Nick Cannon said it himself: "We're here to be fruitful and multiply."
He explained to ABC News in 2016, "That's what our beings are made for, so we can raise our offspring up so they can have offspring, and [produce] generations after generations."
At the time a father of twins with soon-to-be ex-wife Mariah Carey, the actor and TV host said he was "not against" having more kids. "I talk about that all the time," he said. "I love children. Everybody knows that. Whether it's having more of my own, or adopting, whatever, I love that process. Kids kind of bring that vibrant side [out] of me so whenever I can be a part of that process I'm with it."
Consider Cannon, 40, a man who doesn't just talk the talk.
He has since welcomed four more kids and now seems to be expecting his seventh child. Neither have returned requests for comment, but his rumored girlfriend Alyssa Scott posted to her Instagram Story on Father's Day a photo of her visibly pregnant self with a man cradling her belly, his face turned away but his signature turban and tattoos announcing "Look, it's Nick Cannon!" (Hawaii-based photographer Nick Andrew has since shared more photos from the maternity shoot, one of which shows a bit more of his face. Oh, and he tagged @nickcannon along with Scott in the caption reading, "A new chapter.")
Also Sunday: Cannon's twins with Abby De La Rosa turned 6 days old.
Not a typo.
And maybe not all that shocking?
"I'm spending time [with a woman], she means something to me," Cannon told a rapt Howard Stern in February 2017 when the SiriusXM host wanted to know why, if the Real Husbands of Hollywood star (whose first child with Brittany Bell was on the way) wanted to date around, he didn't take it upon himself to use birth control methods. "I care about her, I'm not just—I'm over my groupie years. That's when I used to keep 30 condoms with me...So, in the idea, this is like, 'Yo, this is meaningful.' I tend to not have sex with people unless I feel like this is someone that I wouldn't mind having a child with."
While Cannon was previously engaged to model Selita Ebanks, proposing in Times Square with the help of the MTV JumboTron in 2007, Carey was the one who made him feel ready to start the family he so wanted. And vice versa, the Grammy winner detailing in her 2020 autobiography The Meaning of Mariah Carey that, by the time she met Cannon, she had pretty much resigned herself to not becoming a mom. The ex-Mrs. Tommy Mottola also did not want to get remarried, she recalled.
"Having children together became our reason," Carey wrote of herself and Cannon. "Our desire to have children became a force of nature and why we got married so quickly."
Cannon recalled to Variety in June 2020, "We were both at this place where relationships really aren't our thing but we like each other. We talked everything out. What if this and what if that. We talked about how much fun it would be if we just got married three weeks into knowing each other. It was more that whimsical fantasy idea of let's have as much fun as we possibly can and when it no longer feels like fun, when it feels like a task and a job, then we should amicably be able to move on."
Realizing three weeks was just bonkers, they waited six weeks, tying the knot April 30, 2008, in the Bahamas.
They did try to start having a family right away, too, just as they wanted, but Carey lost a pregnancy at the end of 2008. They found out right before Christmas, when they had planned to share their joy with the world.
"It kind of shook us both and took us into a place that was really dark and difficult," Carey told Access Hollywood in October 2010. "When that happened… I wasn't able to even talk to anybody about it. That was not easy."
Added Cannon, "It definitely brought us closer together. It strengthened our relationship so much… She handled it so well."
Better yet, it was in that interview that they revealed they were expecting again, Carey having been nervous about saying it out loud because of the past trauma, but she was at the point where "I either talk or I hibernate," she said.
"The greatest gift on earth is a child," Cannon said. "We've had names picked out from the first day we met and we want to stay true to that."
"Names" being the operative word, because it turned out that twins were on the way—news Carey first broke to Barack and Michelle Obama, during the December 2010 taping of the Christmas in Washington benefit concert special.
"And at this point she hadn't told anybody anything because doctors advised us to keep it to ourselves until we get further along," Cannon explained to his morning radio show audience after the Obamas joined their inner circle. "And because of the excitement, because of the emotion, she was overwhelmed, she shared with the president and first lady that we are having twins."
Daughter Monroe and son Moroccan were born on April 30, 2011, their parents' third wedding anniversary. The couple, who were fond of vow renewals in their day, had their ceremony that year at the hospital.
But while they were madly in love with their kids, Carey and Cannon started to fall out of sync with each other within a few years, taking time apart in 2014, reconciling and then separating again before Cannon filed for divorce in December 2015.
