When you’re a celebrity kid with movie star parents, it’s hard to have a normal childhood. After all, with strangers constantly pestering your famous parents for pictures and autographs, it’s not long before you realize your boring mom and dad are actually huge mega stars!

For Alexa Ray Joel — the daughter of musician Billy Joel and model Christie Brinkley — for most of her childhood she had no idea her parents were famous.

alexa ray joel

Christie, Alexa, and Billy in 1988.

“My parents tried to shield me from how famous they were when I was growing up on Long Island,” she told New York magazine back in 2010. “I had no idea [they were famous]. When everybody said ‘Hello, Billy! Hello, Christie!’ — I just thought they were popular.”

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Alexa, 31 — who is a musician just like her dad, and even performed a cover of her father’s song, “Just The Way You Are,” on the Today show in 2016 —
admits that being the daughter of two famous parents has its downsides.

“It’s tough to live in that shadow,” she said. “I’ve been pushing and pulling and I’m still fighting my way out of it.”

“It took me a minute — being the daughter of such iconic figures, it took some growing into,” she said on the Today show. “You’re exposed to the spotlight at such a young age and that, of course, can be challenging… But I made it through.”

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Billy and Christie ended their marriage when Alexa was only 9 years old. Fortunately, her parents still get along and are both supportive of her burgeoning music career.

“I worked a long time to get good at what I’m doing,” she said, “and nobody handed me a recording contract because of who my father is.”

Check out the gallery to see more celebrity kids who had no idea how famous their parents were!