Fergie and Josh Duhamel welcomed their son Axl in 2013
The former couple welcomed their son, Axl Jack, 10, four years into their marriage on Aug. 29, 2013.
Though Fergie and Duhamel announced their separation in September 2017 and finalized their divorce in November 2019, they have settled into a co-parenting groove as working parents. The “Big Girls Don’t Cry” singer opened up to reporters in January 2018 about her own experience managing a healthy balance between motherhood and her career.
“As any hard-working mom knows, it is a delicate balancing act that I have to be juggling all of the time with the different schedules, the family schedules, the work schedules,” she explained. “I’m constantly having to have boundaries, make sure that all of those hours are in and it’s a balanced lifestyle because I’ve got so much on my plate that sometimes I’m just a tired mom!”
Now, Axl has been following the passions of his parents, including taking acting classes, appearing in a music video with his mom and playing sports.
Read on to learn more about Fergie and Josh Duhamel’s son, Axl.
He’s a Virgo
Fergie and Duhamel welcomed Axl on Aug. 29, 2013, weighing in at 7 lbs, 10 oz.
Fergie told PEOPLE in April 2013 that her pregnancy had her feeling a range of emotions, sharing that it had “been easy, hard — it’s been everything.” Ultimately, the singer described her pregnancy as “very happy.”
At the time, Fergie praised Duhamel for his tendencies as a father-to-be, telling PEOPLE that he was “going to be an amazing father” and had “natural parenting instincts.” During her pregnancy, Fergie said Duhamel was “amazing,” adding, “He’s so nice and wonderful, and he sings and talks to my belly all of the time ... I’m very lucky that he is really good to me.”
He’s named after Axl Rose
Fergie and Duhamel drew inspiration from the Guns N' Roses frontman for their son’s first name. When Axl was 3 months old, she told Ellen DeGeneres the story of how his name came to be on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“I had this dream I was in the audience at this festival,” she told DeGeneres. “On stage singing was Jim Morrison, and then came Bob Marley, and then Axl Rose. I was in heaven in this dream. I’m dancing and just getting into the music and all of a sudden BOOM! BOOM! And I wake up and it’s the first time my son kicked me in the stomach and it was like he was feeling the music with me. I started crying.”
Fergie said that she had woken up Duhamel from his sleep to tell him the details of her dream. At the time, Fergie and Duhamel had already decided on his middle name, Jack, after Fergie’s late uncle, who had died the year prior. Duhamel cycled through various versions of names based on the artists in Fergie’s dream. When it came to “Axl Jack,” Duhamel told her that was the name for their son.
"It just had this ring to it," she added.
Fergie also has a special nickname for her son – Punky Pie — “because he loves pumpkin pie!”
Fergie and Duhamel kept their son’s name private until his birth
Before Axl was born, Fergie and Duhamel kept Axl’s name under wraps from everyone, including Fergie’s family.
“Some people may not like it, some people may think it’s really cool, but we don’t really care — that’s why we’re not telling anybody,” the actor told PEOPLE in July 2013. “We’re not even telling [Fergie’s] mom because we don’t want to hear anything about it. That way you don’t feel like you’re second-guessing yourself. It’s between us — it’s a sacred thing.”
Duhamel thought he’d be having a daughter
Duhamel recalled the moment he and Fergie found out she was expecting their first child together during a January 2023 interview with Fatherly. The Shotgun Wedding star found out Fergie was pregnant via a phone call from their nurse, describing the moment as “pure joy.”
“I thought for sure I was going to have a daughter because I have three sisters, I have a female cat, a female dog, there’s females all around me, so I figured I’d just have another one,” Duhamel said. “When she said boy, it was like it didn’t register. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.”
His parents put him first
Since Fergie and Duhamel split in 2017, the former couple have been co-parenting their son. In the weeks following their separation, Fergie opened up to The Talk about how she and Duhamel were raising their Axl.
“I love Josh,” she said. “We’re making it work. We’re both working full time right now. We are just making it happen. We’ve got Axl and we’re just working parents.”
Duhamel told Dax Shepard on a December 2018 episode of the Armchair Expert podcast that despite the couple’s ultimate split, their relationship evolved positively while they settled into a co-parenting routine with Axl.
“Fergie and I had a great relationship,” he said. “I love that girl and I always will. Unfortunately, we didn’t work. But I will always have her back and she is the mother of my baby.”
He's going to be a big brother
Axel has been an only child for a long time ... but he's going to be a big brother soon!
In September 2023, Duhamel and his wife, Audra Mari, announced that they're expecting their first baby together. The next day, during an appearance on Live with Kelly and Mark, Duhamel talked about how Axel feels about the new addition.
