Maybe They’re Born With It: 10 Current Artists with Musical Parents
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Whether by way of genetics or inspiration, many of today’s stars are influenced by their parents who tested the waters of the music industry before having kids. Plenty of musicians have family ties to recording industry greats. Jaden & Willow Smith are the free-spirited pair, carrying on the show business legacies of parents Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith who have been making strides for over two decades now.
R&B singer and rapper Quincy Brown is aiming to fill the shoes of his father, hip-hop mogul P. Diddy, while Miley Cyrus has taken her career from television into music following her father Billy Ray. Though rock legend Lenny Kravitz is still enjoying shine for his role in The Hunger Games, his daughter Zoë has gained a following in the indie scene as the lead singer of Lolawolf. This list highlights those who have come into prominence on the heels of their parents making music. Here are ten current musicians who got it from their mamas (and papas).
1. Julio Iglesias & Enrique Iglesias
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A hopeless romantic dominating internationally since the 1970s, Julio Iglesias has made hits with chart toppers including Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross. This gift for love songs was passed along to his son Enrique who has gone on to sell over 100 million albums worldwide, with 26 No. 1 Spanish-language singles on Billboard’s Latin Hot Tracks.
2. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith & Jaden, Willow Smith
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One of the biggest sensations in music and film, Will Smith is the definition of a show business household name. With his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith also making strides in both fields, it’s no surprise that their children Jaden and Willow have taken on these interests. Between Willow’s debut album 3 that followed her massive hit, “Whip My Hair” and Jaden’s selection of SoundCloud songs like “Beast Mode” getting millions of plays online, their family’s musical legacy continues to shine brightly.
3. P. Diddy & Quincy Brown
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Son of multimedia mogul P. Diddy, Quincy Brown has delved into modeling and film, but music is his true passion. His song "Stay Awhile," picked up buzz in 2012, and the recent “Friends First” featuring French Montana shot him back into the spotlight. This year, he followed his breakthrough single with “Record Straight,” and “Exotic,” a smooth R&B ballad with an assist from Bay Area singer G-Eazy. He was also featured as the lead in the Pepsi Pulse-produced music video for Jasmine V’s single, “Walk Away.” Though his career has just begun, sights are set high as he follows the blueprint of his iconic father figure.
4. Bob Marley & The Marley Family
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Bob Marley has been crowned a musical legend for his songs that are still relevant about the worldwide struggle for human rights and recognition. Carrying on his name, Damian Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock went gold domestically while Ky-Mani Marley appeared on “Electric Avenue” alongside Pras of The Fugees. Julian Marley performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics representing Jamaica, and The Melody Makers (Stephen, Ziggy, Sharon and Cedella) have won all sorts of accolades including multiple GRAMMYs for Best Reggae Album.
5. Bruno Mars & The Love Notes
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Coming from a family of musicians, Bruno Mars got his start performing in his father’s band The Love Notes. At the early age of four, he sought to copy the best as his Elvis impersonations were popular in his native land of Hawaii. Since then, he has gone on to dominate pop culture as one of music’s leading men with an unavoidable presence on the radio and television.
6. Lenny Kravitz & Zoë Kravitz
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When rock guitar god Lenny Kravitz married actress Lisa Bonet, their union brought daughter Zoe to the world. Though Lenny has continued to dominate on stages like the Super Bowl, Zoe has built her own name from the ground up as a member of the band Elevator Fight and more recently Lolawolf.
7. Billy Ray Cyrus & Miley Cyrus
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When country music sensation Billy Ray Cyrus took over the world with “Achy Breaky Heart,” no one could have predicted his daughter becoming a star for a future generation. From television’s Hannah Montana role to creating hit songs with producer Mike WiLL Made-It, Miley Cyrus has proven to be a star across multiple forms of entertainment.
8. Kate McGarrigle & Rufus Wainwright
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Known for dominating the indie world, Rufus Wainwright has long had music in his genes as the son of folk singer Kate McGarrigle. Achieving big success in Canada before his career took off domestically, he has gone on to gain recognition in the pop and opera fields working with Jon Brion (producer on Kanye West’s Late Graduation).
9. Laurence, Mark and Samantha Ronson
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Having originally made his way into music as a DJ, Mark Ronson’s talents have taken him into production as he currently reigns supreme thanks to “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars. Ronson also worked with hitmakers including Amy Winehouse and Christina Aguilera. He is brother to DJ/musician Samantha, both of whom are children of music manager Laurence Ronson.
10. Olu Dara & Nas
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Son to jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas has become one of hip-hop’s all-time greatest emcees with a career now going on two decades now. Though they are masters of totally different genres, they have combined energy on Nas’ debut Illmatic as well as his hit song “Bridging The Gap.”
June 18, 2015 via Pepsi