The Tragic Truth Behind Nick Cannon’s 12 Children & Counting


| LAST UPDATE 03/09/2023

By Elizabeth Russo

With 6 baby mommas and 12 children, Nick Cannon has earned the title of Dad of the Year(s). However, more has been going down behind closed doors than we may have realized. Here's a look…

Daddy Cannon

Nick Cannon is one of the most successful entertainers in the biz. From TV host to comedian and more, it seems there's nothing he can't do. However, he's recently made waves after becoming a father to 12.

Nick Cannon children familyNick Cannon children family
 Prince Williams via Getty Images

That's right! The Wild' n Out host currently has 12 children with 6 different baby mommas, all under 11 years old. That's a whole lot of babies! Despite all the love and happiness these little ones have brought into the world, it hasn't always been smooth sailing.

Eligible Bachelor

The multi-hyphenate first began appearing on television in the late '90s and, over the years, has racked up a lengthy resume of all the women he's dated. Before marrying Mariah Carey in 2008, Cannon dated a whole lot of famous faces. So let's take a look at where it all began.

Nick Cannon Kim dating historyNick Cannon Kim dating history
Johnny Nunez/WireImage via Getty Images

Cannon was (and still is) quite a hot commodity in Hollywood. Starting with Christina Milian, who he dated for 2 years back in 2000, to famously dating none other than Kim Kardashian for a year before getting engaged to Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks in 2007, he's become quite the ladies' man.

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Meeting Mariah

In 2005, the Queen of Christmas and the rapper-turned-television host met when Cannon presented Mariah Carey with the famous Teen Choice surfboard award for best R&B artist. However, it wasn't until 2008, on the set of her music video for Bye Bye, that the romance rumors really began.

Nick Cannon Mariah Carey ChildrenNick Cannon Mariah Carey Children
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

The couple kept their relationship on the down low in the beginning, and after a few months of dating, the duo said their 'I do's' during a private ceremony in the Bahamas. Though the public had some doubts at first, following the news of their wedding, Mariah and Nick were dubbed one of Hollywood's "it" couples.

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First Becoming a Father

A few years following their marriage, the couple welcomed twins, Moroccan and Monroe, in April of 2011. Mariah's memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, explained that she wanted both of her kids to have the same first initials and decided on the letter "M," which led to Monroe and Moroccan.

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Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

It was then that Cannon became a father for the first time. His little girl's name was actually inspired by one of Carey's biggest inspirations, Marilyn Monroe. In contrast, Moroccan's name was in honor of the Moroccan-style decor in her NYC home, and his middle name Scott is Cannon's middle name.

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Calling It Quits

A few years following the birth of their twins, Cannon and Carey decided to call it quits after 6 years of marriage. The couple famously had a rather contentious divorce but always kept it cool for their children. "We are forever a family rooted in love," Cannon tweeted.

Nick Cannon children timelineNick Cannon children timeline
Amanda Edwards via Getty Images

Despite their split, Cannon assured that "Obviously, Mariah and I co-parent really well." He added, "We're really great friends, and she's kind of taught me so much - so that's family." Cannon even noted that Carey is still his "best friend" whom he has "so much respect for."

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Goodbye Monogamy

Despite the divorce, Cannon was ready to play the field. He began dating former pageant queen Brittany Bell back in 2014 and reportedly dated on and off again for a few years while he was seeing a few other women at the same time. "I don't feel like monogamy is healthy," he openly admitted to E!

Nick Cannon brittany bellNick Cannon brittany bell
Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic via Getty Images

However, a few years later, the news broke that Cannon was going to be a father for a second time following his divorce from Carey. The Masked Singer host welcomed his third child, a son named Golden, in 2017, with the former Miss Arizona USA, Brittany Bell.

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Trust Issues

Despite Bell giving birth to Golden in 2017, Cannon was still busy dating around Hollywood. According to multiple sources, the comedian dated Jessica White, a Sports Illustrated model, from 2015 to 2020 before things got too, well, messy to handle for her.