"He's very excited," the actor said. "I don't think he quite understands that it's actually real. He will once he sees this little thing in front of him. I think I'm probably the same."
He added that Axel has even been considering baby names. "He wants to name the baby Gary," Duhamel shared.
Josh won’t push Axl into acting
Though Duhamel has been an actor for nearly three decades, he's fine if his son doesn't follow in his footsteps. Duhamel told E! News in March 2023 that while Axl was interested in a wide range of hobbies, which included acting, he wouldn’t “push him towards anything.”
"I just try to expose him to a bunch of different things," Duhamel said. "I know for sure he's very creative. He's an excellent little drawer. He loves his little drama class where they put plays on but, you know, who knows? He could be an engineer. He loves to tinker with a bunch of recycled junk."
Duhamel told Fatherly that it seems like Axl will gravitate toward acting as a career path, adding, “He loves it. He’s in his little theater class; he likes to do it.”
“He can do whatever he wants when he’s old enough,” he added. “But he’s not going to be a child actor. He’s not going to be auditioning or getting an agent or anything until he can do it on his own. I want him to be a kid.”
He has appeared in his mom’s projects
Like Duhamel, Fergie allows her son to pursue his passions and interests without pushing him toward a specific career path. His creative pursuits don’t just include drawing and drama classes — Axl has a musical side, too.
“Axl sings around the house all the time,” Fergie said on ITV’s Lorraine. “He’s featured on one song, ‘Enchanté’ — that was honestly because I brought the song home and I was listening to it and he started singing it.”
However, she emphasized that she “would never have him do anything he didn’t want to do,” adding, “He was having fun with it. I just kind of put the phone there on record and when I brought it home and played it for him, he went, ‘It’s me!’ ”
Even as a kid, Fergie said Axl responded to music. She told PEOPLE that when Axl was an infant, she and Duhamel would pen “little ditties” and sing the songs to their son. She explained, “He is very responsive to the songs. He starts kicking and he’s smiling, and he tries to make noise and sing along. It’s amazing. He loves our songs!”
Over the years, Axl has come to set with his mom, sitting in on a taping of the short-lived singing competition The Four. He also made a small cameo in the music video for Fergie’s song “A Little Work,” with the singer calling the decision “really natural.”
“We had planned to just film it whether he wanted to come or not — I just missed my son and wanted him to come to set!” she said, adding that he was “completely into it.”
He’s interested in sports
Duhamel has been raising Axl to be a sports fan just like him. Over the years, Axl has watched football games at home with his dad and gone on several outings to Los Angeles Dodgers games.
The Life As We Know It actor opened up to DeGeneres in February 2018 about how both he and Fergie were introducing their son to different hobbies. The actor explained, “He is in hip-hop class, and I also have him in tee-ball starting this week, which is gonna be awesome. Mom puts him in hip-hop clothes, I put him in tee-ball clothes.”
By the time Axl turned 9, Duhamel said his son had finally garnered his own interest in sports. He told PEOPLE in March 2023, “He's starting to get into it finally. I didn't think he was ever going to get into it, but he really loves basketball now.”
"He likes to throw the football around with me a little bit. I try not to be overbearing with him in sports, but I try to let him find it rather than me push it on him," he added. "It's taken him a long time and it's actually been a little bit frustrating, 'cause I was thinking he was going to be like me, but he's getting there. He likes it.”
Josh wants him to know his roots
After Duhamel grew up in North Dakota, he wanted to instill his love of his home state into his son. Duhamel told PEOPLE in February 2016 that he hoped to help Axl understand his Midwestern roots despite living in Los Angeles.
“I took him with me this summer; he was 2 years old,” Duhamel said. “It was an opportunity for me to spend eight days with him just traveling around. But I wanted to give him an idea of who I am. Where I’m from is part of me, so it’s part of him, too. We got to see every single relative we have as we went through the state. It was a really special thing to share with him.”
When Axl was younger, Duhamel would take him back to North Dakota several times each year, telling PEOPLE it was important for him to get Axl “excited about the adventures of the great outdoors.”
Axl has embraced his outdoorsy side since he was a kid, with Duhamel telling DeGeneres that his son had taken up collecting sticks at one point. He explained, “He collects sticks, and to him, they’re something. He doesn’t want to go anywhere without them because they’re either a sword or a magic wand.”
Fergie says he is "outgoing"
In honor of Axl's 10th birthday in 2023, Fergie shared rare snaps of her son on Instagram, including both silly and serious photos of Axl in recent years. In her short but sweet caption, she described Axl as "caring, funny, outgoing, loving, smart, talkative, creative super hero enthusiast."
She continued, "Happy 10th birthday punky!!! I love you Axl Jack."
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