It’s always a father’s pride when their kids decide to follow in their foot steps. Their musical legacies go on. It may be hard to stay out of the lime light when they grow up exposed to all the talent and media attention. They may be the offsprings of legends but most of them have put in enough work to make a career for themselves. There is no doubt that they had an advantage of some open doors that the average kid did not have.
Back in the day, I was the stage manager for a very successful tour “Can’t Stop Rockin”. The headliners were Fleetwood Mac, REO Speedwagon, and Pat Bennatar. When I first arrived for rehearsals before the tour started, I heard this young girl singing on stage with Fleetwood. I commented to her that she reminded me so much of Bonnie Bramlett of the famed Delaney & Bonnie duo. She (Bekka) laughed and said to me “probably because I am Bonnie’s daughter. Currently, she is a session singer, songwriter, and backing vocalist, working with many artists, including Faith Hill, Robert Plant, Warrant, Trace Adkins, Buddy Guy, Vince Gill and Sam Moore
John Lennon: John Lennon’s oldest son Julian with first wife Cynthia debut his musical talents at 11 years old when he played drums on the song “Ya-Ya” from his father’s album Walls and Bridges. He’s also the inspiration behind The Beatles’ classics “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, “Hey Jude”, and “Good Night”. It was John who gave Julian his first guitar and also taught him how to play. The similarity between the sound of his voice to his father’s pushed him into pursuing a career in music. His debut album Valotte, released in 1994, went platinum and was nominated for a Grammy Award. His singles hit the top of the charts as well. Julian has continued to find success in the industry throughout his 30-year career. In 2013 he collaborated with Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler for the single “Someday”.
Sean Lennon is John’s only child with second wife Yoko Ono. Like his older half-brother Julian, Sean also followed in his father’s foot steps but more into exploring experimental rock and avante garde music. Sean has also collaborated with big names such as Lenny Kravitz, The Flaming Lips, Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes, and his own mother Yoko Ono. He also started his own record label Chimera Music, and has released three solo albums. He’s also had numerous singles used in film sound tracks.
Ringo Starr: Zak Starkey surely lives up not only to his name but also to the talent behind it. The son of the legendary Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (whose real name is Richard Starkey) inherited the rhythm of his father. Most musician parents would encourage and even teach their children to be musicians as well, but Ringo certainly did not. Starr only ever gave one drum lesson to his son Zak, wanting him to become a doctor or a lawyer and not be in the music business like himself. Starkey he taught himself how to play, with the guidance and encouragement of his godfather, The Who drummer Keith Moon who gave him his first drum kit at age eight. When Moon passed away, Starkey took his place as the drummer of The Who. Starkey has been playing with The Who and Oasis for decades since.
George Harrison: The only child of Beatles guitarist George Harrison and his wife Olivia was destined to tackle the path of music when his musician father named him after the sixth and seventh notes in the Indian music scale. It isn’t surprising at all that Dhani Harrison grew up to be a professional multi-instrumentalist musician and singer-songwriter. It’s not just in the name, it’s in his blood! He’s found success in his own right too. Dhani co-founded the indie rock group thenewno2, and is a member of the rock trio Fistful of Mercy along with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur. After his father’s death, he helped complete George’s final album “Brainwashed” with the Jeff Lynne.
Paul Mccartney: The Beatles’ legacy lives on. The only son of Beatles singer and guitarist Paul McCartney and his first wife Linda McCartney has been on the musical path since he was a tot. James McCartney, though the direct Beatles association surely helps, has gotten relative success as a musician and songwriter in his on right. James has already released two EPs and an album prior to his most recent second album which was just released last May 6, 2016. Inevitably, his own music was inspired by The Beatles but he cites hard rockers Nirvana, The Cure, PJ Harvey, and Radiohead as his musical influences as well.
Elvis Presley: The King of Rock N’ Roll‘s only princess (and heir to his multi-million dollar estate) has caused quite a ruckus in her early life with her numerous and very publicized divorces and drug abuse. Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley decided to seek solace in her dad’s passion in music after a troubled youth. In 2003, Lisa Marie released her debut album “To Whom It May Concern” and it was critically well-received. The album found commercial success, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard 200 charts. Her sophomore album was great hit as well reaching No. 9 on the Billboard charts. Both albums were certified gold. Having spent her formative years with The King of Rock N’ Roll himself, it’s only natural that Lisa Marie’s talents are recognized worldwide. It took seven years for her to release a third album Storm and Grace which was also received with charting performance.