Nick Cannon relationship timeline Nick Cannon relationship timeline
Johnny Nunez/Wire Image via Getty Images

What happened? The couple called it quits after White claimed Cannon had not been honest with her about Brittany Bell's pregnancy again. That's right! Bell and Cannon later welcomed a second child together and Cannon's second daughter. The plot officially thickens…

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Baby #4

Despite his on-and-off relationship with White, it seemed like he also had an on-and-off-again relationship with Bell. People were confused about this love triangle at first, but the baby was all the proof we ever needed that he was ready to expand his family with Bell.

Nick Cannon brittany bell childrenNick Cannon brittany bell children
Instagram via @missbbell

"We have been surprised with..A GIRL!!!!!" Bell wrote on Instagram. "Powerful Queen Cannon came this week, perfect timing for Christmas. So much more to share. All I can say is that Nick was my rock through the most intense yet empowering natural water birth. It was nothing but POWERFUL Merry Christmas!!!!! THANK YOU GOD."

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Dating Around

However, right around the time Cannon and Bell welcomed their first baby, Golden, he was also spotted hanging out with the former The Price Is Right model, LaNisha Cole. He and the photographer were rumored to see each other on and off for a while, but then Bell gave birth to Cannon's third child.

Nick Cannon baby mamaNick Cannon baby mama
Instagram via @misslanishacole

Eventually, rumors slowed down when Golden was born. But, knowing what we know now, Cannon and her would pick up their steamy relationship a few more years down the line and end up welcoming a baby girl into the world sometime later on. So, don't forget LaNisha.

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Twice the Love

By the time Cannon was a dad of 4, it was clear he was ready to welcome more kids into the world - here comes Abby De La Rosa. De La Rosa is an international D.J. and former radio personality who first met Cannon "while being a personality on one of L.A.'s hottest hip hop stations," according to her Instagram.

Nick Cannon Abby De La RosaNick Cannon Abby De La Rosa
Instagram via @hiabbydelarosa

The two reconnected a few years after they first met, and a few months later announced they were having a baby! And lucky for them, they not only had 1 baby together, but De La Rosa gave birth to beautiful twin boys, Zillion and Zion. That's right.

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Welcoming Babies #5 & 6

De La Rosa formally announced the birth of her baby boys via an Instagram video in June 2021, captioning the post, "Welcome to the world." Cannon was now dad to 6 children, with 2 sets of twins and 3 baby mommas. And the numbers were just growing.

Nick Cannon children twinsNick Cannon children twins
Instagram via @hiabbydelarosa

Despite their beautiful baby boys, people were scrutinizing the way De La Rosa and Cannon were opting to be in a polyamorous relationship. However, the DJ made it very clear her "relationship did not change or take away from the type of mother that I am to my kids," nor did it mean she had "low self-esteem or self-worth."

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Polyamorous & Proud

De La Rosa made it clear to her followers, "This isn't 'bs love' story" it's a REAL story." Abby explained, "He [Nickchanged my life in the most unconventional ways, inspiring me to open my mind to the unknown when it came to loving outside of 'labels' and 'ownership.'"

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Instagram via @hiabbydelarosa

And the love was totally mutual! In a birthday post for their twin's birthday, Cannon dedicated the caption to Abby. "I will make it my mission to let the boys know how honored and privileged they are to have such an amazing, loving, strong, resilient, and magnificent Mother!" he wrote. However, no one could predict what came next...

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Baby Zen

Model Alyssa Scott and her soon-to-be baby-daddy, Nick Cannon, actually met on the set of Wild 'N Out while he was the host and already in co-parenting relationships with 3 other ladies. However, it was his relationship with Scott that was going to change everything.

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Instagram via @itsalyssaemm

The duo began seeing each other, and Alyssa fell pregnant. The model announced her baby-to-be's name in a May 2021 maternity photo shoot via Instagram. And sure enough, she welcomed Zen Cannon just 1 week after De La Rosa's twins were born in the summer. Sadly, things were about to take a horrible turn for their baby boy.

