Daughter Harlow is Joel Madden's true love

04/17/2008 at 11:56 AM ET

Nicole_richie5At a concert Wednesday night at New York’s Queen’s College, Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden, 29, proudly exclaimed his love for his daughter Harlow Winter Kate, 3 months, to a crowd of 1,700 listeners.

You know, no matter how many beautiful girls there are in this audience, I must confess that three months ago, I had a little baby girl, and she’s my one and only true love. Before I left on tour — we’ve been on tour about a month now — I used to sing songs to [Harlow] every day. And there’s a band she really likes, it’s called The Cure. Big Cure fan. So I’ve learned all their songs and we’ll sing one tonight. This is called ‘Love Song.’

Harlow’s mom Nicole Richie, 26, was also amongst the crowd and Joel pointed her out during the song Keep Your Hands Off My Girl.

Source: People.com


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Showing 52 comments

jo-ann on

Again, probably not gonna get posted…

Sometimes I wonder what Nicole Richie fills in under the “occupation” column in forms. Talk about being famous by association(s). I dont understand why people warmed up to her so quickly just because she had a baby

SJ on

I am sure Nicole really glowed with the remark that his baby was his “One and only true love”

Lizzie on

That’s cute! She has great taste, The Cure has been my favorite band for many many years. The lyrics from “Love Song” are perfect for his daughter.


That kinda rubs me the wrong way…i don’t know why.
I mean its amazing that he is inlove with his daughter. but what about the woman that birth that child. I mean if he said “one of” then i’ll understand but to say “only”…..just off to me.
what about his own mother, or Nicole, or even his sister?

Becky on

His remarks made me a little sad. I wonder if he really meant what he said or if he just sort of “mangled it”.

Chana on

Well think about it – he might not be with Nicole in 5-10 years, or even a year from now. But little Harlow will always have the most special place in his heart as his daughter. Nothing can change that.

I love these two.🙂

UggaMugga.com on

Yeah, not that great for Nicole! My husband and I would be having a talk if he said that of our daughter. 🙂

brannon on

I can’t imagine she’d be jealous of her daughter. That would be a little weird. I think it’s sweet to see “rocker” dads in love with their daughters!

Kerri on

Dani, I completely agree. I’m not sure I’d take that very well. “One and only” would not sit well with me. What about the woman who gave birth to her? He probably didn’t mean it badly, but ouch =/

iluvallbabies on

OUCH- and Nicole was in the crowd too!

Cait on

I think what he meant by “true” is that there’s a pure bond between him and Harlow that cannot be broken.

I didn’t take it as anything weird or wrong and from other reports I read, Nicole was more than happy with what he said and the fact he was being so candid with his fans about his daughter.

I really think people read way too much into things that are said. A father declares his love for his daughter and people find something wrong with it because of his wording. What is this world coming to, seriously?

Noelle on

Joel & Nicole are such an amazing couple and I wish the people commenting here would stop trying to make Joel out to be a mean person. He simply dedicated a song to his daughter, and said how much he loved her. That’s a beautiful thing.

PS: The band 311 does a wonderful version of “Love Song”. Check it out =)

madison on

I’m sure he just meant to tell the audience just how in love with his little girls he is. Who knows, maybe he calls little Harlow his “one and only” as she is his one and only daughter/child. But when he was talking to the audience, it came out like it did, which I agree, sounds a little off. He always speaks in such a loving and respectful way of Nicole – I think it just came out wrong. We all say things that come out wrong – its just that we don’t have them recorded and in print across the world.

Dee on

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what Joel said period and if you do…you’re reading way tooooo much into it!

nata on

Im sure he does think of Nicole has is “my one and only true love” not in the same way as Harlow.
Like another poster said..its not like she is going to be jelous of her.

stephanie on

wow people pick a lot! i think what he said was beautiful. I am sure Nicole is secure in knowing how Joel feels about her. He is simply just beaming with pride for his beautiful new daughter. I remember my hubby telling me many times he never thought he could be so in love as he is with our children, i dont take offense to it. I am proud, id rather have him saying it than not.
I think they are a wonderful family.

Heather on

I love what Joel said – there is nothing sweeter than a man who has been turned to mush with the birth of his daughter.