In June 2016, Cannon said in an interview that they were getting along well, he was happy for Carey's newfound happiness with her Australian billionaire fiancé James Packer, and they were "diligently moving things along" in their divorce proceedings.
He also said, "I've been reflecting quite a bit on my life as a father and how I want to be the best one I can be, the way my father figures were to me. So with that said, I just ask that the public continues to respect our process and remain patient and loving as me and my family aim for happiness."
Talking to Variety last year, he said the almost-inevitable breakup with the singer "made us say, 'Let's co-exist for the betterment of our children.' We're doing whatever we can to make sure their upbringing is as healthy as can possibly be and that we're as healthy as we can possibly be. And that's where we are to this day."
Carey, who wasn't in a holding-back mood in her memoir, had only positive things to say about the father of her now 10-year-old children. "We will always be family, and we make it work," she wrote. "We still have fun, reminisce and joke. And we both are certain that Roc and Roe are indeed our light. Every day they give us new life."
"She came at me first about it, so it was actually easier," Cannon told Los Angeles' Power 106 about Carey's reaction to his quick turnaround. "I don't know how she heard about it, but she called me, and she was funny with it. She was like, 'Mmmhmm, I heard about you out here in these streets.'"
Asked if his incoming new addition was a surprise, he said he most definitely was not having "an 'oops baby.' I'm so calculated with my moves...I've always wanted five kids. Just because my marriage was over didn't mean I couldn't continue my family."
"I wanted to make sure it was someone who was solid, spiritual and had the same views," Cannon added. "She's been in my life. Our families grew up in the same projects together in San Diego. So there's a lot of substance there."
He and Bell welcomed son Golden "Sagon" Cannon on Feb. 21, 2017.
"She's amazing, and [even] more beautiful internally," Cannon said of the former Miss Guam and Miss Arizona USA on The Howard Stern Show shortly before their baby was born.
When Stern teased Cannon about barely having time for the two kids he already had, the merry multitasker chuckled, insisting, "That's not true. Yes [I have time], I love children, this is going to be amazing!" All of the kids were going to be in the same city, he explained, and he didn't foresee any issues with blending families.
Carey told Entertainment Tonight that June of Cannon and co-parenting, "He's a good guy. It's not that hard to make it work. Now we can laugh, and joke, and do the good parts of when we had a relationship." She even had a nice Father's Day plan for him—as he always made sure her Mother's Day was special, she said.
Doting dad status aside, Cannon made something clear to Stern and Robin Quivers when she asked what Monroe and Moroccan would call his next wife: "I'm never getting married again! Hell no!" he exclaimed. "That doesn't make sense, marriage is not for me."
Explaining the reasoning behind that sweeping statement, he said, "Marriage is supposed to make you better, right? I'm good [as is]. I feel like I'm evolved and, like, it becomes stressful for me. Even my doctor said, like, if I'm in a relationship, that could f--k up my whole..."
There was a lot of interrupting, with Quivers suggesting that perhaps a relationship that caused health issues wasn't the right one. (Cannon has lupus and has been candid about his related health struggles.)
A couple years later, Cannon's views on marriage hadn't changed—and he didn't think much of monogamy, either.
"I think I'll never be able to be with just one woman again," the father of three told T.I. on the rapper's expediTIously podcast in September 2019. "Like, that's gonna be tough for me. I did it in a marriage! I was very faithful in my marriage…the whole time I was married."
"The reason why we split up, it had nothing to do with infidelity or nothing like that," he continued. "But I knew I would never get married again. Once I stepped away from that, I was like, that construct is not designed for me. And so I gave it my all—'cause even before that I was like, 'I don't believe in marriage.' But s--t, it was Mariah Carey. Whatever she say, I'm with it! She want to say we was going to the moon, I'm like, 'Let's go!'" They laughed, as T.I. acknowledged he had "married well."
Cannon agreed, "If I'mma marry somebody, I'mma marry her!"
T.I. noted, "It don't look like you've looked back since."
Cannon replied, "Right, exactly. So but I just know, like even in that thing, like I know I'll never be in a relationship again, I know I'll never get married again. So I'm tryin' to fix that s--it up." Meaning, "I don't want to be responsible for anybody else's happiness...Like, I'm still trying to get my s--t together." He wanted to have more kids, he said, but he also reiterated that stress puts him in the hospital "and, to me, all relationships equal stress. I ain't never been in a relationship that wasn't stressful, whether I'm putting the stress on myself or whether she puttin' the stress on me."