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Tragedy Strikes

After giving birth to Zen Scott Cannon in June, just a few months later, he became terminally ill. And in December, he tragically succumbed to brain cancer. Cannon shared the heartbreaking news on his daytime show just days later, explaining where it all went wrong.

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Instagram via @itsalyssaemm

They had noticed he had "this real interesting breathing" and took him to get it checked out, thinking "it would be a routine process." But at just 2 months old, "he had surgery and a shunt to drain the fluid," to no avail. Around Thanksgiving, Zen's "tumor began to grow a lot faster" - and just a few days later, he passed.

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Remembering Zen

Following the heartbreak, Cannon had to break the news to his oldest children. "Having to explain that to 10-year-olds (Moroccan and Monroe) and a 4-year-old (Golden) is pretty intense," he told PEOPLE. "But their understanding and them being there for me has helped me keep it together as well as really deal with it."

Nick Cannon baby zen tributeNick Cannon baby zen tribute
Instagram via @nickcannon

However, Canon believed his daughter, Roe, had been his biggest supporter. "My daughter, really, she's so in tune and in line and wise beyond her years," he gushed. "I got a lot of therapists, but she's probably my best therapist." According to him, Monroe "keeps me [him] in check" and "helped me [him] keep it strong."

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Eternally Grateful

In dealing with their grief, Cannon thanked Scott for "being that strength and being that rock" during the very difficult time. "Alyssa was just the strongest woman I've ever seen," he said. "Never had an argument, never was angry. Was emotional when she needed to be, but was always the best mom, and continues to be the best mom." 

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Instagram via @itsalyssaemm

"Mothers are superheroes at every aspect," he added as he continued to praise Alyssa for being so strong during the horribly tough time. However, a month after Zen's passing, Scott shared they knew his "time on this earth would be limited," and she was "eternally grateful" for the time she shared with him.

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Breaking His Promise

Cannon has been fully aware of his "unorthodox" lifestyle but openly shares that he is "a father, first and foremost." The comedian explained he felt a lot of guilt over "not having enough time to spend with my [his] loved ones" but has a love addiction. So, two months before Zen's passing, he decided to practice celibacy.

Nick Cannon celibate interviewNick Cannon celibate interview
 Amanda Edwards via Getty Images

Cannon shared on the podcast Lip Service that he "didn't even make it to January" before breaking his celibacy vow. "I got depressed with the loss of my son," he confessed, and "was so down," especially "right before Christmas." And so he quickly reverted to his loved-up lifestyle.

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Baby #8

The celibate lifestyle really didn't last for very long at all after the news broke that Cannon was expecting yet another child. The timing felt difficult, seeing as though he was grieving over the loss of baby Zen while expecting a new baby and soon becoming a father of 8.

Nick Cannon bre tiesiNick Cannon bre tiesi
Instagram via @bre_tiesi

The news of Cannon expecting his 8th child with Johnny Manziel's ex-wife, Bre Tiesi, dropped a month after Zen's death. "I wanted to definitely respect the grieving process with Alyssa, and Bre was respectful throughout - she held off making our announcements and speaking on social media," Cannon recalled.

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Baby Mommas & Baby Showers

He continued, "And it was just one of those things like, you know, I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to say when I was dealing with Zen or to hold off. Even right now, that it came out yesterday, that wasn't planned to talk about it. We wanted to, you know, hold on as long as we can, but it happened."

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Instagram via @bre_tiesi

However, Nick quickly made headlines when nearly 2 months after Zen's passing, he celebrated Tiesi's pregnancy during a gender reveal party in Malibu, California. The couple celebrated with their closest family and friends sharing the news that they were expecting a baby boy.

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Legendary Love

Tiesi announced the birth of Legendary Cannon, explaining to her followers she had "an all natural unmedicated home birth." She shared that it was the "most humbling/limit-pushing yet awakening and completely empowering experience" for her as a new mother.

Nick Cannon legendary sonNick Cannon legendary son
Instagram via @bre_tiesi

"This experience has changed me forever, and I couldn't have asked for a more amazing and supportive partner," she shared. "Daddy showed... up for us… I couldn't have done it without you. I can't believe he's here." And just like that, Cannon became a father of eight!

