Nepotism is one of Hollywood’s hardly-kept secrets (with The Kardashians being one of the most obvious examples) and since the beginning of the industry itself, the music world has been dripping in beautiful, rich, and famous spawn. However, these lucky ducklings shouldn’t be discredited due to their lineage; some have managed to not only create certified BangersTM but remain critically applauded as well. It’s important to remember the bearers of those precious musical genes, those artists who took the first steps into the limelight to lead a path for the ones behind them. From the most obvious to the most obscure, who’s tied to who in the music industry?
Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley Cyrus
Well, this one isn’t necessarily a secret. Miley was born as Destiny Hope Cyrus in a suburb of Nashville to Tish Finley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus. She changed her name Miley Ray Cyrus in 2008 with her middle name paying tribute to her grandfather, and Democratic politician, Ronald Ray Cyrus. Billy Ray and Tish had four more children. Braison currently models, Brandi is a guitarist, Noah was the voice of ‘Ponyo’ in the english dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s “Ponyo”, and Trace was the lead singer of scene-pop one hit wonder band Metro Station before getting engaged to Brenda Song from “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”. Where hasn’t the Cyrus bloodline infiltrated?
Julio Iglesias and his son Enrique Iglesias
Before we fell in love with his tender voice and iconic beauty mark, Enrique was born in Madrid, Spain to latin pop star Julio Iglesias and his wife Isabel Preysler. Enrique is also the half-second cousin of actor Steven R. McQueen. Reportedly, Enrique wanted his career to be based on his own personal merits and not that of his father. With the help of his father’s former publicist Fernán Martínez, his demo tape was released under the stage name ‘Enrique Martínez’, an “upcoming singer from Guatemala”. The name didn’t stick but that didn’t seem to matter; Enrique Iglesias is still reaping the benefits of his fruitful career throughout most of the 2000s.
Jessica Jung and her sister Krystal Jung
Korean pop icons Jessica Sooyoun Jung and her younger sister Krystal Soo Jung were born in San Francisco, California. Their parents called California home after their immigration from South Korean in 1980s, and the sisters grew up knowing both English and Korean. During a family trip back to South Korea, the sisters were spotted by pop industry superpower S.M. Entertainment. Years passed and Jessica debuted as a lead vocalist in Girls’ Generation, heralded as the biggest girl group in Asia. Krystal accepted S.M.’s offer a few years after Jessica and debuted as a lead vocalist in the largely successful girl group F(x). Recently, after years of consistent radio smashes and music awards, there was a major scandal; Jessica was shockingly kicked out of Girls’ Generation in 2014 and the events surrounding “why?” are still shrouded in mystery. Will Krystal come to seize the throne left behind?
Marilyn McLeod and her grandson Flying Lotus
Flying Lotus was born as Steven Ellison in Los Angeles, California. He’s the grandson of singer-songwriter Marilyn McLeod, notable for writing the hits “Love Hangover” by superstar Diana Ross and “I Get High (On Your Memory)” by Freda Payne. Before Steven was Flying Lotus, he attended film school and experimented with beat-making, telling stories through his music like he would with film. The story goes that he was watching TV at his mother’s house when he saw that the Adult Swim program on Cartoon Network was asking for song submissions. He sent in a few songs under his now famous moniker, and the rest is history.
But wait, there’s more! Flying Lotus is also the grand-nephew of jazz musicians John & Alice Coltrane.
Ravi Shenkar and his daughter Norah Jones
Five time Grammy winner Norah Jones was born as Geetali Shankar in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, to American concert producer Sue Jones and world renowned Bengali sitar player Ravi Shankar. Norah grew up with her mother in Grapevine, Texas, where she sang in the high school choir and played saxophone. When she was sixteen, she legally changed her name to Norah Jones. In 1999, she left Grapevine to move to New York City and start a band with Jesse Harris; their releases were fairly successful. She was later signed to EMI and released her debut album “Come Away With Me” which was a critical and commercial darling. Norah recently performed her hit single “Don’t Know Why” on the Late Show with David Letterman to commemorate her performance on the show 13 years prior.
Don Ho and his daughter Hoku
Alright… this one is a bit of a stretch, but I know if you’ve seen the Resse Witherspoon classic “Legally Blonde” you’ll know this girl. Hoku Christian Ho was born in Oahu, Hawaii to Patricia Swallie Choy and Hawaiian pop singer Don Ho; she was the seventh of his ten children. The family grew up very wealthy and after walking around in public together she realized her father was kind of a big deal. Hoku has essentially given her father credit for her entire (very short) musical career, whether it was teaching her to write songs as a child or helping her land a record deal with his name. Gotta give the girl some props for given credit where credit is due, especially in an industry as sneaky at this one.