Something tells me Nicole wasn’t offended by his comment, I know I would not be. If that were my husband, I’d be thrilled to know that’s how he feels about his girls. I know how he feels about me, and it’s just different from what a father feels for his daughter. I think people here are reading way more into it than his own baby mama even did!

I want to see new pictures of that baby already!

Heather on

I don’t think it was off or came out wrong. Your child/ren should be your one and only true love. Love between a child and parent is the truest and purest of all loves. Loving your partner is special and very real but nothing compares to the love you feel for your child, nothing….

They are a beautiful, happy little family. You can tell how much they love eachother everytime they speak about one another.

btw, Harlow has great taste in music! lol

Danica Simpson on

I love what Seal always says; “Heidi is my number 1 and the kids come second.”
i really believe mommy and daddy should love each other first, and then the kids get double the love and that way everyone is loved.
It also contrast to Aaron Spelling that constantly told Tori that “he love her so much even more than mommy.”
True or not, it damaged their relationship as adults.

I don’t think Nicole is upset with that statement but i honestly believe it not a good way to display love to children.

A mean everyone thats ever had children knows that when you are pregnant is all about you and then the baby comes and mommy is in second place indefinitely. Everybody want to see the baby…

Jay on

All parents feel that way about their kids. I’ve heard plenty of women say they didn’t know what love was until they had a child…and a lot of these women are married. He obviously didn’t mean it in a negative way or was trying to dismiss Nicole. And like one of the commenters said…relationships are not guarantee but your relationship with your child is for life!!!

Sheba on

I think what he said was great and Nicole should feel proud. What kind of woman would go to her husband/man and say, I’m hurt because you said our daughter was your one and only true love…Talk about insecure and petty. I think it’s great for any father to express a deeply connected love for their child/children. You get the sense that the love is unconditional and will endure even during hard times. Rock on Joel.

Becky on

I don’t think that Joel is mean at all. I think a lot of him. Also, my husband has on occasion, said a couple of things akin to Joel’s comments. We are still a very strong married couple.

I wish that more fathers were as emotionally involved with their children as Joel seems to be. And, he seems to be a very attentive and caring significant other.

It did make me sad to hear that comment. But, if she’s o.k. with it, far be it from me to take issue with it. She knows the whole relationship. And it may run deeper and richer, than my own boy/girl partnership.

Nicole on

Geez, people… can you be anymore over critical? It was a comment said at a concert, and I’m guessing it was hardly a prepared speech. I will say that I’ve said on more than one occassion that my son is my one and only love… while I love my with all my heart, my son & I have a bond that no one can break. People break up, people get divorced but the love of a father/child or a mother/child can never be broken.

There is nothing wrong with what he said… you really need to chill.

ruthella on

Danica; I agree, and I remember reading Seal saying that too!

My husband is the love of my life, as I am his. We are blessed with three children whom we love dearly and who make our marriage complete, but we are each other’s ‘number one’ as it were, and always will be🙂

I have to say, I would be a little put out if I was Nicole. It’s not as if he HAD to say something, like as if he were questioned in an interview and put on the spot or something. He chose to make that comment himself.

I can’t imagine Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt/Ben Affleck calling their daughters their ‘one and only true love’. The ‘one and only’ part makes it a little exclusive…

Marrit on

I think that’s a beautiful thing of Joel to say. I don’t think it’s weird at all. And maybe Harlow is also Nicole’s one and true love. I don’t see any reason to be offended. He’s just trying to describe the love he feels for his daughter.

Stacey on

My feelings as a new mom would have been a little hurt, but that’s only because I always read way into things. And honestly, my children are my “one and only true loves” too. I don’t love anyone like I love them, sorry hubby!

brooke on

I think what he said is really sweet and nice, and truthful. The truth of the matter is, you might not always stay in a relationship, but your child will always be in your life and you will always love that child. As much as someone loves their husband or wife, there’s no doubt a child’s love is totally different and deeper IMO. I’m with you heather, I wanna see harlow too

Kiki on

I think people are blowing this way outta context. His daughter is his true love…SO WHAT! I don’t think in anyway he was “dissing” Nicole. Harlow is THEIR child. As a Mother/Girlfriend I am secure enough in my relationship with my child’s Father/Boyfriend to know that if he says something like that it doesn’t mean that he loves me any less. BTW…Family first! Not children/wife/mother…FAMILY!

