A History of Hype: The Most Anticipated Celebrity Babies of All Time

Spencer Cain
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Photo via Tumblr

Photo via Tumblr

What a summer for celebrity babies! First, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West‘s daughter, famously named North West, arrived a few weeks ago, and the media’s been in a frenzy trying to report on every minute detail we receive. Clearly, the same will be happening on an even larger scale when Prince William and Kate Middleton welcome their first child, who’s reportedly due next week.

Public speculation surrounding the birth of celebrity children isn’t anything new, and often ranges from mere curiosity to unabashed frenzy. While every A-lister seems to get more famous when they’re pregnant, it’s not a given that their offspring will be of interest.

With that in mind, we compiled a list that looks at the varying degrees of hype surrounding 8 anticipated celebrity offspring—and whether the aftermath lived up to the hype. Read on for more—and let us know which birth you think received the most attention!

Who: Kate Middleton and Prince William
Baby: Unknown.
The baby is reportedly due in less than two weeks, and no sex or name has been revealed.However, tons of surveys have popped up regarding the royal tot’s name and gender.
Level of hype: Pandemonium on an international scale.
Following December’s announcement that the young royals have a baby on the way, it’s been pure mayhem. People have even lost their lives over it: An Australian radio show called up a nurse at the hospital where Middleton was staying claiming they were the Queen. After the nurse was shamed in the press, she killed herself. Not all bad things have come from the baby, though—it‘s expected to generate about $380 million for the British economy!

Who: Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Baby: Blue Ivy Carter
Level of hype: Out of control.
Everything about Beyoncé’s pregnancy was covered tirelessly in the media, from her announcement that she was expecting to the exact birthing suite where Blue Ivy was born at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
Are we still interested? Yes.
Due to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s hypersensitivity to all press, they’ve maintained Blue Ivy’s privacy and controlled the release of all images of her since her birth in January 2012. The hype hasn’t died down though, mainly due to the shroud of secrecy surrounding her.

Who: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Baby: North West
Level of hype: Pure insanity.
Ever since West announced that his girlfriend was expecting his baby last December, the media has style-stalked Kardashian to the ends of the earth, criticizing her fashion choices. Her weight gain has also been slammed in the press, and she was frequently (and pointlessly) pitted against Middleton. The hype surrounding baby North was so strong, that it arguably made KimYe even more famous.
Are we still interested? Yes.
Though she’s only a few weeks old—and we’ve yet to see any photographs of the chosen daughter—we’re banking on this baby giving Blue Ivy a serious run for her money.

people magazine A History of Hype: The Most Anticipated Celebrity Babies of All Time

Who: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Baby: Shiloh Jolie-Pitt
Level of hype: Insanely high.
The buzz leading up to Shiloh’s birth was undeniably strong, as she was the pair’s first biological child. The hype got so intense that they fled to Namibia, where they enlisted a world-class security team to maintain their privacy. No foreign journalists or photographers were granted visas into Africa, so no one would be able to cover the birth in May 2006.
Are we still interested? Somewhat.
The couple received a staggering $4.1 million from People to show off the first pictures of baby Shiloh, but  excitement regarding her birth dulled soon after, especially because months later, Jolie adopted three-year-old Pax. However, in recent years, seven-year-old Shiloh has become a media fixture once again due to her preference for clothes typically favored by boys.

Who: Michael Jackson and Anonymous
BabyPrince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II
Level of hype: Somewhat strong.
Blanket pretty much came out of nowhere—in fact, it’s still a mystery who his mother is. Prior to his death, Jackson claimed that Blanket was the result of artificial insemination, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Right after Jackson announced Blanket’s birth, however, media outlets started to pounce.
Are we still interested? Not really.
Blanket’s level of fame reached soaring heights when, as a newborn, Jackson infamously dangled him briefly over a balcony above fans and reporters from a hotel room in Germany. The incident caused serious controversy and Jackson apologized. From there, Blanket’s mysterious identity had made him a popular talking point in the press, but interest has pretty much vanished.

Who: Princess Diana and Prince Charles
Baby: Prince William
Level of hype: Pandemonium on an international level.
Given the massive celebrity status of royals Charles and Diana in the early 1980s, Diana’s 1981 pregnancy was a big deal. Known for being open with the press, Diana chatted about her baby with the media and caused a wave of mass concern when she fell down a flight of stairs while three months pregnant. Doctors were rushed in—but luckily both mother and son were fine, and Prince William was born a few months later to celebration from the public. The heir had arrived!
Are we still interested? Duh.
We’ve all watched Wills grow up, especially following Diana’s death in 1997. Needless to say, the hoopla surrounding his wedding and the birth of his impending child has been remarkable, and puts him in the rare position of being one of the most famous babies and adults of all time.

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Who: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Baby: Suri Cruise
Level of hype: Insanely high.
The relationship between Holmes and Cruise received endless media attention, so when it was announced they were engaged after a few months of dating, everyone was shocked. Holmes also announced she was pregnant soon after. Paparazzi followed her relentlessly, but there were relatively few photos of her during the pregnancy.
Are we still interested? Yes, but mainly because the tabloids tell us to be.
After seven months of not being seen by anyone, Suri made her grand debut on the October 2006 issue of Vanity Fair, on a cover shot by Annie Leibovitz. It’s the mag’s second-highest-selling issue of all time, so clearly people cared. And they continue to care, as the tabloids have made Suri a full blown celebrity at 6 years old, frequently splashing the child (and her fashion sense) across pages and covers.

Who: Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Baby: Twins Monroe and Moroccan Cannon
Level of hype: Fairly Strong.
In May 2010, speculation that Carey was pregnant began after she cancelled numerous appearances. Sure enough, a few months later, she confirmed that she indeed was pregnant. People eagerly awaited the birth, and photos of her baby bump were a tabloid sensation.
Are we still interested? Meh.
Following the birth of the twins, Carey revealed she had suffered during the difficult pregnancy—and had a miscarriage prior. Carey has been open on social media, often sharing photos of her children with the world, but they’re far less popular than some other tots on the list.
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