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Questions Arise

Around the same time, people really started questioning what was happening and how many baby mommas Cannon could possibly have. He was a father of 8 with 5 different women at this point - and it didn't seem like he was planning on slowing down anytime soon.

Nick Cannon kids instagramNick Cannon kids instagram
Instagram via @nickcannon

So, Cannon began to open up about his unconventional lifestyle. "My therapist said I'm not an [intercourse] addict, I'm a love addict. I'm a pleaser [and] I want people to love me. That's my issue," he confessed on the Lip Service podcast. "I'm enjoying life. I'm happy, I'm healthy."

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“Trying To Figure It Out”

Cannon explained he is simply addicted to love, and as a result, he has welcomed a growing family. The host was very open about his depression following the death of Zen and how it also affected his relationship practices and, in response, his continuing growing family.

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Scott Legato via Getty Images

The Wild 'N Out host opted to live his "life in the public eye in a way where it's very authentic," he told Men's Health. "I kind of put it all out there. All my emotions, all my understanding or the lack thereof, as vulnerable as I could be - I'm just like, look, I'm trying to figure it out."

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His Life Purpose

Cannon explained his "trajectory in life" is to focus on being "the best father I [he] can be." He told PEOPLE, "Every day I just wake up excited as a father" and that he's "so excited about all my kids. Constantly, from every aspect of it. From them getting citizen of the month awards in the 1st grade to the birth of the new ones."

Nick Cannon Hart fatherhood interviewNick Cannon Hart fatherhood interview
Instagram via @nickcannon

During an interview with Kevin Hart, Cannon explained one of the most pivotal items he's learned from being a father is the great responsibility that he carries. "[Being a father] gives me the ability to say, 'I can affect so much,'" he explained. He just wants to be present and be "authentic" for his children always.

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Private Pregnancy

So, it's pretty clear Cannon loves being a dad. Following his tragic loss, his temporary vow of celibacy, and the birth of Legendary Love, The Masked Singer host actually had another baby on the way! Remember LaNisha Cole? She soon became pregnant with Cannon's 9th child.

Nick Cannon baby news instagramNick Cannon baby news instagram
Instagram via @misslanishacole

However, both Cole and Cannon had not made it publicly known that they were expecting another baby together, despite Cole's pregnancy posts on Instagram. It wasn't until Onyx Ice Cole Cannon's birth in September 2022 that Cannon shared he had another baby in the family!

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More Surprises

However, just a month before Onyx was born, Cannon revealed some pretty wild news on Instagram regarding his growing family. The Wild 'N Out host shared with his 6 million followers that he was expecting his 3rd child with Brittany Bell, taking his baby count to 10!

Nick Cannon family instagramNick Cannon family instagram
Instagram via @nickcannon

Ahead of the birth, Cannon praised Bell for teaching him "so much about parenting, psychology, spirituality, love and just life in general." He also added, "she didn't want a baby shower and needed NOTHING! All she desired was PRAYER from her authentic Loved Ones!" which might explain why it took so long for the public to find out.

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Double-Digit Dad

In September, Nick Cannon hit the double digits and officially became a father of 10! In his Instagram post welcoming Rise Messiah Cannon to the world, he revealed it was "Probably the most difficult labor and delivery I have ever witnessed! 48 hours of excruciating pain and life-risking danger" to welcome their baby.

Nick Cannon children relationship timelineNick Cannon children relationship timeline
Instagram via @missbbell

"Thank you, Brittany, for my fellow little Libra! I love you and our Incredible Family," Cannon wrote via Instagram, announcing his forever love for Brittany and their growing family. But, only a few weeks later, Cannon would go on to announce even more striking news.

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Number 11

Shortly after Rise Messiah Cannon was born, Nick welcomed his 11th baby into the world, Zeppelin Cannon, with a familiar baby mama! The Wild 'N Out host rekindled an old flame of his, Abby De La Rosa, whom he already shared a set of twins with, Zillion and Zion.

