Maybe you have heard of them, maybe not. But even if you don’t know who they are or where they come from, you are, without a doubt, familiar with the names and work of their superstar parents, celebrities like Madonna, Bono and Steven Spielberg. These nepo-babies who descend from the royalty of the entertainment industry have entered the world of music through the back door, offering something different from what their progenitors do as they try to make a name for themselves.
Lolahol is the alias of Lourdes Leon, the first daughter born from the relationship between Madonna and director Guy Ritchie. Lourdes is famous since the day she was born, as many of the songs in Ray of Light, Madonna’s seventh album, were dedicated to the artist’s motherhood. Lourdes, however, has taken a different path in her musical career with collaborations with artists like Eartheater, known for their experimental music and outlandish performances. Lock & Key, Lolahol’s first single, was released last August.
Although Gracie Abrams, the daughter of J.J. Abrams (creator of the series Lost) and producer Katie McGrath, was born with one foot in the film and television industry, her artistic career is developing in the music world. Abrams began composing when she was nine, and her talent was recruited by Interscope Records (owned by Universal), which has been publishing Abrams’ music since 2017. Her sound can be classified as the kind of alternative pop also favored by artists like Billie Eilish or Lorde, who have expressed their admiration for the musical work of Abrams. Her first album, Good Riddance, was released this year.
Buzzy Lee’s less than 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify might not be enough to give away the fact that behind this alias is Sasha Spielberg, daughter of Steven Spielberg and actress Kate Capshaw. With two albums released by the independent label Future Classic, Spoiled Love (2021) and Internal Affairs (2023), Buzzy Lee has become more than integrated into the world of indie music, having collaborated with the prestigious producer Nicolas Jaar as well as having opened for Haim (she also shares a podcast with fellow actress Alana Haim) and Dirty Projectors, two groups that have received lots of love from trend magazines. Spielberg is also a painter who sells watercolor portraits signed “By Sashy.”
The face of Elijah Hewson is beginning to become well known among the British and Irish public thanks to the success of the band he leads, Inhaler, to the point that some might not realize that he is actually the son of Bono from U2 and activist Ali Hewson. An example that one can succeed in the world of alternative rock without the “son of” label weighing too much, Inhaler’s two albums, It Won’t Always Be Like This (2021) and Cuts & Bruises (2023), have reached the top of the charts.
When your parents are two very famous actors like Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, escaping the label of “daughter of” is impossible. Maya Hawke has tried — and succeeded — by carving out an interesting career in folk music. To date she has released two albums, Blush (2020) and Moss (2022), which have been well received by the specialized critics, with the support of the prestigious independent record label Mom+Pop (an ironic name, considering) which also publishes indie icons like Courtney Barnett and Beach Bunny. However, she has gained much more notoriety as an actress thanks to Stranger Things, where she plays Robin, as well as the two Netflix hit films Fear Street (2021) and Do Revenge (2022).
The musical career of Willow Smith, the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, has moved further and further away from commerciality. Whip My Hair, her first single, went multi-platinum in the U.S. when she was just 10 years old. However, her following releases, 21st Century Girl and Fireball, were commercial failures. Willow then decided to explore other paths: at the age of 15 she was already the author of her entire first album, Ardithipecus, released in 2015. Its experimental pop sound received good reviews, but Willow still had to find her artistic way among the codes of punk and emo music. Even with the crucial support of the Roc Nation record label, the nu-metal guitars on her latest album, COPINGMECHANISM, were probably not what many expected of her.
The name of Delroy Edwards will not be familiar to most. However, his real name, Brandon Avery Perlman, does include a famous part. Delroy is the son of Ron Perlman, known in Hollywood for his roles in films such as Cronos (1993), Alien: Resurrection (1997) and Pacific Rim (2013) and for being the winner of a Golden Globe for his performance in the television adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (1987). Edwards is a DJ and producer, and his recordings of lo-fi electronic music (recorded with simple, old-fashioned and rudimentary equipment) are an exquisite secret for fans of this type of sound.
Frankie Cosmos has been one of the indie revelations of recent years for specialized magazines such as Pitchfork, which have praised the adorable indie pop sound of Fool, her most successful single on streaming platforms, as well as albums like Next Thing (2016) or Inner World Peace (2022). Frankie Cosmos is actually Greta Simone Kline, the daughter of Kevin Kline, Oscar-winning actor for A Fish Called Wanda, and Phoebe Cates, an undisputed star of the 1980s thanks to her roles in films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and Gremlins (1984).
Samia is the daughter of actor Dan Finnerty, known in Hollywood for leading his own comedic musical group The Dan Band, with whom he has appeared in films such as Old School (2003) and Starsky & Hutch (2004) doing rude versions of songs sung by women. Steven Spielberg cast him in The Terminal (2004) after seeing him sing in The Dan Band, and also produced his television special. Samia’s mother, Kathy Najimy, is also a popular actress who has appeared in modern Disney classics such as Sister Act (1992) and Hocus Pocus (1993). However, Samia’s has developed her musical career outside the industry; her first album, Honey, was released by the independent label Grand Jury, home to groups like Twin Peaks or Toledo.
Anna Miranda and Elektra June-Kilbey-Jansson
Swedish-Australian twins Anna Miranda and Elektra June Kilbey-Jansson are the daughters of the singer of the successful Australian band The Church. They call themselves Say Lou Lou and their music, in a retro-pop style that evokes Fleetwood Mac and Lana Del Rey, has garnered a sizeable following among alt-pop fans. Although their two published albums, Lucid Dreaming (2015) and Immortelle (2019), have not precisely set the charts on fire, they have been well received by the specialized press. In addition, both Miranda and Elektra combine music with their acting work.
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