Dan Reynolds couldn’t be more excited about his baby boy on the way — his daughters, on the other hand, weren’t as on board from the start.
Ahead of being honored at the 2019 BMI Pop Awards on Tuesday night, the Imagine Dragons frontman told PEOPLE on the red carpet that his eldest daughter, 6-year-old Arrow, was the hardest hit by the baby news.
“Arrow was pretty upset,” Reynolds, 31, said. “I told her she was having a brother and you know what she said to me? I can’t tell you all of this story because it puts someone on blast but she said, ‘I really don’t want to have a brother if it’s like … and then she said a boy that she knows, but if it’s like River — which is [my bandmate Daniel Wayne Sermon’s] son — then I’m okay with it.’ “
He added, “She was almost in tears about it. I said, ‘Our son will be like River, I promise.’ I really hope that’s true!”
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In preparation for his son, who is due in October, Reynolds — who, along with Arrow, also shares twin daughters Gia and Coco, 2, with wife Aja Volkman, 32 — has been taking tips from Sermon, who is father to sons River, 4, and Wolfgang, 3, and daughter Sunnie, 7 months.
“I’m a little nervous,” Reynolds said. “I don’t know what to expect, but Wayne has some boys so I’ve sat down and got some parenthood advice. He’s a great father. My wife has to bear the brunt of it right now so she’s a badass.”
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As to what kind of advice he’s been giving Reynolds, Sermon, 34, said, “Get ready for a lot of Hot Wheels, Blaze, Paw Patrol!”
At the BMI Pop Awards, the band was honored with the President’s Award for their incredible creative accomplishments and commitment to philanthropic efforts that bring awareness to social injustice.
In addition to the President’s Award, two of their singles, “Thunder,” which recently reached a milestone of more than one billion streams, and “Whatever It Takes” from the group’s third album Evolve, were recognized among the evening’s top-performed songs of the past year.
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While accepting the honor, Reynolds gave a speech to the crowd about how “lucky” he and bandmates Sermon, Ben McKee, 34, and Daniel Platzman, 32, have been.
“We’ve had very beautiful, privileged lives,” he said. “My dad is in his 60s, and he’s still working. He has worked 9 to 5’s since I was a little kid so that I could have a microphone when I was 13 to make music. He’d put on his headphones and I would play him terrible, terrible music that a 13-year-old was writing in middle school. The first song was called ‘All By Himself.’ It was five minutes of a teenager going through puberty … It was this big lamenting thing from this middle-class kid who had this amazing life. When my dad listened, he took off his headphones and said, ‘This is really great. You should continue to do this.’ I remember thinking, ‘Wow.’ “
“That was a turning point for me,” he continued. “I literally was just going to be like, ‘Eh, I think that was bad. I’m going to go do something else.’ But then my dad believed in it and so I did it. And now we’re on this stage and we’ve been given all this stuff and people are saying, ‘Good job of giving back a little bit of money. Good job with your incredible privilege of raising awareness.’ “
Reynolds then took a moment to call out his wife, whom he reconciled with in January after separating nine months earlier in April 2018.
“I’m married to this incredible woman who has been working her ass off for a long time in the industry and our industry is still diversifying, it’s still trying to … make it easier for women like my wife, who was told to sexualize herself for years and she didn’t,” he said.
The band wrapped up their appearance by performing acoustic versions of their hits “It’s Time,” “Believer” and “Radioactive.”
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