With Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes “Lolahol” Leon, bursting onto the music scene this week, now is a good time to revisit the baby music hall of fame of nepotism (or infamy, for some).
Music creators who come to fame really run the gamut. The range is so drastic that it’s hard to even compile a consistent list. After all, how do you confuse Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be” with Chet Hanx’s “White Boy Summer” and still sleep at night?
Yet we would be remiss as a culture to act as if all of these acts are happening in a vacuum. So let’s talk about it!
Here is a list of some of the many heirs who have dabbled in music (with widely varying degrees of success):
It’s too early to judge how much Ms. Leon will endure, but “Lock&Key” is a perfectly fine introduction. It’s no wildfire single, but her mother’s debut single “Everybody” wasn’t exactly the pinnacle of her musical potential, so who knows what the next few years have in store? That said, the music industry landscape is a little different these days, so Lolahol may have to bank on a viral TikTok sound if she wants the charts to take notice.
Miley and Noah Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus’ transition from “singer of Achy Breaky Heart” to “father of Hannah Montana” took a smooth 2.5 seconds after the show started. Miley is easily one of Disney’s most successful girl-to-popstar pipeline stories, and even with a hit-or-miss music career, her heights are skyrocketing. Noah definitely plays Dannii to Miley’s Kylie, but his “July” duet with Leon Bridges is cute enough to earn him at least some credibility. She’s at least better regarded since she quit dating “Lil Xan.”
Kelly’s musical peak being an inferior cover to the original is really all you need to know. His father was an internationally known rockstar whose controversies included biting off the head of a bat on stage; Kelly’s biggest controversies come from saying the dumbest things possible. Not quite in the same area!
Honestly, it’s surprising that “Hulk Hogan’s Daughter” got enough recognition to earn a Top 40 spot. “About Us” dropped in 2006, right in the middle of the Paris Hilton craze where people were apparently take any blonde heiress they could find. Every element of this song was something that had been done better elsewhere in the previous decade. She didn’t see a ton more success with her next show Brooke knows bestbut it seems the pivot to reality TV was at least a better fit.
Willow and Jaden Smith
Between being blown up by Karate Kid and 2010’s “Whip My Hair” (before either was in college), people seemed poised to make these two the biggest examples of fame legacies in years. Will Smith has admitted in recent years that he pushed them to the big time before they were ready. It apparently took Willow rebelliously shaving her head in the middle of the “Whip My Hair” tour for their dad to calm down. They both had a good few years in the limelight, and even after returning with their new, more defined art styles, neither Willow nor Jaden garnered tabloid attention.
A controversial mention, but the facts must be reported! Cissy Houston was already an accomplished gospel singer before Whitney burst onto the scene singing on her records. That said, it’s hard to view Whitney as a legacy when her own legacy so strongly trumps most. The difference was even striking as she stood; Whitney had five good Grammys under her belt before Cissy won her first. Even her cousin Dionne Warwick can’t resist her hug for hug record. Would it be inappropriate to thank nepotism for this one?
Yes, it’s kind of damned that Tiffany Trump dropped a single. It’s even more cursed that it features 2010s hit rapper Logic. Most cursed of all is that he honestly gives Grimes artistic angels about half a decade ahead of its time. The track had a full TikTok resurgence last year only out of comparison. If there absolutely had to be a Trump that young people were starting to ironically appreciate, Donald’s least favorite child was probably the best case scenario here.