Stephanie on

I think its sweet. I really , really hope these two kids make it together for the long haul!

Avery on

I see nothing wrong with what he said, especially since he was just trying to tell others about his love for his daughter. As a few people said before, your partner, whoever that may be, might not always be there. Breakups and divorce happen but your child/children will always be there. They’re the greatest part of you and Joel was just trying to embrace that. As a mother, I could never imagine loving someone else as much as I love my daughter. I’ve been in love before but that doesn’t even compare to my feelings towards her.

sil on

i can’t believe people think that Nicole could be jealous of her daughter?? come on! I think Joel is sooooo sweet to says those beautiful words about her daughter infront of so many people…He’s really in love with Harlow and, for me, that’s the best thing Nicole could ask for….a good dad for her baby!
I think love for a son/daughter is different from love for your husband/wife….is not less or more important, is just different.
For me, my daughter is the love of my life and I think I can’t love somebody the same way I love her, that doesn’t mean that i’m not in love with my husband.

Annie on

OUCH. If my husband gives our future daughter too much attention, and fails to mention me in every reference containing love or “one and only,” I will kill him. I need all the attention. He cannot fail to mention me when professing his love for our child! It means that he loves the baby more than me! (Parentheses for those w/o sarcasm detectors…)

Audrey on

My husband remarks all the time about how he cannot believe how much love he has for our daughter and how much he loved her the minute he laid eyes on her. Dads don’t experience the same bond as moms during the pregnancy and my husband was absolutely unprepared for the love he instantly felt for our little girl. And some men, like my husband, trip over their words when they try to express their emotions!

I’d rather my husband say something over the top and slightly awkward like Joel than say nothing at all! And then I’d joke about it and stick him with dirty diaper duty for a week!!


I think what he said was beautiful, and I, for one, would be thrilled if someday my significant other refered to our child as his one true love. If you are so insecure and petty that you would take issue with a statement that pure and lovely, romance may really be dead.

m-dot on

I really don’t mean to be critical at all. I think it’s great that he loves his daughter…he should, it’s his daughter. I do have to agree with the others by saying that stating that she was his “one true love” is a bit much when you are currently in a relationship.

Tori Spelling was on Tyra recently and mentioned that her father had told her something similar as a little one, and that she knew that he really felt that way. Tori said that the “greater love” he demonstrated for her over his wife(her mother), caused years of friction/jealousy/envy whatever between she and her mom. So these kind of jealous mother-daughter things do occur.

I happen to believe your one true love should be your spouse. Your children are a wonderful product of that “one true love”.

Aubrie on

In my church, it has been taught that God should come first in the marriage, followed by the spouse, then the child, and lastly everything else.

I believe that this is the way it has to be done in a Christian household. In a marriage, there are three people. Husband, wife and God. Not husband, wife and child.

chris on

Sounds like he put his foot in his mouth – just a little bit. What he said was so sweet but he could’ve phrased it better. But you never know, maybe Nicole had no problem with his statement. That’s what matters.

Kitty on

Wow, i can’t believe the comments. When i read what he said, it didn’t even occur to me that it could be construed as offensive or upsetting to Nicole. I honestly didn’t pick up on that. But i guess i’m a much more positive person than many of the readers here: it wouldn’t occur to me to think of Joel verbally hurting his wife’s feelings like that.

Sasha on

LOL, he was just trying to tell all the fangirls in the audience that he’s taken!
I’d want my kid to be his/her dad’s first love, too! Isn’t that the fruit of my labor? (no pun intended🙂

Grayson's Girl on

I don’t see a thing wrong with what he said. He’s a man completely smitten with his child and fatherhood as a whole. Has anyone thought to connect that since Harlow is his “one and only true love”, the woman who made her presence possible, who she also happens to be the spitting image of, has an equally special a place in his heart?

I interpreted the statement to mean she’s the only one he’s ever experienced pure, unadulterated, unconditional love with. Children love you with abandon, they don’t place “if…..,then…” statements before and between those proclamations, and they love you just because you’re their parents and you exist. To a new parent I can see how that would be a huge and awe inspiring experience, thus prompting a statement much like this. I say this as the only daughter of man who let it be known he loved me more than life itself, and the daughter of a woman who would not have had it any other way. When they divorced it was said frequently that their joint love for me was so strong it made them bypass any petty foolishness and be parents above all else.

