Inside Lil Xan's "Crazy Journey" From a Messy Breakup and Rehab to an Engagement and Fatherhood

The 22-year-old rapper and his 18-year-old fiance Annie Smith are expecting their first child together just five months after his messy public breakup with Noah Cyrus

By Tierney Bricker Feb 20, 2019 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Noah Cyrus Seemingly Cries Over Lil Xan's Baby Announcement

The Xanarchy is getting ready to welcome a baby.

Rapper Lil Xan surprised fans over the weekend when he announced on Instagram that he is going to become a father for the first time, revealing he and girlfriend Annie Smith are starting a family. 

"i wanted to wait but i just can't leave my fans in the dark ,it's official im going to be a father," Lil Xan (whose real name is Nicholas Diego Leanos) shared with his 5.2 million followers. "i love you guys so much and hope you stay along for this crazy journey and i've never felt more happy in my life." 

The 22-year-old rapper's announcement comes just five months after his very public split from Noah Cyrus, the younger sister of Miley Cyrus and daughter of Billy Ray Cyruswith their split being fully documented on their respective social media accounts.

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His Instagram post announcing the baby news continued, "all of you are invited to the gender reveal party i promise ! Cant wait to show the world everything i've been working on at youtube space and my official sophomore album 'BE SAFE' and to my baby my angel my sunshine @anniiesmith i love you with all my heart."

Smith, 18, shared the same photo her boyfriend did to wish him a happy Valentine's Day, writing, "i could go on and on about how beyond grateful and lucky i am to have you by my side in life. but today to keep it simple and honest, i love you to the moon and stars, always baby. i cannot wait to call myself your wife soon." 

Lil Xan and Smith started dating sometime before November 2018, with their first social media post as a couple coming on Thanksgiving. But in an interview with Us Weekly, Smith said they have been "best friends" for over two years and have been dating for about six months. 

"God chooses people to come into your life to fulfill a purpose. your purpose in my life is to make me the best version of myself. i thank Him everyday for choosing you to be by my side in this life," Smith wrote. "you are my happiness, my most favorite person, my whole heart. thank you for sharing your life with me and allowing me to love you, always ... happy thanksgiving. be thankful for everyone and everything you have in this life because it is so precious."

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But just one week before her gushing tribute, Lil Xan announced he was checking into rehab on his Instagram.

"I just dropped out of SoundCloud Uni to go to rehab, I leave in like 5 days And I couldn't be happier with this choice," he told his social media followers. "I love you guys for being so supportive and can't wait too get back clean headed ready to Finish my album!"

Lil Xan has been open about his struggles with substance abuse in the past, revealing he was addicted Norcos, opiates, Benzos and Xanax, which is how he got his stage name. (His friend came up with it because he was always "off the Xan.")

"This ain't fun, I can't live this life. A lot of rappers don't really be talking about not doing drugs," he said. "You know, it's like the opposite way, so it's refreshing, I think."


He had previously revealed he stopped abusing Xanax just before his friend Lil Peep's tragic passing in 2017.

"Anyone trying to tell me I'm a poser can shut the f--k up," he said on the Genius series Verified of his Anti-Xan movement. "I know what it's like to be addicted to that. I was lucky enough to get off that s--t."

He continued, "That tragic passing it definitely got more real. It was something I knew I had to help change. There are still rappers that are doing what they're doing and they're gonna do what they're gonna do regardless, but it hit too close to home. I'm not saying it was the turning point for me deciding to be anti-Xan. I was anti-Xan months ago but it was definitely a reminder that this shit is real."

Columbia Records

But Lil Xan took the death of his "hero" Mac Miller, who died of an apparent overdose at the age of 26 in September 2018, particularly hard. 

To pay tribute to Miller, Lil Xan added another tattoo to his face, later defending his vast collection of facial tats. 

"I do this for me,I could care less if this makes me ugly because that's what I was going for, " he said on Instagram, "Ugly is the new Beautiful,well not really but there's some truth to that,I love you guys."

After Miller's death, Lil Xan said in an interview with Adam22 that he wanted to get "completely sober," but acknowledged it was a struggle for him. 

"It's so hard. I just want to be off everything," he admitted. "I want to be like a normal person.... if I didn't have a tour coming up I would be in rehab right now."

Of course, Lil Xan did eventually go to rehab, even appearing on TMZ Live on Nov. 15 to open about the decision. 

"That was when it first started, when Lil Peep passed, he was one of my favorite artists and it was devastating the way he died, you know, it seems like all of it is just like fentanyl, fentanyl, fentanyl," he explained, adding that the passing of  XXXTentacion also factored into his decision. 

But it was Miller's passing that was the "worst one" for the rapper, saying it "affected" him the most. 

"It hit too close to home so...and I know we both struggle with the same problems and stuff and I just feel like it's time to get, you know, better."

While he acknowledged his addiction was much worse in the past, he still wanted to seek treatment "so I can get over this last little hump, like stretch, so I could finally be back to Diego." 

This wasn't the first time Lil Xan has expressed a desire to change his name after first rising to fame via SoundCloud in 2017, when his song "Betrayed" went viral, hitting 25 million plays on the platform. 

