“I am so proud of Nicole and Joel,” boasted second-time grandfather Lionel Richie, at the UNSF’s An Evening of Stars Saturday, honoring the legendary singer, just days after his daughter Nicole Richie, 27, and Joel Madden, 30, welcomed son Sparrow James Midnight into the world.
“[Nicole] is the happiest woman ever. She is just in total control,” he said. “I’m the one that’s nervous!”
How is Sparrow’s big sis Harlow Winter Kate, 20 months, adjusting to her new sibling? “Harlow right now is enjoying the baby until she finds out it’s staying,” jokes Lionel.
And, indeed Sparrow is truly one of the family. “He looks just like Harlow,” says grandpa. “All babies sort of look the same as their siblings, but this is identical.” Which parent does Sparrow resemble most? “Mom did that,” Lionel says firmly.
Continuing his spoiling tradition, the singer says he already brought the baby a “football helmet and cleats.” But admits that he’s a little ahead of the game. “They told me it wasn’t time yet,” he says with a laugh.
Determined for his grandson to be a brash boy, Lionel says, “Sparrow may not be the football playing name, but he’ll get bruised somewhere in the game.”
Though his excitement peaked when becoming a grandfather the first time — “When I hear the words Papa or Popi, forget about it,” says Lionel of Harlow’s names for him — he says his second grandchild has him feeling “just over the top!”
— Jessica Herndon