Singers often look into their own personal lives as inspiration for songs. These 15 artists got very heartfelt and emotional by singing about the joys of parenthood and their children. Here are some of our favorite songs singers wrote for their children.
Superstar singer Beyonce is normally a private person but after having her first child, Blue Ivy, the former Destiny’s Child member has opened up about the joys of motherhood. In addition to sharing intimate photos of mother and child, Beyonce penned the song “Blue.” In the song, which is on her latest album Beyonce, Blue sings about feeling alive when she looks into her daughter’s eyes. At the end of the song, Blue Ivy joins in and sings with her mommy before asking if they can go see daddy.
On January 7, 2012 Jay Z became a father. There by Beyonce’s side to welcome their first child together into the world, Jay wasted no time paying homage to his wife and daughter. Two days later, he released the song “Glory.” Normally very guarded with his feelings, the Brooklyn emcee rapped about the joys of becoming a father for the first time and detailed the pain and heartbreak the couple went through during a previous miscarriage. The song, which opened with Blue Ivy’s heartbeat, also included a sample of the newborn crying at the end.
R&B singer Alicia Keys found love and a music partner in producer/rapper Swizz Beatz. A few months after tying the knot, Keys gave birth to the couple’s first child. Always one to open up in her music, the New York native dedicated the song “Speechless” to her newborn son. With her husband behind the boards handling the production, Keys sang “I’m at a brand-new time in my life and a brand new feeling, and it’s like this little guy, man, he takes my breath away.” Friend and rapper Eve was also featured on the song.
As one-third of the rap group The Fugees, Lauryn Hill became a hip-hop star but it was her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that really catapulted the New Jersey native into superstar status. Hill penned the song “To Zion” as a dedication to her firstborn child. The song helped the album earn five Grammy awards, including the coveted Album of the Year. Zion may have been Hill’s first child but it certainly wasn’t the last. The “Ex-Factor” singer is a proud mother of six children.
Flowers for Zoe
Rocker Lenny Kravitz met actress Lisa Bonet during a rough period in his life. He was struggling to deal with his parents’ divorce and falling in love with the “Cosby Show” star, he moved across the country to New York to be with her. The couple tied the knot on her 20th birthday and a year later, they welcomed their daughter Zoe into the world. When it was time for Kravitz to put out his second album, he wrote the song “Flowers For Zoe” for his only child. All grown up now, Zoe has followed in her mother’s footsteps and is making a name for herself as an actress.
All My Life
Jodeci was one of the most successful R&B groups in the 90’s. Branching off on their own, brothers K-Ci and JoJo put out their first duet album in 1996. Love Always did poorly in the charts until the they released the third single “All My Life.” While most originally thought the song was about a lover, “All My Life” was actually about JoJo’s daughter. The song helped catapult the album to the top of the charts and sell over four million copies. “All My Life” was their biggest hit and is considered one of the best ballads of all time.
Just the Two of Us
Before he was known as an actor, Will Smith first tried his hand at rapping. Getting back to his roots, the Men In Black star penned a song dedicated to his oldest son Trey in 1997. “Just The Two Of Us” was a remake of Grover Washington Jr.’s classic hit and Smith featured his young son in the music video. Smith originally wrote a children’s book with the same title and lyrics. At the end, his new and very pregnant wife Jada Pinkett-Smith joined her hubby.
A Prayer For You
R&B singer Usher fell head over heels in love with his stylist Tameka Foster back in 2005. Their whirlwind romance led them down the aisle and, inspired by his new wife and newborn son, Usher released his fifth album Here I Stand to mark his transition into fatherhood. The album contained the interlude “A Prayer For You” which was dedicated to his firstborn son Usher “Cinco” Raymond V. Their second son was born in December 2008 but the couple had already separated before his birth.
New York rapper Fabolous rarely gets personal in his lyrics but that changed when he penned the song “Stay.” Recruiting the help of former Floetry singer Marsha Ambrosius, the Brooklyn emcee dedicated the song “Stay” to his firstborn son. Opening up about the pain he experienced when his father walked out of his life, Fabolous vowed to never follow in his father’s footsteps. “Stay” was released in 2009, a year after he became a father.
Me and You
Queensbridge rapper Nas has always been reflective and expressive in his rhymes so it was no surprise when he penned the 2004 song “Me and You” for his daughter Destiny. In the song he rapped, “Even though we don’t live in the same home, And I may have missed yo graduation, And no matter how many miles I’m away from you, You know I love you.” Returning to the topic of fatherhood once again, Nas talked about raising a daughter in “Daughters,” which was on his last album Life Is Good.
Isn’t She Lovely
Singer/musician Stevie Wonder has been writing love songs for over four decades. In 1976, he was inspired by the birth of his daughter Aisha and wrote the classic hit “Isn’t She Lovely.” Opening with the sounds of a baby being born, the song also includes a sample of Aisha playing with her father. One of Wonder’s many hit songs, he refused to release “Isn’t She Lovely” as an official single despite protests from his label Motown Records.
Song for the Baby
Singer Kelis had all the boys heading to the yard over her milkshake but there was only one that won her heart and hand in marriage. Rapper Nas and Kelis tied the knot in 2005. The marriage didn’t last and she filed for divorce while she was seven months pregnant with their son. After giving birth, Kelis headed to the studio to work on her album Flesh Tone, which was an ode to motherhood and “Song For The Baby” was written for her only child Knight.
Keith Richards once lived the quintessential rocker lifestyle complete with a bevy of beautiful women and a host of drugs along with his fellow Rolling Stone members. In 1993, Richards and Mick Jagger wrote the song “Wild Horses.” While many thought the song was about Jagger’s relationship with British actress and songwriter Marianne Faithful, it was actually inspired by fatherhood and being a musician on the road and a million miles away from where they really wanted to be.
Tears In Heaven
Singer/songwriter Eric Clapton got very personal on the song “Tears In Heaven.” Reeling from the 1991 loss of his four-year-old son who plummeted to his death after falling out of a window on the 53rd floor of a Manhattan high-rise, the emotional song was one of Clapton’s most successful hits. He finally stopped performing the song in 2004 but would include the song as part of his Old Sock tour nine years later.
Rocker Rod Stewart got very personal on the song “Forever Young.” The inspiration behind the hit was Stewart’s children. Released in 1988, it would be one of Stewart’s biggest hits in the U.S. The 69-year-old musician has said “Forever Young” is one of his favorite songs: “I love ‘Forever Young’ because that was a real heartfelt song about my kids. I suddenly realized I’d missed a good five years of Sean and Kimberly’s life because I was so busy touring all the time.” Not making the same mistake with his other children, Stewart would bring them along with him on the road.