17/01/2013 05:22 GMT | Updated 17/01/2013 11:09 GMT

10 Musicians With Shocking Family Histories: Chris Martin, Cheryl Cole, Adele, Jahmene Douglas And More

Convicts, long-lost twins and great inventors are just some of the unlikely people entertainers have discovered both in their genealogy and among their closer relatives.

We've rounded up some of the most interesting family histories that musicians have revealed over the years in our list below...

Chris Martin

The Coldplay front man has a very impressive great-great-grandfather, William Willett - the inventor of daylight saving time.

Daisy Lowe

Gwen Steffani and Gavin Rossdale's marriage was rocked when it was revealed Rossdale was Daisy Lowe's biological father in 2004. The news broke after Pearl Lowe allowed her daughter to take a DNA test.

daisy lowe

Daisy Lowe and her mother Pearl Lowe

Jahmene Douglas

TV viewers were shocked to discover the full extent of 'X Factor' contestant Jahmene Douglas's violent family history last year. The singer opened up about his abusive father, who is now behind bars, telling how he attacked his mother with a blowtorch.

Jahmene also confessed he once tried to commit suicide only to be saved by his brother who went on to kill himself a few years later.


Jahmene Douglas

Nicki Minaj

Jahmene is not the only pop star to report abuse at the hands of his father. Last year, Nicki Minaj told US show 'Nightline' her father once nearly burned down the family home. However, he has denied her allegations.

nicki minaj

Nicki Minaj


Adele's songs may sound like all her heartbreak has been caused by ex-boyfriends, but she also had a hard start in life. She was raised by single mum Penny Adkins, after her Welsh dad Mark Evans split from Penny when Adele was just three years old before his life spiralled into alcoholism.



Annie Lennox

During the making of BBC series 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Eurythmics star Annie Lennox found out her great-great-grandmother, Isabella McHardy, was hauled before the Kirk Session after giving birth to an illegitimate child.

Lennox was shocked to discover that great-grandfather George Ferguson was born in 1852 out of wedlock.

His mother was called before the elders of the Church of Scotland, whose responsibility it was to maintain moral order among their congregation, and shamed for her transgression with William Ferguson.

annie lennox

Annie Lennox

Jason Donovan

Also as a result of the TV series, Jason Donovan uncovered he was related to a convict.

After travelling to Tasmania to see how his ancestors ended up there he uncovered a British miscarriage of justice. Returning to Sydney, Jason traced his family back to one of the earliest Australian settlers - a pioneer who opened up the entire continent to settlement.

jason donovan

Jason Donovan

Cheryl Cole

Cheryl may be 'the nation's sweetheart' but her family isn't quite as clean-cut. In an article describing her chequered family history, the Daily Mail wrote her brother Andrew is "an alcoholic glue-sniffer who has clocked up more than 50 court appearances and spent a third of his life behind bars."

cheryl cole

Cheryl Cole


And in a story that wouldn't look out of place if it were an 'EastEnders' storyline, eighties pop star Sinitta discovered she had a long-lost twin.

Her mother, Canadian actress and singer Miquel Brown, was just 14 when she gave birth and Sinitta spent her first six years in foster care and then with relatives until her mother was able to care for her.

It was in the early 80s, when Sinitta was in West End show Mutiny with pop star David Essex, that she suddenly discovered she had a twin when her sister arrived in London.



Mark Oliver Everett

The Eels frontman has possibly the most shocking family history of all these musicians (yes, we know we're using the phrase loosely).

His father, Hugh, died in 1982. His sister, Elizabeth, long troubled by schizophrenia, committed suicide in 1996, and in 1998 his mother, Nancy Everett, died of lung cancer.

Following these tragedies, death continued to haunt Everett; his cousin, Jennifer Lewis née Gore, was a flight attendant on the plane that struck The Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 attacks.

mark oliver everett

Mark Oliver Everett, aka E