The Troubled Children Of These Famous Rock Stars

The following article contains references to drug addiction, suicide, and child abuse 

Imagine being the fortunate offspring of a famous rock star. Born into a world of lavish excess, VIP status, and immense privilege may seem like a dream come true for many, a lifestyle offering boundless opportunities and lucrative connections. But as with any child forced to life in the shadow of an ultra successful parent, rock star kids often have an ax to grind. These kids of famous rockers seem to have it all, but riches are no substitute for unconditional love.

Choosing to embark on a music career is one thing, but being thrust into the limelight on account of one's parents is quite another. To paraphrase Tupac, these musicians didn't choose the rock n roll life; it chose them. Well, neither did their troubled children. Having superstar parents can often have a detrimental effect on youngsters' wellbeing. "Celebrity parents are usually self-absorbed, focusing more on themselves and their career than their children," psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman explained to Hollywood Life. "This lack of attention and nurturance can cause depression." Thus, it should come as little surprise that the offspring of a number of famous musicians have developed myriad interpersonal problems.

Despite being born with a silver spoon, life has been anything but easy for these rockers' kids. Let's take a look at the troubled children of these famous rock stars.

Frances Bean Cobain's struggles mirror her parents

Born to grunge rock royalty — Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain — Frances Bean Cobain didn't have an easy start in life. Even her birth was at the center of contention amid claims that Love used heroin during her pregnancy, leading to Frances being briefly taken away by social services, per People.

Following her father's tragic death when she was just a baby, Cobain had to witness her mom's issues with drugs, which led to Love frequently losing and regaining custody of her. By age 17, Cobain decided to permanently live with her grandmother, Kurt's mom. But her volatile relationship with Love did not end with the cessation of her guardianship. As reported by the Daily Mail, Cobain had to get a restraining order against her mother after the teen made allegations of domestic violence. Cobain also claimed that Love's behavior had gotten so out of control that she accidently killed the family pets through neglect.

Having survived a dysfunctional upbringing, it seems a sad inevitability that Cobain herself ended up with a drug problem. In 2018, she celebrated two years of sobriety in a since deleted Instagram post (via Rolling Stone). "It is an everyday battle to be in attendance for all the painful, bazaar [sic], uncomfortable, tragic, f***ed up things that have ever happened," she wrote. She later told the Irish Independent that her personal struggles have "given me a sense of empathy and compassion that I would never have had any other way."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Julian Lennon looks back in anger

Being the son of one of the greatest rock icons of all time must be a pretty difficult legacy to live up to. But having to endure his father's antipathy towards him was too much for Julian Lennon, who is the son of the beloved Beatle's first wife Cynthia, to bear. A particularly painful truth, one which Julian has had to reconcile with, is the fact that his superstar father admitted to him being a mistake. Regarding his love for his son Sean (with second wife Yoko Ono) in contrast to his acrimonious relationship with Julian, John told Playboy, "Sean is a planned child, and therein lies the difference. I don't love Julian any less... whether he came from a bottle of whiskey or because they didn't have pills in those days" (via The Beatles Ultimate Experience). Yikes.

In an explosive interview with The Telegraph, Julian branded his father a "hypocrite" and lamented his absence throughout his childhood. "Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son," he argued.

Accordingly, the troubled Julian was led into drug misuse, having become addicted to cocaine and alcohol in the years following his father's 1980 murder. He blames his drug issues on having been exposed to narcotics at a young age, telling HazyRock (via Express) that his father gave him drugs when he was just four or five. Lennon has since gotten clean.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

A Slipknot clown's tragic daughter

Slipknot's enigmatic percussionist clown, Shawn Crahan, is known for his onstage shenanigans, such as animatedly banging a trash can, and, if nu-metal folklore is to believed, sniffing a dead crow he kept in a jar. While these antics were largely confined to the theatrics of the band's notorious live shows, Crahan's daughter unfortunately lived a life filled with darkness — the kind that featured heavily in his heavy metal band's music.

