Bob Dylan’s known for many things, good and bad, but he’s definitely not known for his children.
Did you know he has six kids? You’ll most likely know some of them, but one of them was a secret until 2001!
We’re taking a look at Dylan, the man, the icon, and the father. Curious?
Let’s jump in!
About Bob Dylan
One of the most secretive musicians alive, Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman in Hibbing, Minnesota, in 1941. Dylan dabbled in rock and roll but found his voice through the burgeoning folk movement. He legally changed his name in 1962.
In 1960, Dylan dropped out of the University of Minnesota and moved to New York City, the epicenter of the folk explosion. In New York, he met his idol Woodie Guthrie and began playing in the clubs of Greenwich Village.
His second album was the first one with primarily original material. Protest songs were popular due to the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movements, and he sang plenty. His rough voice gave his songs an edge that most folk singers didn’t have. He became known as the voice of his generation.
At the height of his fame as a folkie, Dylan went electric during the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Audiences booed, but Dylan turned that anger into a hit on his album Highway 61 Revisited. The album contained the hit single Like a Rolling Stone, which is the greatest song of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine.
Following a motorcycle accident in 1966, Dylan’s output slowed. He was still writing and recording but lacked the fire of his early work. In the early 1970s, his work was greeted with a solid “what is this shit?” from critic Greil Marcus.
But he didn’t give up. Instead, he signed with a new label and began touring again by 1973. After a brief Christian phase in the mid-70s, he returned to form for the rest of the decade.
Dylan settled in as the elder statesman of the singer-songwriter boom in the early 90s. He continues to tour on The Never-Ending Tour with over 100 dates a year. In 2016, shocking the literary world, Dylan won The Nobel Prize for Literature for his body of work.
With over 40 albums to his credit, it would be easy for fans to feel like they know ol’ Bobby Dylan. He’s a recluse when not touring and is intensely private. His children follow in his footsteps. Dylan has six children from two marriages. The first to Sarah Lownds and the second to Carolyn Dennis.
Who Are Bob Dylan’s Children?
Maria Lownds Dylan is the oldest of Bob Dylan’s children and the only one not biological. Lownds Dylan was from Sarah Lownds’ previous relationship, but Dylan adopted her in 1966. Maria is a film producer and lives out of the spotlight.
Jesse Byron Dylan is Dylan’s oldest son, born in 1966. He’s a film producer and director. In 2008, he directed the music video Yes, We Can for will.i.am inspired by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. He’s the founder of the production company Wondros and the non-profit organization Lybba.
Dylan’s oldest daughter, Anna Leigh Dylan was born in 1967 and lives a life far from the spotlight. She’s reported to live in Santa Monica, California, and is an artist.
Samuel Isaac Abram Dylan was born in 1968 and is a photographer. He also chooses to live out of the spotlight and searches for details about his life come up empty. We know that he is married and has two sons with his wife.
Jakob Luke Dylan, born in 1969, is the exception to the family rule and is best known as the singer-songwriter for the Wallflowers. He started playing in bands in the late 1980s and formed the Wallflowers in 1989. Jakob continued touring with the band through 2016. He’s married to Paige, and they have four sons together.
Dylan’s youngest, Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, was born in 1986. Dylan secretly married his backup singer Carolyn Dennis in 1986 after Desiree’s birth. They were married until 1992.
But it wasn’t until an unauthorized biography published in 2001 that the world knew about her. Out of all of Dylan’s children, Dennis-Dylan is the most estranged from him. In fact, he refused to attend her marriage to her wife in 2001.
How Many Grandchildren Does Bob Dylan Have?
Bob Dylan has 11 grandchildren and reportedly drives around in a van with a bumper sticker that says “World’s Greatest Grandpa.” While his children may not have followed in his footsteps, his grandchildren have started making waves.
His grandson Pablo had a brief rap career before devoting himself to folk music in 2021. Videos of him rapping at age 15 brought him the attention he wanted. He shifted to folk music and has included his mother’s Irish heritage in his work.
Levi Dylan, a model and sometimes musician, is the other of Dylan’s grandchildren to make a splash. He has walked for Dolce & Gabanna and appeared in GQ Italia and Wonderland. Levi says that he was inspired to model by his former girlfriend. He plays music occasionally but not professionally.
What Are The Wallflowers Best Known Songs?
Jakob Dylan has proved to be the most musically successful of Dylan’s children. The Wallflowers had a string of hits in the 1990s, and these are some of their best.
Grammy-winning One Headlight is a song about the death of ideas. It was the first song to reach number 1 on all three Billboard charts in 1996.
6th Avenue Heartache is one of Dylan’s most personal songs and the first song he wrote at age 18. A homeless man outside his window in New York City played the same songs every day. One day he was gone. Over the next few days, people came and took his things one by one.
Three Marlenas is a song of searching that Dylan wrote for the Wallflowers’ second album. In it, the title character sees herself in three different ways. She finally escapes out onto the open road.
Is Bob Dylan Still Performing?
Bob Dylan has performed over 3000 live shows since his Never-Ending Tour began. He continues to perform around the country. His latest, the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour, started in March 2022. Kicking off in Phoenix in March, the tour carries him through the southwest, south, and southeastern United States.
2022 will also include the opening of the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2022. It will hold the digitized version of his secret archive.
Sold to the University of Tulsa and the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2016, the archive contains over 100,000 artifacts from Dylan’s 60 years in public life. The Center will feature temporary, permanent, and traveling exhibitions.
Bob Dylan’s Children and Grandchildren Carrying On the Dylan Legacy
Not the usual experience of children growing up in the spotlight, Dylan and his kids had a positive relationship. Aside from his youngest, Bob Dylan reportedly maintains cordial relationships with all of his children. He’s devoted to his extended family, and since he sold his song catalog in 2020, he has taken good care of them.