Surprise, Creed’s Scott Stapp Is a Grandpa — and a ‘Proud One at That!’ (Exclusive)

The Creed rocker opens up about life with grandson Cash, 6 months

Creed rocker Scott Stapp wrote the band’s signature hit “With Arms Wide Open” upon learning his wife was pregnant with his first child in 1998.

Now, that child, son Jagger, is all grown up — and a dad himself, meaning Stapp is a grandfather!

“I have a beautiful, beautiful grandson,” the singer, 50, tells PEOPLE. “I don’t feel like a grandpa! I look at myself and I’m like, when I was a kid, grandpas had gray hair and a cane. So maybe it’s the food and the vitamins and everything else we’ve learned on how to better take care of ourselves. But a grandpa I am. And a proud one at that.”

Stapp’s son Jagger, 25, and his wife welcomed a baby boy named Cash in September, and the star says the family is “doing great.” Stapp and his wife Jaclyn are also parents to daughter Milan, 17, and sons Daniel, 13, and Anthony, 6 (Jagger’s mom is Stapp’s ex-wife Hillaree Burns).

The singer — whose new solo album Higher Power is out now — says his children are his “purpose” in life, and that his difficult relationship with his stepfather inspired him to step up and “break the generational curse” when it came to fatherhood.

How Creed’s Scott Stapp Is Still ‘Holding on to Hope’ with New Music After a ‘Difficult Period’ (Exclusive)

“I feel like my role in my kids’ life is just to love and encourage and take care of them and let them know that I’m always going to be there for them no matter what,” he says. “They make me want to be a better man… I just want to make them proud, and be a father they can look up to and say, ‘That’s my dad. I’m proud of him.’”

Stapp has an especially tight bond with Milan, whom he says is the most musically inclined of his kids, as she records her own music and plays several instruments. “Her being that dialed into music, it’s definitely kept a connection there between us that I cherish and I’m glad and I’m thankful for,” he says. “My daughter is the coolest ever.”

Creed Frontman Scott Stapp Celebrates His Sobriety with Empowering New Song ‘Survivor’

Finding common ground with Jagger took a bit longer. Now sober after a difficult road that included substance abuse issues, Stapp admits his oldest son saw a different side than his younger kids did; in 2015, Stapp told PEOPLE Jagger was “angry” with him amid a difficult stretch.

Since then, Stapp says Jagger has dealt with some struggles of his own, which ended up helping repair their bond, as it gave Jagger a better understanding of Stapp.

“They don’t know a dad that was battling demons, but Jagger did,” he says. “And ironically, without getting into too much, Jagger had some things that he went through. I think with that common shared experience, it brought some clarity and understanding to him and definitely brought some forgiveness… It gave him a deeper understanding, and we have the ability to connect on that and have a mutual understanding and support each other.”

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