Australian Celebrities

Seven Kids, Four Mothers: Jimmy Barnes And His Children

The Cold Chisel frontman is the father of some very talented children.
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Jimmy Barnes went from Working Class Man to a rock and roll legend in the span of a few years.

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

WATCH: David Campbell sings with his dad Jimmy Barnes.

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

In this article, you’ll meet Jimmy Barnes’ kids: David, Mahalia, Jackie, EJ, and Elly-May.

You’ll also be introduced to two of his long-lost daughters who he only met almost 40 years after their birth!

Who is Jimmy Barnes?

Jimmy Barnes (born James Dixon) 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.

A black and white photo of the Australian band, Cold Chisel
In the early days of Cold Chisel (Credit: Getty)

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

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

Shortly after that, Barnes pursued a solo career. He found incredible success, and 14 out of his 20 solo studio albums to date have made the charts.

In 2019, Barnes released a new album entitled My Criminal Record which reached number one and was also nominated for Best Rock Album at the ARIA Awards. 

His most recent album (and 20th) was Blue Christmas, which as its name suggests is a Christmas album! 

Jimmy Barnes and Jane Mahoney pictured at the 2016 APRA Music Awards
Jimmy and Jane have an enduring love (Credit: Getty)

Who is Jimmy Barnes’ Wife?

Jimmy Barnes is married to Thai-born Jane Mahoney.

RELATED || How Jane “saved” Jimmy 

The pair met in Canberra in 1979, and Mahoney became his girlfriend and moved in with him soon after. Barnes and Mahoney tied the knot in May 1981 and have been together ever since. Jane is a great singer herself and occasionally performs with Jimmy.

Jimmy and David (Credit: Getty)

Who are Jimmy Barnes’ children?

David Campbell

Date of birth: August 6, 1973 (age 50)

Mother: Kim Campbell 

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’ Kim was his real mother when he was 10 years old.

RELATED || Jimmy and David’s relationship is a testament to unconditional love 

David and Jimmy have recorded several duets together and perform at each other’s concerts. They also performed together on an episode of Dancing with the Stars.

Jimmy and Mahalia (Credit: Getty)

Mahalia Barnes

Date of birth: July 12, 1982 (age 41)

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

EJ (Ella Jane) and Jimmy (Credit: Instagram)

EJ Barnes

Date of birth: December 22, 1984 (age 40)

Mother: Jane Mahoney

Eliza Jane Barnes a.k.a. 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 during live performances.

Jackie and Jimmy (Credit: Instagram)

Jackie Barnes

Date of birth: February 4, 1986 (age 38)

Mother: Jane Mahone

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 the Australian rock band Rose Tattoo.

Elly-May and Jimmy (Credit: Instagram)

Elly-May Barnes

Date of birth: May 3, 1989 (age 35)

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.

In 2024, she released her first album No Good, which includes songs co-written by friends and family members.

Ahead of its release, Elly spoke with our sister publication The Australian Women’s Weekly where she described her relationship with her father as like two twin stars: “We’re similar in a lot of ways.”

She also revealed her son “saved her.”

“He helped me look after myself and value myself more. He’s the best person in my life, the sweetest, funniest little goofball. He’s my little buddy…I do everything I do because of him.”

WATCH: Jimmy Barnes: Working Class Boy Official Trailer.

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Amanda Bennett & Megan Torzyn

This one’s a story worthy of a movie!

In 2010, 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 and he took a paternity test that confirmed 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.

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