It seems like every other day we're learning something new about our favorite stars—from their guilty pleasure fast food chain to just how much they're worth. But sometimes, the most surprising things come down to their roots. Here, 12 beloved figures with beginnings you never knew about.
The singer, songwriter, and country star was adopted as an infant and raised outside of Jackson, Mississippi with two older brothers. Her first foray into the music world was singing in the Baptist church her family belonged to and the rest, as they say, is history.
Nicole was raised in California by music legend Lionel Richie and his then-wife Brenda. Nicole's biological parents are often said to be friends of the couple and a one-time bandmate of Lionel, but it's never been confirmed. She was legally adopted at age nine, and had another music icon play a role in her childhood: her godfather was Michael Jackson.
Chenoweth was adopted at five days old and raised by adoptive parents Junie and Jerry Chenoweth in Oklahoma. The pint-size singing powerhouse started preforming at an early age, singing in the church circuit before she even entered high school.
Monroe was born to an unmarried mother and was soon placed in various foster homes. At the age of 11, she lived with a family friend, Grace McKee Goddard, who eventually became her legal guardian. Monroe famously got married when she was 16 in order to get out of the foster care system.
The former Glee actress was adopted from Seoul, South Korea when she was three months old. She was raised in East Meadow, New York with an older brother Gregg, and is the co-founder of Kindred: The Foundation for Adoption, with provides adoptees and their families with support, services, and resources.
The actor was adopted by his maternal grandmother after his parents split when he was just seven months old. He grew up in Terrell, Texas and can trace his acting and singing career all the way back to singing in his local church choir.
The Blondie icon was adopted by Richard and Catherine Harry when she was three months old. Long before she made a name for herself as a punk singer-songwriter at New York institutions like CBGB's and Max's Kansas City, she sang in church choirs in Hawthorne, New Jersey, where she grew up.
Actor Ray Liotta was adopted at six months old by Mary and Alfred Liotta, who worked as auto parts store owners and were active in local politics. He was raised in Newark, New Jersey and has a sister, Linda, who was also adopted.
McLachlan was adopted at a young age and grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. She took voice and guitar lessons while growing up—at the ripe old age of 17, she got her first recording contract offer with her band October Game. Even though that deal fell through, we all know she hit it big just a few years later.
The former Little House on the Prairie star was adopted at a very young age and raised in a show business family. Her adoptive parents (Paul Gilbert and Barbara Crane) were both actors. It's no surprise that Melissa became a child star when she was only 10.
Preston's biological father tragically drowned when she was only three years old, and her mother remarried Peter Palzis, who later adopted Kelly. She was raised in Hawaii and Australia and eventually settled in California, where she attended the University of Southern California studying drama and theater.
Beloved actress Frances McDormand was born in Chicago, Illinois and was adopted at a young age. Her siblings were also adopted by the McDormand family, and they moved frequently as Frances grew up. Frances began acting in Pennsylvania, where she graduated form high school and went on to study at the prestigious Yale School of Drama.