We’re still a bit perplexed why children of famous musicians would want to enter their parents’ field — dealing with the pressure and heightened expectations could only confound the artistic process in ways that most musicians never have to deal with. And with Sunday’s announcement that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have a destiny’s child on the way, Hive got to thinking about other children of famous musical couples who have transcended legacy to create their own powerful works. It can be done! Here’s proof.
1. Sean Lennon
Having John Lennon as your father and Yoko Ono as your mother would’ve made us choose any profession but music, but with Cibo Matto and various solo projects, Sean Lennon has established himself as a New York underground music fixture. A five-year-old Lennon can be heard on Ono’s 1981 album Season of Glass, the first of many collaborations with his mother. Lennon has gone on to pen myriad film scores, produce albums for Soulfly and Esthero, and release two collaborative albums with Albert Hammond, Jr., not to mention a heartbreaking work of break-up song genius in his 2006’s solo album Friendly Fire. His father would be proud.
The son of folk singers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus also began playing with his mother at a young age. After touring with the McGarrigle sisters (his aunt Anna and sister Martha) at 13, Wainwright would go on to release 1998’s eponymous LP and top numerous year-end lists. A string of critically acclaimed albums would follow, including the Judy Garland tribute Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall and 2010’s All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu — his fans have become borderline obsessive, in ways that his parents never experienced.
Rosanne Cash may overshadow her half-sister, but Carlene Carter, daughter of June Carter and 1950s country icon Carl Smith, has forged an impressive musical career of her own, recording with late Tom Petty bassist Howie Epstein, marrying UK singer-songwriter Nick Lowe and nabbing a Grammy nomination for her song “I Fell in Love.” Carlene’s released numerous albums alternating between Americana rock records and traditional country; her latest was 2008’s Stronger.
4. Frances Bean Cobain
The 19-year-old daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love hasn’t had the most copacetic relationship with her mother — last year, Love went on a vitriolic Twitter rant against her daughter . But along with some modeling, Cobain’s getting arty these days and has inherited a few musical gifts from her parents. In 2010, the once reclusive teenager appeared on baroque pop duo Evelyn Evelyn’s “My Space,” though lead singer Amanda Palmer would later claim that Cobain’s voice was one of 20 mixed together on the track. Still, we’re banking on some sort of electro-clash band at some point from Frances.
5. Coco Hayley Gordon Moore
On their 1999 double album Syr 4: Goodbye 20th Century, Sonic Youth covered compositions by avant-garde artists such as Christian Wolff, John Cage and Steve Reich. When husband-and-wife members Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore needed someone to recreate the scream in Yoko Ono’s “Vocal Piece for Soprano,” they enlisted 17-year-old daughter Coco to let fly three blood-curdling shrieks. And it seems like Coco’s taken direction from her punk-rock parents — she’s currently the vocalist for Big Nils, a scuzz-punk four piece in their hometown of Northhampton, Massachusetts. They released their first album, Sibling, this past June.