teen mother, stand in the way of her journey to the top.

Suzanne Somers

Actress Suzanne Somers is a well-recognized celeb, but before she was famous she struggled to make ends meet. Somers had a troubled childhood, with an alcoholic father who was often verbally and emotionally abusive. Somers told People that when he was drinking, he would often fly into a rage and scream at his wife and children, sometimes throwing dishes and tearing up clothes. Somers would often sleep in her closet to hide from her father. Her siblings later developed alcohol addictions themselves, something Somers feels fortunate to have avoided. She met her first husband, Bruce Somers, when she was 15. Within two years, she was pregnant and married. "It was a mistake," she said. She wanted out, but didn't know how — so she had an affair. "That ended the marriage," she said, "but then I was left with a new set of crises, feeding and clothing a baby and keeping a roof over our heads. I decided to try modeling, including doing nude photos one time when I needed money for my son's medical bills."

Rod Stewart

Singer Rod Stewart has made headlines over the years, and not just for his music. Tabloids have long been enamored with the star, following his love life for decades. He had children with a few different women before having two children with his third wife, Penny Lancaster, when he was in his 60s. His advanced age at the time of his children's birth made the news, but for years it was not widely known that Stewart actually became a father for the first time when he was only in his teens. Stewart publicly acknowledged his oldest child, Sarah Streeter, in 2013. She was born when he was 18, before his career had taken off, and he and his then-partner agreed to put their daughter up for adoption. Stewart first made contact with Streeter in the 1980s, although the two didn't begin to build a relationship until after Streeter's adoptive parents died. "I didn't change Sarah's nappies or do homework with her like I did my other kids, so at first it was hard to feel like she was my own," Stewart told The Sun in 2013. "But I've worked hard at it and now it's beginning to feel like we're family."

Patti Smith

Singer/songwriter Patti Smith gave up her first child for adoption, and this decision had a deep impact on her life and her career. Between her sophomore and junior years at Glassboro State Teachers College, where she studied art, Smith became pregnant. Abandoned by her baby's father, Smith decided to carry the baby to term, but to give it up for adoption. One of her professors helped her find a family to raise the child. Her baby was born in 1967, when Smith was just 19 years old. Smith suffered from postpartum depression after her daughter was born, and turned to music for solace. She later said that she knew her decision to give up her child was the right one, but that it was a difficult period in her life. She said on Fresh Air (via her biography, Patti Smith: America's Punk Rock Rhapsodist) that keeping the baby "would've been difficult for everyone." She added, "I felt I just wasn't ready as a human being. I wasn't prepared and, although I knew I would be responsible and loving, I just was not equipped to embark on that path." Following her daughter's birth, Smith dropped out of college and moved to New York City where she began her career as the legendary punk rock icon we know today.