Lily Allen has reflected on how starting a family impacted her as a musician, saying that while she loves her children they did “ruin” her career.

The chart-topping British singer and actor opened up about the topic during a new interview with the Radio Times Podcast, sharing the difficulties of maintaining a career while having a family.

During the discussion, she spoke candidly about how she prioritised raising her two daughters – 11-year-old Ethel Mary and nine-year-old Manie Rose – over trying to chase fame in her career.

Recalling how having children impacted the trajectory of her music and acting jobs, Allen said: “I never really had a strategy when it comes to career, but yes, my children ruined my career.”

“I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop-stardom, they totally ruined it,” she added, also telling the outlet that being a parent and a pop star “does not mix”.

“It really annoys me when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t,” she continued, also explaining how her parent’s style of looking after her also impacted the way she wants to raise her own children.


“Some people choose their career over their children and that’s their prerogative, but my parents were quite absent when I was a kid,” she said. “I feel like that really left some nasty scars that I’m not willing to repeat on mine. I chose stepping back and concentrating on them and I’m glad that I’ve done that because I think they’re pretty well-rounded people.”

The ‘Smile’ singer is the daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, and during the interview recalled how her parents were less hands-on with raising her.

“Our parents used to hang out in this one particular restaurant called 192… There wasn’t enough space for the kids, so we would be left outside, going around Portobello Market. We’d shoplift things,” she explained.

Allen had her two daughters with her ex-husband Sam Cooper, and she is now married to Stranger Things star David Harbour – having tied the knot in Las Vegas back in 2020.

Her last studio album was 2018’s ‘No Shame’, which detailed the breakdown of her first marriage and struggle with substance abuse. Following the LP, she has turned her sights to acting.


She made her theatre debut in the 2021 play 2:22 A Ghost Story, followed by last year’s The Pillowman. On-screen, she has appeared as Elizabeth Taylor in the 2019 film How To Build A Girl and as Mel in the 2023 comedy series Dreamland.

Last month, Allen revealed that she is underway with work on a new album, and told fans that they can expect to hear the new material “soon”. The update came just weeks after the singer teased fans by stating she had already written around 50 songs for a new project.

Her teasing new music comes after she revealed that she had returned to the studio following her special guest performance at Olivia Rodrigo’s Glastonbury 2022 set. After the performance – where she and Rodrigo duetted ‘Fuck You’ – she hinted that she might not be retiring from music just yet.

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