The percussionist's daughter, Gabrielle Crahan, had long-term issues with drug use. In May 2019, she celebrated 5 months of sobriety on Instagram. Just days later, she was found dead at the age of 22. Per TMZ, she died of a drug overdose, having tragically suffered a fatal relapse. According to Legacy, she tried her very best not to fall back into her past behaviors, having struggled with addiction for a number of years. "She fought it bravely and no matter how many times she fell, she would always get back up again," her obituary states. "Not only did she fight for herself, but for others who struggled as well."

In an interview with Knotfest, Shawn reflected on the pain of losing his daughter at such a young age. "When you have a loss like that, you can't imagine the steps backwards you take ... There's not a single thing anybody in the world is going to say that's gonna change it," he said, noting that nothing could ever help him make sense of Gabrielle's tragic death or make him deem it "acceptable."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

This Pink Floyd legend's son went to jail

Charlie Gilmour is the adopted son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. His biological father, actor and poet Heathcote Williams, wanted nothing to do with him following his birth, which is at the center of much of his personal strife, per Vogue.

In 2010, the U.K. government announced that university fees would rise to £9,000 (around $11,700) a year. Subsequently, protests swept across the nation. Among those protesting was Gilmour. Despite being the son of a multimillionaire and attending the elite Cambridge University, Gilmour felt a solidarity with the students struggling to pay their fees, per The Guardian. But he ended up defacing a war memorial and attacking Prince Charles' car during the protests and he was subsequently sentenced to 16 months in prison. Per Metro, he blamed his actions on substantial drug use. Writing for the Independent, he admitted to contemplating suicide while in prison.

After leaving jail, Gilmour found himself faced with further turmoil, struggling with his mental health as a result of his birth father's abandonment of him. But one way he was able to ease his pain, and ultimately heal, was through nurturing an abandoned magpie. Poignantly, his adoption of the bird coincided with the death of his father. "On a deeper level, there's a lot that caring for a creature teaches you about yourself – particularly about the fact that in our society men are rarely taught how to express love and care," he told Vogue.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Gene Gallagher was accused of a racially motivated assault

The son of Oasis star Liam Gallagher, Gene has inherited all his dad's famous swag and, unfortunately, his bad boy reputation. The younger Gallagher's baddie behavior manifested at a young age. Per The Times, he was expelled from an elite private school in 2019. His father, however, deemed the incident comical; when Gene told the outlet that the expulsion was "nothing to be proud of," Liam bragged, "Oh, it is!"

But Gene's behavior is not confined to silly school boy stunts. The same year he was kicked out of school, he was allegedly caught stealing alcohol in a grocery store. As reported by the Daily Mail, Gene was hanging out with Sonny Starkey, the grandson of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, in the swanky Hampstead neighborhood of London when a worker accused him of trying to swipe a can of beer. According to witnesses, Gene launched a racist tirade against the worker, who is of South Asian descent. Subsequently, he was charged with affray and racially aggravated assault.

In 2022, the charges were dropped. However, the judge presiding over the trial castigated Gene for his brutish behavior. "It is hard enough for people running late-night stores without entitled young men thinking they could get what they want by misbehaving," the magistrate said, per NME. Despite the judge decrying that Gene behaved in a reckless manner, Liam defended his boy, tweeting, "F*** law n order I'm into chaos n crisps." Some might say, like father, like son.

If you or a loved one has experienced a hate crime, contact the VictimConnect Hotline by phone at 1-855-4-VICTIM or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services to help. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

Melissa Etheridge's tragic son

Grammy-winning rock icon Melissa Etheridge had two children with ex-partner Julie Cypher. Their son Beckett was born in 1998 (his sperm donor was fellow rock legend David Crosby), but his life proved all too brief. Tragically, Beckett suffered a fatal overdose in 2020, at the age of 21.

According to his ex, Hailey Lavelle, Beckett's drug use began after he failed to receive adequate medical care following a horrifying snowboarding accident, which nearly split his head in two. Lavelle told the Daily Mail that in a desperate attempt to ease the pain, Beckett became addicted to opioids and he entered a tragic downward spiral thereafter. "He was very depressed," Lavelle explained. "He would stay up for days just sitting there, smoking, watching videos, vaping ... He didn't sleep for days." She suggested that his mental health issues may have been exacerbated by an undiagnosed brain injury.

