The concept can be expressed in different ways. It runs in the family. As a father (or mother), as a son (or daughter). The apple never falls far from the tree. In all cases, we are talking about either hereditary traits or learned abilities that have been passed down from parent to child.
It is natural that if you grow up in a household full of creativity, something will spread to the children, whether it is something in their genes (nature) or just because of what is going on around them (nurture ). if your parents are musical, then there is a very good chance that you will also become musical.
Now imagine that mom and / or dad is a famous musician. Cool people always look in. There are tours and time in the studio and parties and industry events. How could you not be affected by this environment? You just fall into the lifestyle. You learn to play and write and perform. And because your parents have some connections and relationships within the industry, you may have an inside line about establishing a career for yourself.
Musical parents do not always mean musical children. But creativity can run in the family. For example, Duncan Bowie (originally christened Zowie by his parents, David and Angels Bowie) ran film production. Back in the 1960s, Jerry Lewis ‘son, Gary, avoided acting and comedy and instead formed a successful pop band in the’ 60s called Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Patrick Schwarzenegger has acted a bit like his father, but his main occupation has been running a clothing company.
However, the list of musical offspring is very long and gets longer each year. Jason Bonham is the drummer’s son of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. Norah Jones is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, the Beatles’ favorite guitar player. There’s Roseanne Cash, daughter of Johnny. Sean and Julian Lennon are both sons of John. Four of Frank Zappa’s five children have had musical careers. R&B singer Stella Santana is the daughter of Carlos. Miley is the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. Adam Cohen is the son of Leonard. Carnie and Wendy Wilson are the daughters of Beach Boys’ Brian. And recently, Wolfgang Van Halen is following in the footsteps of his father, Eddie.
Here are a few more with a few that may have escaped your attention so far.
1. Jakob Dylan
Okay, so you probably know about this relationship. Jacob is the son of Bob and Sara Dylan. Although he was the son of the world’s most famous folk singer, he preferred punk when he was growing up, and got deep into The Clash and the Buzzcocks. A couple of bands followed, along with an interrupted attempt at the design school in New York. In 1989, he was in LA with a band called The Apples, which would soon turn into The Wallflowers.
Their first album did not bother any charts or radio station playlists, but the second, To bring the horse down, was a big hit. Jakob, the only consistent member of the band, has won Grammys, hosted TV specials and toured the world with people like Tom Petty and, uh, Dad.
2. Joey and Jackob Armstrong
Billie Joe Armstrong met Adrienne Nesser in 1990, just as Green Day started. Their first child, Joseph Marciano Armstrong (named after Joey Ramone and Rocky Marciano), joined in February 1995. Three years later, Jakob Danger Armstrong appeared.
Both boys took after their father. Joey was the first to form a band that first became known as Emily’s Army, a version of which featured Jacob on bass. Eventually, each went their separate ways with their own groups.
Joey’s current band is called SWMRS and has been recording some material over the last five years.
Meanwhile, Jacob’s latest project is called Ultra Q. They sound a bit like The Strokes.
3. Eli Hewson
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When he was born, Eli was christened Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q Hewson by his parents Paul and Ally. Paul Hewson is, of course, the real name of U2’s Bono. Although Dad was one of the biggest rock stars in the known universe, Eli did not realize that there was something special about his dad until he was 10. Even then, it took him three more years to get into music.
In 2012, he and some schoolmates formed Inhaler with Eli in front. No one in the group is interested in getting help from the singer’s relatives – and vice versa. Eli tells a story about how the band was in London and found out that their Airbnb was not available. Eli called his mother and asked, “Hey, do you know of any good hotels?” Mom replied, “Well, there’s always a bench in the park.”
Inhaler shows lots of promises. And yes, Eli sounds a lot like Dad.
4. Levi Evans
Levi, who grew up next to Eli, is the only son of The Edge from U2. For the longest time, Levi stayed away from the limelight, even though he received some guitar and piano lessons from his father. For a while, he was happy to just post his musical reflections on Instagram. The feedback was enough for him to start recording under the name Mutlee, which contained his rapeseed and rhyme. In 2021, he rebranded under his own name with a change in style. This was his debut single in this new phase of his career.
5. Zak Starkey
If your dad was a drummer in The Beatles, it seems logical that you would also become a drummer. Zak received his first drum kit as a gift from Keith Moon, who was also his godfather. Dad gave him exactly one lesson, while at the same time trying to convince him to become a doctor or a lawyer. It did not work.
First came a garage band called The Next, followed by a concert in a reformed version of The Spencer Davis Group. Then Dad got him to perform with his All-Starr Band, which was Zak’s start working as a drummer for hire with a host of other artists, including Johnny Marr from The Smiths. He has also played with The Who, The Waterboys, Icicle Works and the Hollywood Vampires. And then there was the period when he was kept time for Oasis.
6. Suspect208 / S8nt Electrical
Unfortunately, the group never really got a chance to lift itself. Consisting of Ty Trujillo (son of Metallica’s bassist, Robert), London Hudson (Slash’s child) and Noah Weiland (son of Scott of Stone Temple Pilots) fell apart because Noah could not hold it together long enough for the band to rehearse sig. (As a father as a son, right?) Too bad, because they sounded good.
When the band broke up, London and his bandmate, Niko Tsangaris, formed S8nt Elektric. They are not bad either.
Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada, started releasing music when she was only 10 years old, and had a Top 15 pop hit with “Whip My Hair. This led to a deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, which resulted in more more singles from three albums.Her fourth album, released in 2021, showed a big change of direction with a more pop-punk approach.And who is better to help than Travis Barker from Blink-182?
Here are some more sons / daughters working in the wings.
Frances Bean Cobain: She has sent song excerpts online (like this tune, Angel) for years now. It is clear that she has talent just like her famous parents, but she has not released anything yet.
Toni Cornell: Chris’ daughter has been performing since his death. Her duet with her father on Nothing compares 2 U is nothing short of amazing.
Violet Grohl: Dave’s eldest daughter is also threatening a musical career. Dad even got her to sing on this song, Nausea.
Myles and Layne Ulrich: With Myles on drums and his little brother Layne on bass, the sons of Metallica’s drummer are currently working together in a band called Taipei Houston, where they create a sound that falls somewhere between The White Stripes and Royal Blood. Expect to hear more from them over the next year or so.
Olivia Vedder: Last year, Eddie’s daughter appeared on the film’s soundtrack Flag Day sings a song called My Father’s Daughter. A sign of things to come?
Alan Cross is a broadcaster with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.
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