In many professions, sons and daughters follow in their parents' footsteps. Hollywood and the music industry are no different; plenty of Hollywood offspring enter the biz all the time. However, I dare say it seems a bit harder for a son or daughter to take the mic from Mom or Dad with any success. The recent scoop that Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang would be joining the band made me think back to some of the other showbiz spawn who launched musical careers.
Two sets of scions have particularly tough crosses to bear when it comes to living up to their dad's legendary status. Lisa Marie Presley and the Lennon brothers, Sean and Julian, are overshadowed by their respective fathers' icon status. Elvis and The Beatles are two of the most culturally significant musical acts of the past 50 years. To follow lineage takes some courage ... and the expectations are high. I've referenced this problem for Sean and Julian. However, Lisa Marie, while no one should seriously expect her to have as many hit records as The King, has done just fine with her first two records -- both of which went gold.
Speaking of Elvis, did you know that one of his backup singers was Cissy Houston? Yes, Whitney's Mom has had quite a career. She sang backup for big names like Elvis and Aretha, and won two Grammys as a gospel artist. Whitney frequently cited her Mom's influence. Whitney, of course, sold gazillions of records in her "Pre-Bobby" days. It'll be interesting to see how she does in her "Post-Bobby" comeback. She certainly looks ready to go!
While Whitney had a close relationship with her singing parent, the opposite is true for songstress Norah Jones. Norah's famous father is sitarist Ravi Shankar. While Ravi is known worldwide for his amazing mastery of the sitar, he is best known in America for having played Woodstock, and joining Beatle George Harrison in The Concert for Bangladesh. Nora grew up apart from her father, but clearly inherited some great musical genes. Norah's half-sister, Anoushka Shankar, is following more directly in their father's footsteps, and is now a Grammy nominee herself.
The Marleys and Allmans are doing their best to carry on legacies as well. It seems as if all of Bob Marley's kids; Ziggy, Julian, Damian, Stephen, Ky-Mani ... and I believe a few others are carrying on the reggae torch so brightly lit by their father. A great moment of Live 8 was when Fergie joined several Marleys on stage in Philly. Like the Marley kids, both Elijah Blue & Devon Allman are taking up dad Gregg Allman's career path as well. Elijah Blue (whose famous Mom is Cher!) is straying a little from dad's southern-tinged blues-rock and is now in goth rock band Deadsy -- who played this summer's Family Values tour and are now on the road supporting the Deftones. Half-brother Devon is sticking closer to his roots. He's got a new record out and his band Honeytribe is set to open up on tour with his father's Allman Brothers Band. Even Allman Brother drummer, Butch Trucks, has his son in the act -- Derek Trucks is doing quite well as a sometimes Allman Brother guitarist, and is off to a stellar start in his solo career.
Beyond these musical kids, there are many more out there too: Lil' Romeo rapping like his pops Master P, Wilson Phillips with their Mamas & Papas/Beach Boy lineage, Lil' Eazy E's Dad co-founded N.W.A., Jakob Dylan and Kelly Osborne, of course, both have famous fathers as well. None of these apples appear to have fallen far from their family tree, and I'm sure we'll see more performing progeny down the family line.