October 30, 2021

Roy Orbison Lost 2 Sons but Is Survived by 3 More - Meet the Singer’s 3 Handsome Kids

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The man with the distinct voice nicknamed "The Big O" and the "the Caruso of Rock" suffered the tragic loss of two sons but left behind three handsome men who cherish his legacy. Meet them.

Roy Orbison is a name that will forever be cherished in the music industry. His unique voice made him one of the most beloved rock entertainers, especially with female fans who were once dragged off him.

Orbison sold several hit records, toured the globe, reached continents like Europe, and enjoyed fame at its peak. He rubbed shoulders with Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley and was an inspiration to singers like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney. 


American singer, guitarist and musician Roy Orbison (1936-1988) performs on "Thank Your Lucky Stars" television show for ABC Weekend Television at Alpha Studios in February 1965 [left]. Roy Orbison's grandkids [right[ | Photo: Getty Images

During his prime, the musician lost his first wife and their two sons. This tragedy was painful, but Orbison found a way to keep going.


He continued to work and also established another family with love and affection. Before the end of his journey on earth, he was working on redeeming his fame that had dwindled over the years.

His last project, "You Got It," topped the chart, but fans could not hear more of his works after 1988. Still, his legacy built in his early years remains untarnished, following the works of his three sons.



Roy Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas, to hard-working parents; his mom worked as a nurse, while his dad was a car mechanic and an oil driller. The couple had two other kids.

 As a young boy, Orbison knew he wanted to be a musician after receiving a guitar gift. It did not take long before the young guitar player improved on his skills and decided to add some impressive vocals to his music. 

Orbison gained some tactics from other famous names like Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams and started singing at local shows.


In high school, the youngster decided to join a band named "Wink Westerners." The group gained prominence in their locality and earned money for performing in gigs.

As he got older, he surrounded himself with music geniuses like Elvis Presley and soon presented one of his skills— songwriting, to a famous group called "The Everly Brothers."

They teamed up, making incredible music that was highly consumed and enjoyed by the public. Writing came at no cost for Orbison, who would usually alienate himself from everyone, to tap into his inner mind, with an end product of impeccable lyrics webbed in creativity.


While making music for the masses, he also penned down some personal stories in his content. One of such was his song about his first wife, Claudette, titled "Oh Pretty Woman."


Orbison was married to Claudette for some time. Their marriage was plagued with neglect from the singer's end, as he was always on the road, touring and trying to follow his passion for music.

This caused his wife to be unfaithful, and they separated in 1964, only to be reunited briefly. Unfortunately, after the reunion, Claudette died in Orbison's arms; she was involved in a ghastly motorbike accident.



Orbison was saddened but continued working; after all, he had his three sons from their union to look after. During one of his tours to Europe, the father of three received news that two of his sons had died back at home.

His two eldest, Roy Dewayne, 10, and Anthony, 6, suffered a fire incident in their home. Thankfully, the youngest, Wesley, was with his grandparents, so he escaped the tragic death.

The siblings died at their residence in Hendersonville, Summer County, Tennessee, burned to the ground. They were buried in Woodlawn Memorial Park and Mausoleum Nashville. 

Portrait of musician Roy Orbison, with his wife Claudette and son Roy Jr, in the gardens at Dolphin Square, London, April 9th 1964 | Photo: Images



After the tragic deaths, Orbison married a German lady, Barbara Jakobs. The pair were together until his untimely death in 1988, and they shared two sons, Roy Jr. and Alexander.

Orbison was affected by the tragedies that befell him, his fame declined in the 1970s, but he reignited his passion for music around 1980. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

By 1988, the songwriter died from a heart attack. He had suffered discomfort around his chest for a long time, and although he spoke about it, the singer never visited the hospital for a check-up.





Orbison was survived by three sons who have consciously upheld their dad's legacy by following in his footsteps. The trio has successful careers in the music industry and has focused on celebrating the legendary singer.

Their recent works include a book titled "The Authorized Roy Orbison" and a show "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra."

For the Philharmonic Orchestra, the men involved Orbison's musical inclined grandson Roy III, and they played alongside the singer's vocals on hit tracks titled "Only the Lonely," "Love Hurts," and "Oh Pretty Woman."



Working as a team has helped the family understand Orbison's personality. Wesley, the eldest, has the repository of details concerning their dad, especially how he handled his tragedies.

When asked, they mentioned that everybody had a role in interpreting their dad's story, and through these projects, they get to share their relationship with their father.



Roy Orbison Jr. is the first child from Orbison's second marriage. Like his dad, Roy Jr. is a musician who also works as a record producer. He is a happy family man who has established a strong connection with his father's best friend, Johnny Cash's family.

During his wedding to his wife, Asa Hallgren, with whom he shares two kids, Cash's son John Carter officiated the event. Carter is also his buddy.

Apart from music, Roy Jr. is also interested in reality TV. The singer and his family have appeared in the BRAVO series "Below Deck Med Favorite: Roy Orbison Jr. and his amazing family."




Alex, the third living child and second from Orbison's marriage, is an accomplished singer, producer, publisher, author, and movie director.

He was introduced to music at a very early age, and like the "Oh Pretty Woman," star fell in love with instruments. The youngster formed a band called "Backbone" during his teenage years and toured with the group.




Wesley is the only surviving son from Orbison's first marriage. He was three at the time of the fire incident. Wesley watched his father closely, so it was not surprising when he showcased his interest in music.

Wesley also has a close bond with his younger brothers, despite their birth differences. The men are very close and tend always to work together.

While Orbison lived a short life, reaching his untimely end at 52, he has sons who cherish his legacy and have dedicated their lives to honoring him decades after his death.

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