Following Beckett's passing, Etheridge lamented on Twitter that her son was yet another victim of the opioid crisis. Prior to his death, Beckett caused alarm with his drug use and gun collection, posting photos of the latter in the lead up to his overdose. "As the mother of someone who was addicted to opioids, it's a struggle," Etheridge told Rolling Stone. "You want to help your child ... There were things out of my control, of course. And there came a time when I needed to really sit down with myself and say, 'I can't save him' ... I had to come up against the possibility that he might die."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Mackenzie Phillips has endured some horrifying ordeals

Mackenzie Phillips is the daughter of Mamas and Papas legend John Phillips. She may have been born into immense fortune, but Phillips' life turned into one long downward spiral. In an interview with Oprah, she discussed her memoir, "High on Arrival," in which she revealed that she woke up from a blackout one morning to find her father sexually assaulting her when she was a teen. "Your father is supposed to protect you, not f*** you," Phillips tearfully recounted to the host. When she confronted her father the next morning, he insisted that he hadn't raped his unconscious teen daughter, but, rather, they'd made love. "And, in that moment, I thought, 'Wow, I'm really on my own here,'" she said.

Her sister, Chyna, has said that she believes the incest claims to be true. Although Phillips told Oprah that she initially believed her relationship with her dad was "consensual incest," she later told "Behind the Velvet Rope" that she realized her father had, in fact, been raping her.

Philips also revealed that her father first introduced her to drugs when she was just 10, and thus began a lifetime of troubles. Per People, she was arrested at the age of 18 after being found with drug paraphernalia while acting erratically. In 2008, the Seattle Times reported that she was arrested at LAX after security discovered cocaine and heroin in her bags. Eventually, the case was dismissed after she successfully completed a treatment program, per USA Today.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Jon Bon Jovi's daughter has led a troubled life

Jon Bon Jovi is known for his rock god status. Despite being a thirst trap for many stans, Bon Jovi has been married to the same woman for decades and has a notable lack of interest in the rock n roll lifestyle. Speaking with The Irish Times, he said, "To be honest with you, I didn't have the capacity to handle drugs. I didn't find joy in it." However, the same can sadly not be said of his daughter, Stephanie Bongiovi.

As reported by NBC News, Bongiovi was arrested after suffering a heroin overdose in 2012. Authorities seized various drug paraphernalia from her college dorm and charged her with possession of illicit substances. The elder Bon Jovi expressed his sadness at his daughter's struggles in an interview with The Mirror. "It was horrible, a horrible moment," he said. "It was my worst moment as a father." The publication notes that Bongiovi ultimately wasn't prosecuted for the drug offenses due to a Good Samaritan law.

The rocker said that his daughter's overdose, while tragic, highlighted to him the prevalence of drug problems among young people. "There's many more pressures on kids ... what am I going to be when I grow up, will I be able to accomplish things?" he continued. "I feel it was a terrible tragic lesson of life but I thank God every day because she is whole." Speaking with People, he revealed that the family has since healed following the traumatic experience.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Peaches Geldof's untimely death eerily resembled her mother's

The daughter of Boomtown Rats singer and Live Aid co-founder Bob Geldof, TV personality Peaches Geldof led a brief but turbulent life. The tragedy began when she was just a child. In 2000, her mom, TV host Paula Yates, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 41. Her body was found by her four-year-old daughter, Tiger Lily. Peaches reflected on her mom's death in a 2012 Elle interview. "I did experiment with drugs ... but I was never that wild," she said. "I could have been, I could have let myself spiral but all the time I remembered what happened to my mum." 

But despite her promise not to follow in her mom's footsteps, Peaches would meet a similar fate. She died in 2014, aged just 25. As The Sun (via Daily Mail) reported, her body was found next to her baby son. To make things even sadder, her death, like her mother's, was ruled a heroin overdose, per BBC. She had been clean for two and a half years prior to her death, but sadly suffered a fatal relapse.

