It ain’t easy being the child of a famous musician I am sure. Just like being the kid of an actor or a famous athlete, there always seems to be a lot of pressure for that child to follow in their parent’s footsteps, and become the next guitar hero, all star QB, or the next Oscar nominee. Although in some cases, these children turn out to be wildly successful, most of them are exposed for exactly what they are … a money grubbing pile of no-talent ass clowns, attempting to ride the coattails of their parents fame their entire life. Generally after enough exposure this renders the rest of these types lives useless and withering away on some reality television show:
Luckily, the opposite does exist. In honor of The Wallflowers upcoming release and the fact that Jakob Dylan’s father, Ole’ Bobby Zimmerman himself, just released an album as well, we give you our greatest descendants list. To make this list easier on ourselves, we limited ourselves to direct descendants, so the offspring musician must directly be the son or daughter of the parent musician. Someday we will have to do the inverse of this list so we can have more fun with our pal ^Kelly up there. Onto the list:
10. Hank Williams Jr.- Son of Hank Williams
Easily the most dynamic duo on our list. Hank Jr, or Bocephus as he liked to be called, began his career by imitating his father … literally … he was essentially a Hank Williams cover act. After mild stints of success he started really going off the deep end. Other than “A Country Boy Can Survive” his only real claim to true stardom was the theme song for Monday Night Football in the late 80′s and early 90′s … and that’s exactly what got him on this list.
9. Arlo Guthrie – Son of Woody Guthrie
Contrary to Hank Jr., Arlo had a style that consistently matched his fathers almost identically. Most of his songs were politically or socially charged, and many of them can get fairly lengthy (his longest being nearly 19 minutes). His popularity peaked in the 60′s and 70′s with protest songs about the Vietnam and Watergate. The now 65-years young Guthrie still finds relevant issues to protest about to this day, whether it be a hurricane crisis or a financial one. Unfortunately, his fan base has dwindled down, but it’s good to know his father’s spirit still lives on 40+ years after his passing.
8. Jakob Dylan – Son of Bob Dylan
Try to name a song that captivates the year 1997 more so than “One Headlight” … if you are trying to do so I promise that you are currently killing brain cells. In fact, Bringing Down the House is still quite the 90′s staple if you ask me. Unfortunately neither The Wallflowers nor Jakob on his own ever matched it. That isn’t to say the rest of his stuff is bad, it’s just not quite on par. Jakob wins this list for having the hardest father to live up too (not including our misses, because Wes chose Master P’s son), but he did a damn fine job trying to do so in our opinion.
7. Charlotte Gainsbourg – Daughter of Serge Gainsbourg
Ole’ Serge really pumped out a gold mine with this one. Charlotte was a love child spawned out of a ten year non-marrage relationship between Serge and actress Jane Berkin. This is interesting because Charlotte not only pulled her mother’s great looks, but she also managed to come up with both of their talents. She is a wonderful musician, a beautiful singer, and a brilliant actress. Out of all Serge’s finest creations, this one takes the cake.
6. Enrique Iglesias – Son of Julio Iglesias
If their was ever spot deemed “too sexy”on these lists, this one goes uncontested. I mean, look at all that chest up there. To be honest, I fought hard to keep these latino love frenzy fools off the list, but I was powerfully overruled. Not only did Austin and Wes both demand he make it, they got him pushed up to the sixth spot somehow. I will say that for having a pop career that spans nearly twenty years, Enrique sure does do a great job finding ways to stay totally relevant.
5. Damian Marley – Son of Bob Marley
“Welcome to Jamrock” essentially brought Bob Marley back to the masses in a new light. The same rebellious spirit, the eye opening social issues it addressed, and yes the ganja, all with a new bombastic twist fused with some rap rhymes and hip hop. It was and still is the height of Damian’s career. Not until Snoop Lion’s pending release hits the shelf has there been nor will there be anything like in mainstream American music since its birth.