Ozzy Osbourne: Legendary heavy metal pioneer and icon Ozzy Osbourne surely turned his last name into a household name in the entertainment industry. With throwing his family into the reality show “The Osbournes” in the early 2000s, two of his children with wife Sharon shot to fame. The heart of that reality show though is Ozzy’s second daughter Kelly. Kelly Osbourne’s troubled teenage life was a very public one. Fresh from the reality show, Kelly followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in music. She scored a record deal with Epic Records at 17 years old and released a cover of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” which easily hit the charts. She then released a grungy -pop-punk debut album titled Shut Up! Although she did find success in music, Kelly really didn’t want to continue on that path, saying, “My music career is, for me, a regret…”
The secret Osbourne daughter, Ozzy and Sharon’s oldest child, has decided to come out of the shadows to launch a music career she’s long-dreamed to have. In 2001, Aimee Osbourne refused to be part of the reality TV show her family became famous for, so she moved out of the house when filming for “The Osbournes” started. Unlike the rest of her family, she’s made it a point to stay out of trouble. She goes by the stage name ARO to actually avoid the association of her last name to her famous father, wanting to make a name for herself on her own terms. Her musical style is also a stark contrast to her father’s heavy metal signature and her sister’s punk rock genre. She’s opted to focus more on Baroque pop styles ala Lana Del Rey. She’s recently released two singles “Raining Gold” and “Cocaine Style”.
Carlos Santana: Stella Santana, daughter of legendary guitar icon Carlos Santana from the latin blues rock band Santana, dropped her famous last name professionally. She goes by the her first name Stella as her stage name. It’d be no surprise at all that Carlos Santana’s daughter would naturally be inheriting his musical chops. Stella sings to a different drum beat though, focusing on sultry R&B rather than his dad’s signature latin-blues rock infusion. Stella has been playing piano and guitar at a very young age of 5. She grew up in San Francisco, went to Pepperdine University, and moved to New York to pursue a career in music. The up and coming singer-songwriter admits her dad taught her how to write songs with soul and transparency. Stella recently released her debut album “Selfish” which features singles “Switch” and “The Reason”.
Gregg Allman: Gregg Allman‘s daughter Brooklyn Layla Allman was immersed in her father’s world of music from a very young age. But she did not want to capitalize on the privilege of being the daughter of a famous musician. It’s a different path in the world of rock that she followed. Although her father is famously known for his organic blues rock style in the Allman Brothers Band, she actually went full on metal as the lead singer and keyboardist of the heavy metal band Picture Me Broken.. In 2009, her band received an MTV Video Music Award for Best Breakout Bay Area Artist.
Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan‘s youngest son with his wife Sara certainly took on the musical legacy in the family. Jakob Dylan followed in his father’s foot steps in being a Grammy winning singer and songwriter. He’s the lead singer for the rock band The Wallflowers. He’s also released six albums with his band since 1992. Though he’s not as big a household name as his famous father, Jakob has snagged success in the music industry in his own right, with his song “One Headlight” listed at No. 58 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs. Of course, he’s been surrounded with real-life musical influences growing up but it wasn’t just because of his father that he started playing music. Jakob was particularly influenced by The Clash which led him to pursue a career as a musician. Just like his father, Jakob played guitar and wrote his own songs.
Brian Wilson: Beach Boys founder and front man Brian Wilson has two famous daughters who surely followed in his musical foot steps. Carnie and Wendy Wilson are two parts of the 90’s trio Wilson Phillips along with their childhood friend Chynna Phillips, whose parents are members of the 60s folk group The Mamas & The Papas. The girls scored chart-topping pop hits like “Hold On” in the early nineties. After having sold 12 million copies of their first two albums though, they disbanded in 1993. They’ve reunited a couple times through the decades. Brian Wilson sure had a lasting impact on the singing and songwriting talents of two girls. In celebration of their 20th anniversary as a band, Wilson Phillips released an album featuring their covers of songs by their parents’ famous bands Beach Boys and The Mamas and The Papas.
John Bonham: The legacy of one of the world’s greatest rock n’ roll drummers of all time was not at all lost after his untimely death in 1980. Led Zeppelin master drummer John Bonham certainly did parenting right (if only for a little while) when he exposed his son Jason Bonham very early to his insane drumming skills. Of course, genes have a play in Jason’s inheritance of his father’s world renowned talent. With that deadly combination, it was inevitable for Jason to take his father’s place behind the kit. At age four, he was recorded playing a toddler-sized drun kit in the film “The Song Remains the Same” with his father. He’s been the drummer for countless bands, joining his first one Airrace at the age of 17. At the age of 22, Jason joined Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page for his Outrider tour. The same year, he joined the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin and took his dad’s place behind the drum kit to perform at the 40th Anniversary of Atlantic Records. Continuing on to play the drums for Led Zeppelin’s reunion concert in 2007.