The young mom of two was survived by her husband, indie musician Thomas Cohen. "I think any time you love someone, you're slightly scared of it," Cohen told The Guardian two years after his wife's death. "But when they have addiction issues and the border of life and death is so constant ... it's heightened. But that doesn't take away from any of the experience or relationship."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Kelly Osbourne began taking drugs as a child

Born into a dysfunctional family, Kelly Osbounre found fame on her family's eponymous reality show. As the daughter of The Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, Kelly found herself faced with similar struggles to her father.

The younger Osbourne's drug issues began when she was a child. As she revealed to "Red Table Talk," she became addicted to Vicodin following surgery and soon moved onto harder drugs, such as heroin, though eventually got clean. Speaking with Extra in 2021, Osbourne revealed that she managed to resist using drugs and alcohol throughout the pandemic, but once lockdown ended she had a relapse. While she acknowledged that she will likely have to deal with addiction for the rest of her life, she highlighted the importance of treating oneself with kindness.

Osbourne told "Red Table Talk" that her drug issues were exacerbated by her low self-esteem. "I went from having every voice in my head being like, 'You're fat, you're ugly, you're not good enough ... people only like you because of who your parents are.' And then all of a sudden, every single voice was silenced ... life gave me a hug," she admitted. In an interview with Glamour, she opened up about her poor self-image, but said that ceasing to compare herself to others helped her develop body confidence. "No, we are not all Gisele Bundchen; we're not all Beyoncé," she explained. "But I can tell you even the most beautiful girls in the world have felt insecure."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Bryan Ferry's boys can't stop getting into trouble with the law

Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry is notorious for his pro-fox hunting stance. The rocker's sons have inherited his passion for hunting, and have gotten into trouble with the law, as a result. An avid hunter, Otis Ferry has repeatedly harassed those who don't share his beliefs, including former prime minister Tony Blair. In 2005, he was arrested after attempting to assault Blair, who had recently outlawed fox hunting. Three years later, he was once again arrested, and subsequently imprisoned, for assaulting and stealing from animal rights activists, but was released from jail after 4 months, per the Daily Mail. The rocker's other son, Isaac, was expelled from the elite private school Eton after sending threatening emails to anti-hunting activists.

Meanwhile, Ferry's son Merlin was arrested for carrying a knife. In 2013, Merlin was pulled over while driving an uninsured swanky car, per The Telegraph. Police then found a knife on him, which is a serious offense in the U.K., and Merlin's second knife crime offense.

"One of my nightmares is that I give a lenient sentence to someone for having a bladed article and read a few months later that they have stabbed someone," the judge sternly warned. "The consequences on your lucky life so far will be devastating. Don't think that will not happen, it will." Accordingly, Merlin was sentenced to community service and given a driving ban. His probation officer lamented that he exhibited "no remorse" for his crime.

Tommy Lee's troubled son

Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has a well-documented history of domestic violence against ex-wife Pamela Anderson. Accordingly, he has grown estranged from the couple's children, Brandon Thomas and Dylan Jagger.

In 2018, ET reported that Lee was pressing charges after getting into a physical altercation with Brandon, sharing gruesome snaps of his bloody injuries in a now-deleted Instagram post. "You can give your kids everything they could ever want in their entire lives and they can still turn against you ... Great son!" he wrote, while also warning girls not to date his supposedly violent son in an Instagram story. Accordingly, Lee's partner, Brittany Furlan, warned police that Brandon is a dangerous individual. "My stepson has guns in his room, and that's why I'm freaked out," Furlan told the cops. 

However, TMZ reported that Brandon acted in self-defense. Per People, Brandon claimed that he was merely protecting his mom after Lee posted a series of disrespectful tweets about Anderson, mocking her allegations that he is a domestic abuser. "I'm devastated at the events of the last several days that have been a result of my father's alcoholism," Brandon told the outlet, emphasizing that he didn't want to discuss the feud, but his father's brazen social media posts had made the deeply private matter public knowledge.

Like his dad, Brandon has struggled with his personal demons, but he celebrated three years of sobriety in 2019, telling Interview that he survived "one of the darkest spots of my entire life."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).