Aubrie, as Christian myself I’ve been indoctrinated to follow the same school of thought and while I respect it and other’s rights to abide by it, I don’t agree with it. I don’t intend to turn this into a debate about the tenets of my faith, but Christians have a significantly high divorce rate in comparison to other faith groups, which tells me that school of thought may not be the most effective if it’s being employed in those marriages. What happens in second marriages then? Are children of Christian parents to deal with emerging from the much stigmatized “broken home” as well as being secondary to the new spouse? To me, children are a blessing and save for God himself, they are the only people that are with you forever in life and death.

Grayson's Girl on

Just to point out that Nicole was getting the love too, this came from the same People article:

“Madden was also keeping a watchful eye on Richie, 26, who was backstage, glancing at her after each song. Before the group sang “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl,” for example, he pointed in Richie’s direction.”

Mama and baby were getting all kinds of love last night!

-On another note, who in the world would have thought I’d be defending Nicole Richie and Joel Madden on a celeb baby website?! LOL

Jen on

So i was at that show last night, and he meant no harm to Nicole what so ever… if anything him and Benji were showing there love to Nicole and Paris all night…. Benji in the beginning of the concert was asked where Paris was and he pointed backstage, then throughout the concert he was constantly throwing his guitar picks at Paris, Joel was also paying attention to Nicole and after each song would point to her as if dedicating the song to her… I do have to say though, they were both very candid with us at QC, they said it was the most intimate show they have done in a real long time … Benji spoke about school and how he thinks its awesome that we all go to college, and how he wishes he could go but that he is not “smart enough” to which the audience told him he was wrong, and Joel said that the only reason why he wants to be in school is so that when he does something wrong he can say that he’s in college, thats its my experimental years, to which Benji replied yea thanks bro, i am trying to be serious here and you have to go and ruin it… but yeah all this talk about Nicole being upset, is far from the truth

Meg on

Wow… taken WAY to seriously. I think what he said was simply adorable. I could only hope my husband/boyfriend feels the same about our children.

gigi on

totally agree with you…ARRiSON!

Nikka on

I don’t think he meant he doesn’t love Nicole. On other note, when Paris was in Prague last month, she said on the Czech TV that they are trying for a baby as well and it will be called after the place where they conceive.

Natasha on

It’s great he’s in love with is daughter, but that statement made me sad for Nicole. Hopefully, one of the prior commentors guess was right and Joel just didn’t word the sentiment right.

Lissa on

So nice to hear that he’s so crazy about his beautiful little girl.

Stef on

The commentors on this site are such joyless people. Good job taking what he said out of context….

He was setting up the idea of there being so many beautiful girls in the audience, but only one had his heart—his daughter. “One and only” is a use of the superlative for the sake of sounding more poetic.

GOOD LORD. If your husbands/boyfriends said that about your baby, you’d all flip with happiness. Stop being jealous.

kristen on

obviously, joel’s words were coming from a good place, even if they did come out a bit awkwardly.

and at least he didn’t say he was “in love” with his daughter. that, in my opinion, would have been even weirder. the dictionary definition of in-love is “deeply or passionately enamored: a young couple in love.”

i don’t like the idea of any parent being “in love” with his or her child. “in love” is for your significant other. “love,” “adoration,” etc. is for your son or daughter.

i guess that’s just my drawn-out way of saying i agree with seal and with those who have cited his words here.

jo-ann on

Well, Harlow is his own flesh and blood, his first child. While Richie is the baby mummy, he has only been with Richie for a very short time before she fell pregnant. So who’s to say they’ll still be together 2 years down the road? While Harlow will always be his child

gargoylegurl on

I find it odd & difficult to understand that a mother could actually be jealous of her child, yet that is what’s coming across in some of the comments.

I feel sorry for the women that are saying they would be upset if their significant other made a statement such as Joel’s. To feel that way is sad…something is going on deep inside, some major insecurity!

terri on

I’d be touched to tears if my future husband ever said the same thing regarding our daughter. What a beautiful sentiment.

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