"I always wondered what the longevity of the name Lil Xan would be. I always contemplated whether I'd have to change it, but I learned you don't have to if the formula is working," he said on Adam22's podcast. "It's great. It's beautiful. The only thing that might change is I might drop the 'Lil.'"

Name change or not, it seems Smith has had quite the impact on Lil Xan since they began dating, as he wrote in his Instagram caption announcing the pregnancy, "thank you for saving me i love you more then words could describe." 

While Lil Xan's announcement about the pregnancy may have surprised many, given his recent split from Noah Cyrus, it wasn't a shock for the couple.

"yes this was planned, " Smith wrote on her Instagram Stories on Monday. "Diego and I have had baby names picked out for months, started wedding planning, and have been trying to get pregnant."

"yes I am still very early on and wasn't planning on announcing until after 12 weeks (this is for all the mom critics lol)," she added, "but diego was so excited to share this news because we are genuinely happy. thank you for the love." 

And in her interview with Us Weekly, Smith shared how their parents responded to the news. 

"My parents already knew, Diego's parents love me, my parents love him, we all get along really well," she said. "All of our families knew we wanted kids and to get married, so they were so wasn't a huge shock to them."

Still, his very ugly and public breakup with Cyrus back in September is fresh in many people's minds, as they were given a front row seat to the split following their whirlwind romance. 

After E! News confirmed their relationship in early August and their love played out on social media--as all young love does--and the couple, both nominated for Push Artist of the Year, made their red carpet debut at the 2018 MTV VMAs on Aug. 20, happily posing for photos and packing on the PDA just hours after releasing their duet, "Live or Die." Their romance seemed as rock-solid as any young couple in Hollywood's can. 

But then, just two weeks later, Lil Xan posted "I feel like i'm probably being cheated on" to his Instagram Stories, and though he quickly deleted it, the rumor had already spread. A crying Cyrus, 19, soon went on her own Stories to explain her boyfriend has misunderstood a meme she went him featuring a naked Charlie Puth

Alas, they would not reconcile, as a public back-and-forth, filled with accusations and tears, played out, and Cyrus eventually went live to try and explain the situation. 

"If you're in a relationship, never let a man make you feel like you're less of yourself—or you're the problem—when you were the one that sat around being there for somebody," she said, going on to post her own evidence that Xan had been unfaithful.

She also released a few songs about the split soon after, while he went on to accuse her of using him for fame. 

During an interview on the No Jumper podcast, he claimed Cyrus wanted to be with him to "get more popping in the music industry," and went on to blame her famous family for turning people against him.

"They're always going to believe the f--king girl and of course they're going to believe the Cyrus family… what I'm saying is the truth, believe what you want."

While the exes haven't had any public interactions since their split, Cyrus took to Instagram following Lil Xan's announcement sharing a few cryptic messages. 

In one selfie posted to her Stories, the singer's eyes appeared to be puffy from crying, and she wrote on the emotional photo, "Whata day." 

But around the same time, she posted a selfie to her main account page, writing, "i WILL be happy if its the last thing i do." 

And aside from her posts immediately following her ex's big reveal, the "Mad About You" songstress seems to have mostly moved on from her first major public relationship. 


Back in November, when an Instagram account posed the question, "What mistakes did you make in your last relationship that you won't repeat again?" on their  Stories, Cyrus answered, "My last relationship was the mistake. lmao." 

Lil Xan has also publicly commented on their relationship since the split.

Three days after tweeting that he was "Out and Sober," the rapper said he saw "world so clear now" after completing rehab on Instagram Stories, going on to say "things got sloppy" during the couple's breakup. 

He also said, "everybody stop with all the 'your tryna get her back' it's not like that i just don't see the need for drama or fighting."

And during an appearance on  Complex's show "Open Late with Peter Rosenberg," he admitted, "Honest to God, I would say like most of the reason the breakup happened was because of me."

He continued, "It was my fault...we could have still been together, but I just feel like I f--ked everything up! It also put me in a darker place because I was getting slammed left and right."


Now, he's "never felt more happy in my life" after proposing to Smith and announcing the impending arrival of their first child. 

Next up for the engaged and expecting couple?

Smith just launched a YouTube channel so fans can follow her pregnancy journey, and she's set to join Lil Xan as he goes on his European tour from the end of February through March. 

"me and lover boy are going on tour soon," Smith wrote on Instagram. "tickets are in my bio ! cannot wait to meet all you pretty people !" 

In addition to the tour, Lil Xan is back to work on his sophomore album, titled BE SAFE, which he has said will be a tribute to Miller and the last conversation the two rappers had.  

"Before I left, he was like 'Be safe,'" he explained, "People say that you know, like 'be safe.' But he grabbed me, and he pulled me back and he was like 'No I mean BE SAFE. That almost made me cry, that's my idol right there." 

After BE SAFE, however, Lil Xan has said he may be ready to "retire" from music, and in September 2018, he addressed his plans for the future.

"I got two more albums left, done with music, on to fashion, everything else I want to do in life," he wrote on his Instagram Stories. "I love my fans, and I want you all to continue following me on my journey."

And now, that journey includes fatherhood and marriage. 

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