I recently posted a concert review about Sting and his opening act, Joe Sumner.
The comments for the article mentioned several other musicians who similarly have offspring in the music business.
That prompted me to start wondering. How common a phenomenon is this? And have any of the progeny been as successful or more successful than their parents?
The names started coming to me immediately. Let’s have a look!
Let’s start with The Beatles:
All four of them have at least one son in music, and John has two.
Julian Lennon has had some chart success, and Zak Starkey is currently drumming for The Who. The others, not so much. Of course, no matter how successful they might be, there will never be anyone who could really compare to The Fabs.
The same thing applies to Jakob Dylan:
He has done well, but there is only one “voice of a generation, and first songwriter ever to earn a Nobel Prize in Literature: it’s his father, not him.
And then there’s Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie:
She could never have matched The King, even if she had been wildly successful on the charts, which she… wasn’t.
Bob Marley has several musical children…
…and at least one grandson in music, with Ziggy being the best known, but it seems unlikely that any of them will come to define a genre, or bring worldwide exposure to a formerly fairly obscure religion.
But what if your parent isn’t a legendary icon, but instead, merely a decade spanning rock star?
Has anyone been humming Alexa Ray Joel’s latest? No? What about James Jagger?
London Hudson (son of Slash)? Elijah Blue Allman got a double shot of musical genes through Cher and Gregg Allman. But so far, he has failed to carve out any significant career of his own.
Of course, there are some who have made more of a splash than others. Wolfgang Van Halen got his start in his dad’s band, but has formed his own band, Mammoth WVH, and is currently touring as a headliner.
Then there are the children of musicians who have never quite reached star status, but who have been around a long time, making music for a living. The comparisons here are a bit different.
Rufus Wainwright’s career compares very favorably to that of his father, Loudon III. The talented Jeff Buckley unfortunately died at a very young age. He seemed to be poised to be at least as successful, if not more so, than his father Tim.
And lot of people know of Ravi Shankar, but more people have heard Norah Jones’ music.
I have pretty much stuck to pop, rock, and a little bit of folk. When you get into country, the list of musicians following in the musical footsteps of their parents and grandparents is long.
Hank Williams alone, at current count, has eight (8)! descendants in music.
Even attempting to get into this genre would make this a book instead of an article.
Who did I leave out that you would have included? Do you disagree with any of my conclusions?
Let’s talk it out in the comments!
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