Lily Allen says having children ‘totally ruined’ her singing career

Lily Allen has said her two children “complete” her but having them “totally ruined” her music career.

The British singer, 38, shares two daughters – 11-year-old Ethel Mary and nine-year-old Marnie Rose – with ex-husband Sam Cooper.

When asked if she had to rethink her career after having her children, Allen jokingly said: “Yes, my children ruined my career.”

“I love them and they complete me, but in terms of popstardom, they totally ruined it,” she added, speaking on the Radio Times podcast.

Lily Allen and children attending the European premiere of Frozen 2 held at the BFI South Bank, London.
Lily Allen with her two daughters Marnie and Ethel. Pic: PA

Allen, who is the daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, said she chose to take a step away from the limelight to focus on raising her daughters after feeling like her own parents were “quite absent” when she was growing up.

“I get really annoyed when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t,” she said.

“Some people choose their career over their children and that’s their prerogative, but my parents were quite absent when I was a kid. I feel like it left some nasty scars that I’m not willing to repeat on mine.

“I chose to step back and concentrate on them. I’m glad that I’ve done that because I think they’re pretty well-rounded.”

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Having quickly shot to fame in 2006 with the release of her single Smile – which went to number one in the UK charts – Allen took a break from music after the release of 2014 album Sheezus, bringing out her last album four years later.

Lily Allen and husband David Harbour. Pic: PA
Allen and Stranger Things actor husband David Harbour. Pic: PA

She hit the headlines again in 2020 after news emerged of her marriage to Stranger Things actor David Harbour in Las Vegas.

The singer, whose hit songs also include LDN, The Fear and Not Fair, has since turned to acting, appearing in the play 2:22 A Ghost Story in London’s West End, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination in 2022.

She later appeared in the dark comedy play The Pillowman and also in 2023 she played Mel in Sky Atlantic’s comedy Dreamland about four sisters living in the Kent seaside town of Margate.

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