Recently, some of the children of the Beach Boys formed a tribute act to honour the music of their fathers. In April, James McCartney suggested the Beatles’ sons do the same. For some reason, the children of legendary musicians refuse to leave their parents' shadow.
Now, that’s not true across the board. Many children of classic rockers have made major waves outside the music world: Stella McCartney is a successful fashion designer, Liv Tyler is a movie star and David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, is a major motion picture director.
Still, many try their hands at music. It’s unfair to compare them to their legendary parents, but it’s fine to compare them to each other. We’ve taken the liberty of ranking some of the children of classic rock stars, in terms of musical significance.
7. Kelly Osbourne
The daughter of the Prince of Darkness may be best known as a reality TV star, a TV host and fashion designer. She also released two albums in the mid-2000s. Remember that? Her debut single was a cover of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach.” Remember now? No? OK, fine.
6. Sean Lennon
The youngest son of John Lennon and the only son of Yoko Ono, Sean is 12 years younger than his half-brother Julian. As a musician, Sean has worked with his mother, Cibo Matto, and Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. His debut solo album was released in 1998 and made a minor splash in the alternative world. While Sean has tons of cred and seems pretty cool, his voice isn’t great.
5. Julian Lennon
Both Sean and Julian Lennon’s careers obviously can’t compare with their father’s. However, Julian had a couple advantages. He was first, and not just among the Lennons. He may have been the first offspring of any '60s artist to have any impact. The other advantage was that his mother is Cynthia Lennon, not Yoko Ono, so he doesn’t have Ono’s vocal DNA.
Julian released his debut album in 1984, and it promptly sold a million copies on the strength of top 10 hits “Too Late for Goodbyes” and “Valotte.” His followup album sold half a million. Subsequent releases have not done as well.
4. Jakob Dylan
One of Bob Dylan’s six children, Jakob became well known in the '90s as lead singer of the Wallflowers. The band’s second album, Bringing Down the Horse, has sold four million copies and earned the band two Grammy Awards. Their single, “One Headlight,” made it up to number two on the Billboard singles chart and scored many high school slow dances. Unfortunately, Jakob has never equaled this success in three subsequent Wallflowers albums and two solo records.
3. Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley was the son of singer-songwriter Tim Buckley, though he claimed to have only met his father once. Jeff died at the age of 30, and during his life only released one studio album, Grace. The album was a critical hit, but did not immediately sell well. Since its 1994 release, it has sold over two million copies worldwide. In addition to the sales, Jeff has influenced a generation of singer-songwriters – something that Jakob Dylan can’t say.
2. Norah Jones
While Norah Jones’s father, Ravi Shankar, doesn’t really fall under the classic rock umbrella, he did influence the Beatles and perform at both the Monterey and Woodstock festivals. Jones released her debut album, 2002’s Come Away with Me, at the age of 22 and it was a huge success, earning the singer five Grammy Awards. In total, she has earned nine Grammys and sold over 40 million albums worldwide, mostly as impulse buys at Starbucks.
1. Wilson Phillips
Wilson Phillips is a vocal group made up of Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s daughters, Carnie and Wendy, and Chynna Phillips, the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas. Their 1990 debut album was huge, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and producing three number one singles. While they never regained the success of their first album, that’s OK. Most artists haven’t achieved that much success in the first place.
They don’t have as many Grammys or album sales as Jones, but I believe “Hold On” is performed in way more karaoke bars than “Don’t Know Why.”
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on Jul 16, 2012