Eddie Van Halen: When you are the only child of legendary guitar god Eddie Van Halen, it’s unavoidable to inherit his musical chops. Eddie Van Halen’s son with first wife Valerie Bertinelli definitely got that and more. Not only does he have such an iconic last name, he’s now the bassist for his father’s band Van Halen. Wolfgang Van Halen started playing instruments at a very young age. His father testifies to his early musical exposure, stating in an interview, “I don’t see how he [Wolfgang] won’t somehow be into music, being exposed to it all the time. But I’m not going to force him to play piano or take music lessons like my parents did to me.” He then moved on to develop his guitar skills by playing with the band on stage during their 2004 tour. It wasn’t long after his cameo spots on stage playing the song his father made in honor of his birth “316” that he was announced as the new bass player of Van Halen at only 16 years old when Michael Anthony left the band in 2006. He’s also the bassist for Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti’s eponymous band.
Steven Tyler: Out of Steven Tyler’s four kids (by three different mothers), it’s his youngest daughter Chelsea, who got the musical gene. Tyler’s two older daughters Liv and Mia have gone to pursue careers in acting and modelling respectively. But the royal rock crown has to be passed down somehow and it’s Chelsea who picked up, fronting the blues-EDM duo Kaneholler (formerly BadBad) with her husband Jon Foster, younger brother of actor Ben Foster. Talent obviously comes easy to the 27-year old, whose music style is actually on the opposite spectrum of his father’s eccentric hard rock genre. Despite the differences in musical styles, Chelsea says her father still guides and supports her.
Alice Cooper: Alice Cooper need not worry about continuing his legacy in the world of music because his son Dash, 31, has already got that covered. Cooper’s second child graduated from Arizona State University. He was the doing vocals for the Phoenix-based band Runaway Phoenix which released an EP in 2012 before becoming the lead singer of the Christian hard rock band CO-OP. The faith-based band has performed alongside P.O.D. and other big names in Christian music. Dash has stated that he loves being a part of a band, of course, learning from the “Godfather of Shock Rock”.
Joe Walsh: Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh’s daughter Lucy definitely took after her dad’s multiple musical talents by becoming a singer, songwriter, and pianist. Lucy is the Joe’s daughter from his third wife Jody Boyer. She has made a pretty solid career in the music industry herself, with her own solo album released in 2007 titled Lost in the Lights. She also appeared on Rock the Cradle, a television reality singing competition that had kids of famous musicians compete with each other. Lucy also toured alongside Maroon 5 and One Republic, playing the keys for opening act singer Ry Cuming. She leased an EP titled 1882 in 2011. Lucy herself once stated in an interview, “I’ve been immersed in the performing arts since I was a really young kid…its just the way I came into this world..”
Joe Perry: Music was definitely encouraged at the Perry household with legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and his sons jamming in their basement studio as the kids were growing up. Inevitably, Tony and Adrian Perry created their own indie rock band TAB with their highs chool buddies. The rock royalty heirs served up a pretty solid debut album as well. The brothers admit that their dad’s band are one of their biggest musical influences but it’s The Who that’s made an even bigger musical impact. They said in an interview, “There’s stuff we play that’s gonna sound like Aerosmith, because we love all the same bands they did when they were starting out…The group that we model ourselves on most, though, is the Who. We love their raw attack.” In 2006, they renamed their band Dead Boots and has already released four albums and three music videos since 2010.
Frank Zappa: Dweezil Zappa is an American rock guitarist and occasional actor. He is the son of musical composer and performer Frank Zappa. Exposed to the music industry from an early age, Dweezil developed a strong affinity for playing the guitar and producing music. Able to learn directly from world-class guitarists such as Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen, Dweezil quickly developed into a musical star in his own right, releasing his first single (produced by Eddie Van Halen) at the age of 12. In addition to writing and recording his own music, Dweezil has carried on the legacy of his father’s music by touring with the group Zappa Plays Zappa. The band features renditions of Zappa’s original material and the lineup has often included Zappa alumni such as Napoleon Murphy Brock, Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio and others.