Lily Allen Explains Why Having Children 'Totally Ruined' Her Career

"It really annoys me when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can't," the British pop singer said.
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Lily Allen is sharing a surprisingly candid take on whether women can balance motherhood with their professional ambitions.

The British pop singer, best known for hits like “Smile” and “Fuck You,” told the “Radio Times” podcast this week that having children “ruined” her music career.

“I never really have a strategy when it comes to career, but yes, my children ruined my career,” Allen said in the interview. “I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop stardom, totally ruined it.”

She went on to note: “It really annoys me when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t.”

Watch a clip of Allen’s “Radio Times” interview below:

A London native, Allen shares daughters Ethel Mary, 12, and Marnie Rose, 11, with her ex-husband Sam Cooper. She and “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour have been married since 2020, and spent most of their time in New York.

Of course, she’s hardly the first female celebrity to speak about the challenges of raising children amid show business pursuits. Last year, actor Emily Blunt told the “Table for Two” podcast she was ready for a change of pace and would be taking a year off of acting after starring in “Oppenheimer,” which won seven Academy Awards on Sunday.

Singer Lily Allen, left, and actor David Harbour have been married since 2020.
Singer Lily Allen, left, and actor David Harbour have been married since 2020.
Rodin Eckenroth via Getty Images

“I just feel there are cornerstones to their day that are so important when they’re little,” said Blunt, who shares daughters Hazel, 9, and Violet, 7, with husband John Krasinski. “And it’s: ‘Will you wake me up? Will you take me to school? Will you pick me up? Will you put me to bed?’ And I just need to be there for all of them ― for a good stretch. And I just felt that in my bones.”

Though Allen has maintained a lower profile since the release of her last album, 2018′s “No Shame,” she hasn’t been completely absent from the limelight.

In 2021, she made her London stage acting debut in the play “2:22: A Ghost Story” and was nominated for an Olivier Award, the British equivalent of a Tony. A year later, she joined Olivia Rodrigo onstage at Britain’s Glastonbury Festival to perform “Fuck You” in protest of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of the constitutional right to an abortion that same year.

Allen, left, performed with Olivia Rodrigo at the 2022 Glastonbury Festival.
Allen, left, performed with Olivia Rodrigo at the 2022 Glastonbury Festival.
Joseph Okpako via Getty Images

And, despite her less-than-sentimental take, she has no regrets about focusing on her family. In her “Radio Times” chat, she noted that her decision was heavily influenced by her own upbringing as her parents ― actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen ― were career-driven.

“My parents were quite absent when I was a kid, and I feel like that really left some really nasty scars that I’m not willing to repeat on mine,” she explained. “So I chose stepping back and concentrating on them, and I’m glad that I’ve done that.”

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