10 Musicians With Their Surprisingly Famous Parents

It happens all the time, sometimes slowly, sometimes daily, and often over a lifetime: we become like our parents. Whether you like it or not, their quirks, characteristics and unusually annoying qualities somehow become our own. In the case of these musicians, that is definitely not a bad thing. We all know the Dylans, The Marleys, and the Lennons. Here are ten musicians who you may not have known to have famous parents:

Norah Jones – This Brooklyn-born crooner won over the music industry in the early 2000s with the release of Come Away With Me in 2002. She reached the number one spot across Billboard charts and scored 5 Grammy awards in 2003.  Although this success doesn’t come as a surprised given both of Jones’ parents are masters of their craft as well. Jones’ mother, Sue Jones, is an American concert producer and her father, Pandit Ravi Shankar, is an Indian sitar maestro and composer.

Joey Armstrong of SWMRS – Joey Armstrong, the oldest son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Adrienne Armstrong, has made a career of his own with his Oakland-based band SWMRS. Though the name has changed numerous times over the years, the group played a series of shows and festivals around California before releasing their full-length album Don’t Be A Dick in 2011. Most recently, SWMRS went on tour with Wavves and Twin Peaks, and are getting ready to release another album. Armstrong’s younger brother, Jakob Armstrong, also rocks as hard as his proud pop under the name Jakob Danger.

Rashida Jones – Musician is only one of her many talents, but Rashida Jones’ gets her chops from good authority: her famous father, Quincy Jones. Most notably, Jones’ vocals can be heard on Maroon 5’s debut album, Songs About Jane, as well as The Rose That Grew From Concrete, a Tupac Shakur tribute album.

Henry Hall – According to Henry Hall’s biggest fan, his music career is about to take off. Her influence might help, given her eight Emmy awards and massive social media following. When Julia Louis-Dreyfus posts about new music, the world should listen. Hall’s songwriting and singing career has been supported from the start by his mother and father, comedian and writer Brad Hall.

Elle King – Soulful singer Elle King is known for her raspy rock and banjo picking, and less known as the only child of former model London King and actor Rob Schneider.  King learned to play guitar at 13 and sank into the music of Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash and AC/DC. She spent her teen years immersed in the music scene of New York City and released her first single, “Good To Be A Man,” in 2012. An EP followed soon after, and her full-length album Love Stuff dropped in 2014.

Redfoo – Stefan Kendal Gordy, also known as Redfoo, also known as one half of LMFAO, is the youngest son of Motown Record Corporation founder Berry Gordy, Jr.  Between his label-owning father and attending high school with will.i.am and GoonRock, Redfoo was bound to find his way in to the industry. First he worked as a producer, then teamed up with his nephew to form LMFAO. will.i.am brought their demo to Interscope records, who signed the dup and released their debut album Party Rock in 2009. Since the infiltration of LMFAO into every film and commercial in the last seven years, Redfood has gone solo and released a number of singles.

Maya Rudolph – There is nothing Maya Rudolph cannot do. The comedian, singer, actress and Saturday Night Live standout has conquered it all, in part thanks to her famous parents. Rudolph’s father, Richard Rudolph is a songwriter, music publisher and producer, and her mother, Minnie Riperton, was a singer-songwriter best-known for her 1975 single “Lovin’ You.” Rudolph’s mother died when she was only seven years old, but her influence was already instilled.  “My mom was music,” Rudolph told NPR in 2012. “Music poured out of my mother, and I’m sure I heard it before I even got here when I was in her belly.”

Liza Minnelli – Over the last 60 years, Liza Minnelli has established a career across all creative spectrums. She is among the very small group of people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Before any of that success, Minnelli was the only child of Vicente Minnelli and Judy Garland. With her father’s stage and film directing career and her mother’s success as a singer and actress, Minnelli followed in their footsteps.

Lily Allen – Lily Allen has three full-length albums under her belt and three headlining tours to boot, but what jumpstarted her music career is her father, Keith Allen. Keith Allen, a famous Welsh actor, comedian and musician in his own right, had the right connections to have his daughter Lily signed to London Records in 2002. Without any success with London Records, Allen took to Myspace to release demos and mixtapes, which garnered thousands of listeners.

Rufus Wainwright – Across Rufus Wainwright’s seven studio albums, he sings about love, life and family relationships. His baroque influence comes from his folk-singing parents, Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. McGarrigle sings with her sister Kate and has earned a number of Canadian music awards and Wainwright is a Grammy-award winning folk artist with 26 studio albums.

More from Mollie Olsem

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