Joel Madden

Madden in 2010, image by Joe Seer /

Birth Name: Joel Rueben Combs

Place of Birth: Waldorf, Maryland, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 11, 1979

Ethnicity: English, along with some Irish, Scottish, and German

Joel Madden is an American musician, record producer, actor, DJ, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He is the lead singer of rock band Good Charlotte.

Joel is the twin brother of musician Benji Madden. Joel is married to television personality Nicole Richie, with whom he has two children.

Joel’s paternal grandfather is Paul Roger Combs (the son of Leslie P. Combs and Nellie Pernicey Strickland). Joel’s grandfather Paul was born in North Carolina. Leslie was the son of James Carraway Combs and Florence Isabella Seymour. Nellie was the daughter of Eddie Miller Strickland and Mary Ginn.

Joel’s paternal grandmother is Jessie Marie Crews/Cruse (the daughter of William Joseph Cruse and Nattie/Mattie Nance). Jessie was born in North Carolina. William was the son of Barney Cruse and Susie Hill.

Joel’s maternal grandmother is Mary Ann Canter (the daughter of Hugh Mitchell Canter and Regina Inez Willett). Hugh, an Assemblies of God minister, was the son of Andrew Mitchell Canter and Ola Rymple Scott. Regina was the daughter of William Washington Willett and Lilla Mae Robey. Joel’s Canter line traces to William Canter, who was born, c. 1655, in England.

A writer for Heeb Magazine has stated that Joel’s maternal grandmother was born Jewish, and later converted to Christianity. Joel’s brother Josh has also stated that their maternal grandmother is of Jewish heritage. This statement is not accurate. Joel’s maternal grandmother is not of Jewish background.

Sources: Marriage record of Joel’s paternal grandparents, Paul Roger Combs and Jessie Marie Crews/Cruse –

Obituary of Joel’s maternal step-grandfather, Leon James Hanback –

Joel’s maternal great-grandparents, Hugh Mitchell Canter and Regina Inez Willett, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

9 Responses

  1. Capricious says:

    He also looks Italian

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