Nick Cannon on being a father of 8: 'I love my children. I love the people that I'm involved with.'

·4 min read

Nick Cannon has earned the title of octo-dad as he talks about being a father of eight with five different women in a new interview wit Men's Health.

"Contrary to popular belief, I’m probably engaged throughout my children’s day, more often than the average adult can be," the 41-year-old told the publication. "If I’m not physically in the same city with my kids, I’m talking to them before they go to school via FaceTime and stuff. And then when I am [in the same city, I’m] driving my kids to school, like making sure I pick ’em up. All of those things, making sure [I’m there for] all extracurricular activities. I’m involved in everything from coaching to having guitar lessons with my daughter every week."

Nick Cannon on being an
Nick Cannon on being an "engaged" father of eight. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cannon famously became a father back in 2011 while married to Mariah Carey. The couple had twins Moroccan and Monroe. In the years since, Cannon has fathered Golden Sagon and Powerful Queen with Brittany Bell; another set of twins, Zion Mixolydian and Zillion Heir, with DJ Abby De La Rosa; and Zen with Alyssa Scott. Cannon and Scott suffered the loss of their son, who died of a brain tumor in December at 5 months old. In January, Cannon announced that he's expecting his eighth child with model Brie Tiesi.

"I love my children. I love the people that I’m involved with," he said. "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. I’m just walking in my purpose and trying to be the best father and best provider I could possibly be."

Cannon explains his non-traditional approach to family. (Photo: Dylan Coulter for Men’s Health)
Cannon explains his non-traditional approach to family. (Photo: Dylan Coulter for Men’s Health)

And while people continue to speculate about his approach to family and children, Cannon explained that traditional doesn't always mean better.

"I’ve seen where people believe a traditional household works, and [yet] there’s a lot of toxicity in that setting," Cannon said. "It’s not about what society deems is right. It’s like, what makes it right for you? What brings your happiness? What allows you to have joy and how you define family? We all define family in so many different ways."

He continued, "I think I was blessed to be able to have an upbringing that allowed me to see so many different aspects and witness love in so many different capacities."

When it comes to the publicity surrounding his personal life, he's also come to terms with the fact that it comes with his 25 years in the spotlight.

"I’ve lived my life in the public eye in a way where it’s very authentic," he explained. "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."

Cannon also noted that he uses his platform to embrace that vulnerability as a Black man. Being a parent has allowed him to better understand himself and his emotions as well.

"I love therapy," he said during the conversation, explaining that it's played a big role in his evolution. "There’s a paradigm shift that’s happening in the universe. ... There’s a lot of emotion that needs to be dealt with, there’s a lot of trauma and pain, and all of these things, challenging ideas that come with masculinity, that are being brought to the surface. A lot of it happens when you become a father, because now you’re responsible for other people’s lives. So before, you may have had some ideas or some thought processes that got you through life, but now you have to pass that on to your offspring. ... Maybe what my parents instilled in me, or the ideas that society had 30 years ago, don’t apply today."

With what he's learned and how he's grown as a father and a public figure, Cannon has chosen to acknowledge the mistakes that he's made along the way — most notably when he was accused of endorsing anti-Semitic statements made on his podcast Cannon's Class.

"I built so many more amazing relationships [as a result of this incident], learned a lot of lessons. I learned so much as a man through that process about people," he said.

Through it all, Cannon puts an emphasis on moving forward and becoming better as a result of these life experiences.

"Everybody stumbles," he said. "I haven’t seen anybody do it perfect. I take those stumbles as lessons learned and how to keep pushing along so you don’t stop. The only real failure is when you stop."

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