Seven kids, four mothers: Jimmy Barnes and his children

The Cold Chisel frontman is the father of very talented children.
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Jimmy Barnes went from working class man to rock’n’roll legend in the span of a few years.

WATCH: Jimmy Barnes sings with Natalie Imbruglia

Throughout his successes and failures, one thing has remained a constant in his life: his family.

Let’s introduce you to Jimmy Barnes’ kids – David, Mahalia, Jackie, EJ, and Elly-May, along with his two long-lost daughters, who he only met almost 40 years after their birth.

RELATED: Jimmy Barnes: “It felt like I was dying!”

A black and white portrait of the Australian rock group Cold Chisel
Cold Chisel. (Credit: Getty)

Who is Jimmy Barnes?

Jimmy Barnes (born James Dixon Swan) is an Australian singer of Scottish descent.

At the age of 17, he left a troubled home to join a band that would go on to become Cold Chisel, one of the biggest rock bands in the Australian music industry. 

With Cold Chisel, Barnes racked up 14 Top 40 albums and several chart-topping hits such as Flame Trees, Khe Sanh, Cheap Wine and many, many more.

However, rising tensions between Barnes, the rest of the band, and their management, led to the group disbanding after a best-selling live concert in December 1983.

Shortly after that, Barnes pursued a solo career. He found incredible success, and 13 out of his 19 solo studio albums to date have made the charts.

Barnes released a new album in 2021 entitled Flesh and Blood, which was written mostly across the COVID-19 lockdowns. Debuting at the top of the ARIA Chart, it was Barnes’ 13th number one album, helping extend his record as the artist with the most number one albums in that spot.

Jimmy Barnes performing on stage
At the age of 17, he joined a band that would become Cold Chisel. (Credit: Getty)

Who is Jimmy Barnes’ wife?

Jimmy Barnes is married to Thai-born Jane Mahoney. The pair met in Canberra in 1979, with Mahoney soon becoming his girlfriend, and moving in with him shortly after.

Barnes and Mahoney tied the knot in May 1981 and have been together ever since. Jane is also a musician, and occasionally performs with Jimmy. 

Jimmy Barnes and Jane Mahoney at the 2016 APRA Music Awards
Jimmy and his wife, Jane. (Credit: Getty)

Who are Jimmy Barnes’ children?

David Campbell

Date of birth: August 6, 1973 (age 49)

Mother: Kim

Like his father, David Campbell is also a singer and stage performer. He was raised by his maternal grandmother, Joan, believing her to be his mother. He only found out that his ‘sister’ was his real mother when he was 10 years old, and that Jimmy, whom he believed to be a ‘family friend’, was his father.

Speaking on ABC Radio’s Conversations, Jimmy gave insight into what it was like for him when David was a baby.

“David came along, he was born, and it was decided that her mother was going to adopt David, and she brought him up, I wasn’t capable of doing it anyways, I was 16, I was completely out of control,” he admitted.

“By the time I was ready to really be a parent was many, many, years later. But I always knew I had a son, and I would go and visit, I wasn’t allowed to say I was his dad because the grandmother just wanted to protect him, I guess, but it was really difficult.”

After reuniting, David and Jimmy began to sing together regularly, and have recorded several duets together and often perform at each other’s concerts.

Jimmy performs with David at the 2022 TV WEEK Logie Awards. (Credit: Nine Network)
David Campbell at the opening night of Jersey Boys at Capitol Theatre
Jimmy Barnes’ son David Campbell (Credit: Getty)

Mahalia Barnes

Date of birth: July 12, 1982 (age 40)

Mother: Jane Mahoney

Mahalia is the eldest daughter of Jane and Jimmy Barnes. She started her musical career as a member of The Tin Lids, a children’s pop group composed of her and her siblings.

Mahalia has also released a few solo studio albums as an adult, and has been featured in a few duets with her famous father.

Mahalia Barnes pictured attending the 2018 Brownlow Medal
Mahalia Barnes. (Credit: Getty)

EJ Barnes

Date of birth: December 22, 1984 (age 38)

Mother: Jane Mahoney

Eliza Jane Barnes, also known as EJ, is a singer and actress. She was a part of The Tin Lids when she was just seven years old. She appeared in the 2008 music video short for Liam Finn’s song Better to Be and has also sung alongside her father at live performances.

Jackie Barnes

Date of birth: February 4, 1986 (age 37)

Mother: Jane Mahoney

Jackie is the only son of Jimmy with his wife Jane. He’s a drummer, singer, and songwriter. After graduating high school, Jackie toured with his dad as his band’s keyboardist and recorded a few songs with him. Currently, he plays with Australian rock band – Rose Tattoo. 

Jackie Barnes. (Credit: Instagram)

Elly-May Barnes

Date of birth: May 3, 1989 (age 33)

Mother: Jane Mahoney

Barnes’ youngest daughter, Elly-May is (surprise, surprise) also a singer. She recorded duets with her father, most notably for his Double Happiness album. Elly-May has cerebral palsy, but that didn’t stop her from giving birth to a beautiful son named Dylan.

Jimmy takes to the stage with his kids in 2022. (Credit: Nine Network)

Amanda Bennett & Megan Torzyn

In 2010, already a father to five, Barnes found out that he actually had two more children with two different women. Amanda Bennett and Megan Torzyn, who were in their mid-30s at the time, contacted Barnes about their paternity, leading him to take a test, confirming he was their father. Funnily enough, Amanda was born in the same year as Barnes’ other son David Campbell.

Both Barnes and his wife have been welcoming to the two new family members.

“My kids are all so great that when I found out there were a couple more, I felt they would be good people, and they’re lovely girls,” he said.

A proud grandad

Barnes is also a proud grandad to no less than 15 grandkids! Via Mahalia, he has Ruby and Rosetta Rodgers, and David also has three kids – Leo, Betty, and Billy.

His youngest grandchild (for now) was born in June 2021 to EJ, who had a baby boy, Theodore.

Jimmy with some of his grandkids! (Credit: Instagram)

Australia’s Favourite Working Class Boy

Although he has a badass reputation as one of Australia’s top rockers, Jimmy Barnes has a huge heart, and has found himself as the patriarch of a massive, beautiful family. It’s evident in how he supports all of his children – including the ones from before his marriage.

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