When asked about it, Cannon told T.I. he respected people who chose the polyamorous lifestyle, "but me personally, that's too much of a construct with too many rules in it. Like I don't want to answer to nobody, I don't want five or six [partners]. I want to be by my goddamn self."
"Forever," he insisted. "I got 'lonesome' tattooed on my neck, I'm good."
Forever, maybe, but not all the time.
"I love women," Cannon added. "I love various women, and they understand how I move!"
Bell revealed on Instagram on June 13, 2020, that Golden was going to be a big brother and daughter Powerful Queen Cannon was born in December.
"The best gift ever we have been surprised with... A GIRL!!!!!" she captioned a pic of the family of four, Cannon suited up like Santa and the newborn in her arms, on Dec. 25. "Powerful Queen Cannon came this week perfect timing for Christmas. So much more to share. All I can say is that Nick was my rock through the most intense yet empowering natural water birth. It was nothing but POWERFUL."
A few weeks later, on the Jan. 11 episode of Fox Soul's Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee, Jessica White said that she had miscarried Cannon's baby two weeks before Bell announced they were expecting their second child together.
"She was aware that I just had a miscarriage two weeks prior to her news coming out because he told me that he told her," she alleged. "I was living at his house, and she knew that as well."
White did not know, however, that Bell was pregnant, too. "I found out on Instagram along with the rest of the world," the Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model said. (In his introduction to the episode, Lee referred to Cannon as White's boyfriend of six years, though it's unlikely Cannon would have categorized it that way.) Before this revelation, she explained, haters had come at her on social media, calling her a homewrecker because Cannon had seemingly left Bell and their son to be with White.
"We just had unconditional love for each other and we were friends," White said of their romance. "When you have a really close friendship with a person, you just know each other...He understood me and my craziness and I understood his, and we just meshed. We got along well. We were actually in a really good space before it ended."
However, it ended, she continued, in no small part because Cannon didn't publicly defend her when people attacked her online.
"He said he was going to right his wrongs and say something," White told Lee. "He has yet to do that. I think he's a man of his word and he eventually will in his own time. Stuff happens and I'm a very reasonable woman. For me, it was, you know how private I am, and you know how sensitive I am, and you know how emotional I am. You need to say something. I think he's a man of his word and he eventually will in his own time."
In an interview with Voyage LA published April 1, Bell didn't mention Cannon by name but talked about how having Golden inspired her to create her Mama Gang brand, that she had started teaching yoga before getting pregnant again, and that last year she enrolled at Pepperdine University to pursue her doctorate in psychology.
"After a successful first term of school, God just so happened to bring us our baby during the Christmas break," she shared. "I birthed our daughter and began school about two weeks later."
Asked about the challenges she's faced along the way to realizing these goals, Bell said, "The sacrifices I choose to make for family take a lot of strength but I have grown in my strength increase. Any mother knows the aspects of self-image that can become a struggle when giving all of yourself to your children—combine that with a desire to return to my career in modeling, TV, and a new brand… well the balance can be a struggle. But an uphill one I choose to maintain or find ease within."
The next day, she shared an Easter-themed photo with Cannon and both of their children.
Cannon has yet to comment publicly on White's account of what happened between them. The Masked Singer host's most recent posts on Instagram have mostly been about his upcoming daytime talk show, with 4-year-old son Golden's April 28 cameo in a video of his dad working out making up the entirety of his personal content since he scrubbed his account and started posting again in March.
He's been keeping plenty busy, though.
On April 11, Abby De La Rosa revealed her pregnancy on Instagram with myriad photos of her and Cannon, writing, "Our dearest sons - my miracle babies, Thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy. I know the Lord has destined me and prepared me for the gift of not one but two little angels. I pray that God give you both the strength to walk brave and boldly in your individual truth just like your Daddy. That God bless you and your brother and guide you into living out your full purpose.
"Your Dad & I will always be here for you both; in complete unison and support. No matter what this world may throw your way, know that forgiveness is key and what is for you - is for YOU! You both are already so loved and we can't wait to meet you both."
That post has since been deleted, along with most others. The only post that remains right now on her personal Instagram is a video of her cradling twin boys Zion Mixolydian Cannon and Zillion Heir Cannon after their June 14 birth. (There is still a pic of her with Cannon from her baby shower on the @clubtummy account.)
And now Alyssa Scott is pregnant and it's a boy. "My son, I love you," she captioned a maternity shot on May 6.
Cannon will speak out at some point about his increasingly sprawling family tree. In the meantime, though, the guy who said he was here to be fruitful and multiply and would never be in a traditional relationship with a woman again is 100 percent a man of his word.