4. Nancy Sinatra – Son of Frank Sinatra
Nancy garnered this 4 spot for essentially ^this^ reason. Between that song and “These Boots”, we really couldn’t think of much else she had. But those tracks coupled with the fact that she is Frank’s daughter are badass enough reasons to pull her to the top. Nancy’s voice is haunting and her music style rings through with the same creepy essence. Just like Frank, she probably isn’t someone you’d want to cross swords with unless you want a swift kick in the head or to be walked all over. However, with a face like that, you certainly want to cross paths with her at some point.
3. Norah Jones – Daughter of Ravi Shankar
No wonder Norah is so brilliantly musically inclined. She was fathered by a man that inspired The freaking Beatles. I’m sure growing up with this man was more than just slightly weird, but it was obviously a very intellectual experience as well. The humbleness of her father is what shines through above all. Norah has never been one to top headlines or hell, even put her name on a marquee or playbill. Yet she has always been highly praised, highly respected, and universally loved in almost every form she takes on by everyone that hears her. Her voice is one of the best in modern times, and because of this as well as her musical intelligence, she gets invited to work with some of the best musicians and producers this country has to offer. We have her father to thank for both, but especially the latter I am sure.
2. Jeff Buckley – Son of Tim Buckley
The only voice on list comparable to Norah’s is the one and only Jeff Buckley. Both Jeff and his father Tim were not only great vocalists, but masterful musicians. It is one of the more unfortunate things to happen to music that both of their lives were cut so insanely short. Tim at 28, his son at 30. Neither of them even came close to amounting to their full potential, yet both stamped their mark so heavily on music culture that they will never be forgotten. Jeff really only had one true studio album, which is another 90′s staple. His second was a posthumous collection of songs that was actually partly recorded by (although not completely produced) Televisions Tom Verlanie. One of the greatest albums never made if you ask me. And Live at Sin-e is still one of the greatest live albums every put out by an artist. Jeff in his rawest form and his favorite venue … a small coffee cafe. Whoever was lucky enough to be in that audience witnessed a miracle.
1. Nasir Jones aka “Nas” – Son of Olu Dara
Unlike other musicians on this list, Nas and his father were actually lucky enough to record a track and music video together. And it’s a damn great track at that. For your money, you can’t find a better father son duo in music in my opinion. Just browsing through some of Olu’s work, it is no wonder his son is one of the most eclectic sounding and talented hip hop artists on the planet. I wish they would just do an entire album together already. If half the tracks came out as good as this one below, it would have the potential to be the best album released since that little phonographic needle was first invented.
The “just missed our list” list:
Austin: Miley Cyrus – Daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus
I’d like to go into detail of Austin’s obsession with Cyrus, but I’m afraid it is just too creepy and disgusting … and DO NOT think I am hinting that Austin is a pedophile because I am referring to his obsession with Billy Ray. Let’s just say his “goat” really gets Austin’s “goat”.
Wes: Lil’ Romeo – Son of Master P
Lil’Romeo didn’t leave his talent in the recording studio, he took it to the basketball court! But don’t worry, now that he is done ballin’ and pulled some stellar IMDb credits as well, he’s on his journey back to the top of the music charts with an album set to release in 2014. Wes is just happily awaiting the day like a pre-teen girl waiting for her first period.
Todd: Willow and Jaden Smith – Son and Daughter of Will (and Jada) Smith
Kanye West once said about Will Smith, “‘Cause every summer he’ll get some/Brand new hare-brained scheme to get rich from.” Truer words have never been spoken. And if his scheme isn’t an album of his or some huge blockbuster hit that he is starring in, it’s capitalizing on his kids. Between Willow’s skull crushing hit “I Whip My Hair” and Jaden’s upcoming album release, I’d say its safe to say music for the next generation is heading in the right direction. I mean how could it not be if you have Will Smith behind the steering wheel. They already have their music careers locked in and if some of those acting genes get passed down from their parents as well, look for the Smiths to be the richest family since The Waltons … hell they probably already are.