Who is she? What has happened to her in her young life and what is she doing now? This captivating beauty has a compelling story that is still unfolding page by page.

Early Life

Nicole Richie

Lionel Richie & Nicole Richie. Photo: Entertainment Press

Few may know that this girl, whose godfather was Michael Jackson, was not the biological daughter of Lionel Richie and his wife Brenda but, instead, their adopted daughter. Nicole Richie was born to Peter Michael Escovedo and his paramour Karen who worked for Escovedo’s sister, the musician Sheila E. The couple could not care for their daughter so they asked Lionel Richie, whom Escovedo performed with, to assume guardianship. Consequently, Nicole Richie entered the Richie’s care when she was three; by the time she turned nine the pair officially adopted her.
Richie’s biological heritage includes Creole, African-Mexican, and Spanish ancestry. Her cultural heritage is, of course, an amalgam of rock and roll music, celebrity, and the California show business scene. In spite of being given up by her biological parents, Richie became the pampered and much-indulged child of the music legend Lionel Richie. Some of the indulgences occurred as the result of a messy and public divorce between Lionel and Brenda in 1993. Fame and fortune aside, few could argue that Nicole Richie faced some extraordinarily difficult circumstances as a child, yet these obstacles would also serve to shape her, to mold her into who she is today.

Young Playmates

When talking about Richie’s early life, it’s impossible not to name drop, not to associate her with the glamorous stars such as Paris Hilton and Kourtney Kardashian. Richie attended kindergarten in Los Angeles with Hilton and the University of Arizona with Kardashian. It’s the Richie-Hilton friendship, however, that focused world attention onto the Creole beauty and her hotel heiress BFF. The friendship between the two young girls was frequently on and off but as a duo they would captivate the people around them.

“The Simple Life”

Richie the rock star’s daughter and Hilton the socialite heiress decided to air their friendship on television by willingly subjecting themselves to the life and work of more ‘normal’ everyday Americans. For instance, they’d be put to work on a farm to experience and learn the ways and occupations of ‘simpler folk’. The show, launched in 2003, captivated the public; the girls’ antics and humor was delightful entertainment. As the show progressed, however, their personal lives began to show signs of wear. Their hit show and increased celebrity stature also meant that the public was beginning to learn everything about them. Richie faced legal consequences for drug charges and was eventually forced to serve time (four days) in jail. The two women also had a very public ‘falling out’.
The television experience, however, and the bout with drugs did not become the sum total for Richie’s stardom as it might have-as it had for so many young stars like her. Instead, and astonishingly so, Richie grew from the experiences of her early fame and wild days to become a steadier individual, more committed to the business side of her career, and also more ready to face life as an adult, as a mother.

Motherhood and the Rock Star Life

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie & husband Joel Madden at the 2013 LACMA Art+Film Gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Jaguar PS

In 2008 and then again in 2009, Richie gave birth to a daughter and son respectively. In 2010, Richie married Joel Madden, the lead singer of the band Good Charlotte, and the father of her children. The pair had begun dating in 2006.
With her long-time pal Hilton no longer part of her act, Richie has definitely hit adult life on her own by raising her family and continuing her own career pursuits in the world of fashion. Instead of party shots by the paparazzi, Richie is frequently featured smiling for the press with her kids and husband in tow. While motherhood is the natural priority for Richie, her young age and rising star suggests that there is much more to come for this captivating lady. Fans can see from her website that she’s involved in charities as well as pursuits that involve her fashion career.

Fashion Guru

The actress and television personality has had a flair for style since she began her celebrity rise. Today she is far more ensconced in the world of high fashion. In 2008, Richie launched her own jewellery line and was the face for Jimmy Choo’s advertising campaigns. Eventually, she added shoes and clothing to her line which was particularly revered for its stylish maternity clothes. Her label is called the House of Harlow 1960 and for her work with her fashion line she won the 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2011, Richie won a spot along with Jessica Simpson on the reality show “Fashion Star” and in the subsequent year she launched her own fragrance line.

More on the Horizon

When Richie appeared on the “Ellen Show” playing piano, many speculated that music would be her next path to explore. Though Richie has denied that she is working on an album, few would be surprised to see her career take such a direction. After all, her biological father, adoptive father, godfather, and aunt have all played music on international stages; it might be a fitting challenge for this young star to take on next. For now, Richie is enjoying her young family and proving herself in the world of big business fashion. That’s quite a task for anyone, even someone as talented as Nicole Richie. This fashion icon, actress, and popular celebrity is likely to keep surprising and entertaining the public for years to come.