Roger Daltrey recently told how he discovered he’d had three children without knowing about them until he was in his fifties. The Who singer, now 74, fathered the kids after his divorce from first wife Jackie Rickman in 1968, and before his marriage to Heather Taylor in 1971.

Until they made contact with them, he thought he had five children, not eight.

“They all came into my life after my 50th birthday,” Daltrey told the Mirror, noting he was sad to discover that all three had been adopted after birth. “It was great – it’s all worked out. They stay in touch and they’re close. … I’ve tried to do my best about a situation that couldn’t change because it happened a long time ago.”

He described Heather – the subject of the Jimi Hendrix song “Foxy Lady” – as “amazing” for her understanding of his unfaithful lifestyle in his earlier years. “To find a woman who understood what this business was like, who I was and who we were, and to accept that and still want to be with me when I came home was a gift from the universe,” he said. “Whether that’s an open marriage or just a matter of being honest with her, because I was never going to be the perfect husband in that sense. ... So when I come back off tours, we don’t talk about it. She accepted that.”

He added that people "can criticize it, you can say whatever. But all I can say is, whatever we did, it worked because we’ve been together for 50 years and I’m starting to like it.”

Daltrey explained that he left first wife Jackie to “follow my dream” of a music career. “I was correct in my behavior even though it felt terrible to do it and deeply upset my parents,” he recalled. “In my head, what was going on was, ‘If I can make this work, I can look after everyone in my family – Jackie, Simon my son, Mum, Dad, everyone. I can give them all a better life.’

“And that’s what happened. But to do what I had to do was very, very hard. And I had to be a shit to do it. I’m very close to Simon now. Jackie married again and had two other kids. The whole tribe of us used to go on holiday together. So yes, I made mistakes. Yes, I was an arsehole. But I learned from it. And I became the person I am today, which is a totally different character than it was all those years ago.”