Moroccan and Monroe Carey-Cannon
Singer Mariah Carey and performer Nick Cannon knew they wanted children early in their marriage: “That’s like the only priority in life, when you think about it, is starting and raising a family,” Cannon told reporters in 2010. The couple faced several setbacks—suffering a miscarriage and a difficult series of fertility treatments—before they received the news that they were expecting.
On April 30, 2011, Cannon and Carey got a double dose of parenthood when they welcomed son Moroccan and daughter Monroe—Roc and Roe for short. The twins were delivered by Caesarian section on Mariah and Nick’s third wedding anniversary, while a recording of Carey’s Madison Square Garden performance of “Fantasy” played in the background “so they came out to a round of applause,” Cannon said. Six months later, the proud parents posted photos of their ridiculously cute offspring on their website, DemBabies.com.
When two beautiful, talented people fall in love in Hollywood, it’s typically headline news. But when actress Penelope Cruz and actor Javier Bardem started dating in 2007, the highly private power couple managed to keep their romance a secret for more than a year…until fellow actor Woody Harrelson accidentally leaked their relationship to the press.
But Cruz and Bardem were more successful in keeping their July 2010 wedding from the paparazzi, as well as their even bigger news: The couple was expecting their first child. In September, after the baby bump became undeniable, the pair confirmed Cruz was expecting. The actress gave birth to a boy, Leo, in January, but didn’t announce the tidings until almost a week afterward. They also kept surprisingly mum about their son’s name, until director and family friend Santiago Segura accidentally blurted it out—ironically, while chastising journalists about respecting the couple’s privacy.
Many in France found French President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s 2007 courtship of model and singer Carla Bruni to be in poor taste. After all, Sarkozy had just won election and announced his divorce from his second wife only a month before his whirlwind romance with Bruni. In spite of criticism from the press, the couple tied the knot in 2008, at the Élysée Palace in Paris, spending the first night of their honeymoon with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
After living under such intense scrutiny, it was unsurprising that Bruni wanted to delay announcing her pregnancy. First opting to wear increasingly baggy clothes, Bruni played coy with the press. But when she could no longer conceal her growing figure, France’s First Lady finally confirmed the good news in July. Sarkozy and his office kept silent about the matter throughout Bruni’s pregnancy, despite the press’ indefatigable interest in the baby-to-be. Giulia Bruni-Sarkozy entered the world on October 19, 2011, becoming the first baby ever born to a French presidential couple in office.
Could 2011 have gotten any better for actress Natalie Portman? She spent the first half of the year on the red carpet, snagging an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a SAG award for her role in Black Swan. And standing in the wings as she won honor after honor was her supportive Black-Swan-choreographer-turned-fiancée, Benjamin Millepied—who also happened to be the father of their baby-to-be.
Somehow Portman managed to make pregnancy look classy, with women scrambling to emulate her red-carpet maternity looks. She also gave a moving acceptance speech in which she credited Millepied with giving her “the most important role of [her] life.”
Aleph Portman-Millepied was born in June. Natalie, inspired by her Israeli heritage, chose his name from the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which also represents the “oneness of God” and the element air.
Ok, so this one should probably make our list for 2012, but the buzz surrounding the potential 2011 birth of this power couple’s progeny is too loud to be ignored. In case you missed the news, the due date for Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z‘s baby was moved from February 2012 to December of this year, making it more and more likely that this will be one of the last, big celebrity births of 2011. While the rock royalty have kept silent about their impending parenthood, Beyoncé‘s former Destiny’s Child bandmate, Kelly Rowland, made a slip of the tongue last month, leading reporters to believe the couple will welcome a little girl.