Rock stars often bring their larger-than-life personalities to bounty of another kind: having children. Jermaine Jackson's kids have reportedly reached the double-digit mark. Others, like Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Sting, can pretty much create a basketball team with their broods.
The typical rock or pop-culture lifestyle doesn't make it easy for musician-celebrities to have ongoing contact with each of the children or, in some cases, to keep offspring together. Extensive touring and life on the road, often coupled with a frivolous youth and an assortment of relationship partners, may lead to separation – possibly of long duration – from the child or children.
So fans take notice when their musical idols reconnect with long lost offspring.
In the news is 65-year-old British rocker Rod Stewart – he has seven children by five different women, with another child on the way – who reunited with his first-born child and eldest daughter, Sarah Streeter, this summer.
Streeter, now 46, was born to Stewart, then a teenager, and an art student then known as Susannah Boffey, now known as Susannah Hourde. The Daily Mail reported that Stewart wanted to put the baby up for adoption immediately. After struggling to raise the child on her own, the mother finally agreed.
"She was put up for adoption when I was 17 or 18, I think," Stewart remarked on the Joy Behar Show this month, reported AOL Music. "I was absolutely stone broke," he said, adding that keeping the baby just wasn't feasible.
After years in foster care and various children's homes, Streeter was adopted at age five.
When she was 18, said the Daily Mail, Streeter's adoptive parents revealed her paternity. Even though father and daughter met a few times in the 80s, they had hardly any contact during the subsequent two decades. Then three years ago, the status changed. Stewart reconnected with his daughter following the death of her adoptive mother.
"Now [that] I'm getting to know him more I think I understand what went on," said Streeter, who has met several of her half-siblings. "Rod has actually come into my life in a big way since mother's gone, and I don't think that's a coincidence. Now we're at the start of a new chapter, and that's wonderful."
What may have caused Stewart's change of heart?
"As these stars age and fans fade, the people not going away are the children," said Charles R. Figley, a psychologist, whose expertise includes family relationships.
Figley, who also heads up the doctoral program at Graduate School of Social Work at Tulane University, explained that, in their youth, male rock stars and other privileged male celebrities are basically stuck in adolescence.
"For a long time, rock stars stay in the developmental stage where they're seeking their own identity and experimenting, and having no trouble bedding women," he said. "When a child comes along, the newborn is generally perceived as a problem, not a blessing."