18 Surprising Celebs Raised By Strong Single Mothers

by Devan McGuinness

18 Surprising Celebs Raised By Strong Single Mothers

Parenting is a difficult task, make even harder when you’re a single parent shouldering all of the responsiblity. Hats off to the single mothers of these celebs, who supported their children and helped them chase their dreams along the way.


Angelina Jolie



Angelina Jolie’s celebrity parents, Marcheline Bertrand and Jon Voight, split up when she was just a young infant. She was estranged from her dad for a long time and was primarily raised by her single mother, who she was very close with.


Kanye West



Kanye has always been vocal about the influence his mother, Donda West, has had on him growing up and in his career. Sadly, he lost his mom in 2007 after complications during surgery.


Barack Obama



Obama, who was born and raised in Hawaii, was raised by his mother, Ann Durham, with the help of his maternal grandparents. Obama’s mother and father, Barack Obama Sr., separated shortly after his birth.


Halle Berry



Actress Halle Berry and her older sister, Heidi, were raised by their single mother, Judith Ann, after their father left when she was only 4 years old.





The mega-artist and his three siblings were raised in Brooklyn, New York, by his single mother, Gloria, after their father abandoned the family.


Christina Aguilera



Her parents divorced when the singer was only 6-years-old and she alleges being raised by her single mother was better for both of them, claiming her father was emotionally and physically abusive.


Eva Mendes



Mendes says her father was in the picture when she was a child, but it was primarily her mom who raised her. During the press for the movie “Girl In Progress” which the actress portrayed a single mom, she thanked her own mother while she was filming. “During filming I called my mom a few times to tell her thank you,” she said. “Because it’s tough. Raising a child on your own is really tough.”


Keanu Reeves



Keanu was raised primarily by his single mother, Patricia Bond, with the support of other relatives. Keanu’s father was imprisoned in Hawaii and he left the family when the actor was only 3 years old.


Mariah Carey



Mariah’s parents, Patricia Hickey and Alfred Roy Carey, broke up and went their separate ways when she was only 3 years old. The now 46-year-old mother of two was raised by her mom from then on.


Alicia Keys



Alicia Keys was raised by her mother, Terria Joseph, and she understands the impact her mother has had on her growing up. In an Instagram post, the Grammy-award winning singer writes, “My mama was single and raised me up just like that, and she is all the reason I am who I am!! Now having kids of my own I respect my mama more than ever. It’s not an easy job and doing it alone and doing it well is an even MORE difficult feat.


Jodie Foster



Jodie and her three siblings were raised by their mother, Evelyn, after their father left before Jodie was even born. She made ends meet by working as everything from an assistant to a film producer, and became Jodie’s manager when her career launched.


Jon Stewart



When Stewart was 11 years old, his parents got divorced, and he’s said to have been largely estranged from his father since.


Justin Bieber



Justin Bieber’s mom, Pattie Mallette, has been a big influence in his life and a strong single mother, too. She was only 17-years-old when she gave birth to the now mega-superstar. She and his dad, Jeremy Bieber, split up only a few months after he was born.


Michael Phelps



He is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, and he was raised by his single mother, Debbie. The superstar swimmer’s parents divorced when he was 9-years-old and has said to use the pool as his way to escape.


Demi Lovato



Demi’s parents split up just after the singer’s second birthday. She was raised by her mother in Texas with older and younger sisters.


Selena Gomez



In 2012, the singer opened up about her upbringing and said she was thankful for her mother and how she raised her. “I was frustrated that my parents weren’t together, and never saw the light at the end of the tunnel where my mom was working hard to provide a better life for me,” she told Glamour. “I’m terrified of what I would have become if I’d stayed there.”


Leonardo DiCaprio



When DiCaprio was only 3 years old, his parents split and he was then raised primarily by his mother. He’s always been vocal about how much his mom means to him and in 2006 he said the only woman he’d give a diamond to is his mother. “My mom is the only person that I would buy something like that for, and for a while now she hasn’t wanted one,” he said to People.





When the Grammy-award winning songstress was only 2 years old, her father left and her mother stepped up to raise her and support her dreams. In 2012, when she won a Grammy for “Someone Like You” she talked about her mom, giving us a glimpse into how close their relationship is.