Nick Cannon baby 11 announcementNick Cannon baby 11 announcement
Instagram via @hiabbydelarosa

Cannon praised De La Rosa for her "resilience and strength" and for making it "ALL look so easy and effortless." The proud father made it clear in his Instagram post that it is his "continued duty to make you [Abby] and our children feel valued and protected every single day!" And just like that, 11.

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A Newfound Hope

As Cannon continues to expand his family, Alyssa Scott shared some very exciting news with her Instagram followers. The model is currently pregnant again with her third child after the tragic loss of her son Zen. Scott shared her growing bump to Instagram in October, confirming that Cannon was the father.

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Instagram via @itsalyssaemm

"Earthbound DECEMBER 2022," she wrote in the caption, to which Cannon responded with heart and praying hands emojis. As difficult and emotional as this pregnancy may be for the parents, Scott shared with her followers photos of her holding her sonogram photos, ensuring everyone that "hearing that heartbeat has helped mine."

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Child Support Dues

Now that he became a dad of 12 on December 14, we can only imagine what those child support bills look like! Between school, child care, and 6 baby mommas, Cannon is dishing out "nearly $3 million a year in child support," according to The Sun. However, Cannon had something different to report…

Nick Cannon child support worthNick Cannon child support worth
Instagram via @nickcannon

In an interview with The Neighborhood Talk, Cannon revealed how much he actually spends on his kids, explaining that he "definitely spends a lot more than [$3 million] on my children annually." He continued, "I don't plan to ever have to participate in the governmental system of a child." Okay, so what's the real number, Nick?

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What Next?

Now that Cannon has 12 children, it is evident that he doesn't mind spending the big bucks on all his children and simply just loves being a father. So, it begs the question: what does the future have in store for his growing family? Will he continue to expand his clan?

Nick Cannon Child SupportNick Cannon Child Support
Instagram via @nickcannon

"I love my children. I love the people that I'm involved with. People even often ask, 'Are you gonna have more, you gonna stop?' I'm like, those are questions that I don't, I don't really even sit around and think about," Cannon said. "I'm just walking in my purpose and trying to be the best father and best provider I could possibly be."

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Who's Having My Baby?

Fast forward to March 2023, and Cannon's growing family is officially getting another arrival. That's right. Baby #13 is officially in the works! As the proud father announced, he'll be starring in a new game show, Who's Having My Baby? The premise? "You're going to get some contestants that want to have your baby," host Kevin Hart teased.

nick cannon reality seriesnick cannon reality series
YouTube via The Masked Singer

While we don't know much yet, it seems the series will focus on females vying to procreate with the comedian. It's unclear if the contestants will be selected at random or if Cannon has been - or is currently - romantically tied to them. Set to air this Spring on E! it's safe to say this saga is far from over.

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The Last Laugh

Sure enough, Cannon had even more tricks up his sleeves. Shortly after announcing the controversial game show, he came clean with a shocking confession: "Gotcha!!!! "Who's Having My Baby?" was definitely a prank y'all, but #CelebrityPrankWars is our real show!" the comedian revealed.

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Instagram via @nickcannon

Set to air this April, Celebrity PrankWars will follow Hart and Cannon as they set off on the ultimate prank war. "Going too far is just the beginning," they teased. Clearly, Cannon's time stirring the pot is far from over. In fact, the big news comes just weeks after Cannon told ET a major development...

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“God Decides When We’re Done”

In a recent interview with ET, Cannon explained he's not quite yet done having children. "God decides when we're done," he explained. "I definitely got my hands full. And I'm so focused. I'm locked in. But when I'm 85, you never know. I might [have more]."

nick cannon baby 13nick cannon baby 13
Instagram via @nickcannon

He continued, "Everybody thinks it's time management. It's energy management." How does he see it? "Once we're all aligned, the flow is a lot easier. If there's any kind of low frequencies… that's what messes up the scheduling. As long as we're all on the same page and we all got the same goal -- to be the best parents we could possibly be -- that works."

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