Fathers and Sons In Pop Music - 13 Notable Families

01
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Tim and Jeff Buckley

Tim and Jeff Buckley
Tim and Jeff Buckley. Photos by Ed Caraeff / Michael Ochs Archives and Mick Hutson / Redferns

Both Tim Buckley and his son Jeff Buckley received tremendous critical acclaim for their music. Unfortunately both of their lives ended tragically young. Tim Buckley began his career primarily as a folk musician. However, ultimately his music incorporate influences from jazz, soul, and psychedelic rock as well. Many consider his 1970 album Starsailor to be a masterpiece. He died in 1975 at the age of 28 from the effects of a heroin overdose.

Jeff Buckley was only eight years old when his father died. He followed in his father's footsteps becoming a musician. The only studio album completed and released in his lifetime was 1994's Grace. His music was strongly influenced by both rock and jazz, and his powerful tenor vocal range was praised as among the best voices of all time. Grace did not sell well upon release, but it received significant critical acclaim, and it included Jeff Buckley's legendary recording of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." In 1997 he died the tragic victim of an accidental drowning at age 30.

02
of 13

Johnny and John Carter Cash

Johnny and John Carter Cash
Johnny and John Carter Cash. Photos by Jack Vartoogian / Getty Images and Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

Johnny Cash is a country music legend. He is a member of the Country, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. His last four studio albums were Americana landmarks and include the #1 charting American V: A Hundred Highways. He had massive pop crossover success in 1969 with the #2 charting single "A Boy Named Sue." Johnny Cash won 19 Grammy Awards over his career. He died in 2003 at age 71.

John Carter Cash is the only child of Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash. He is stepbrother to singers Rosanne Cash and Carlene Carter. He is singer-songwriter but has achieved his greatest success as a producer. He was an associate producer on late career albums by his father, and he won Grammy Awards producing his mother's albums Press On and Wildwood Flower. John Carter Cash has also worked with such other country music legends as Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson.

03
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Bob and Jakob Dylan

Bob and Jakob Dylan
Bob and Jakob Dylan. Photos by Kevin Winter / Getty Images and Beck Starr / WireImage

Bob Dylan is recognized as one of the most influential folk, pop, and rock musicians of all time. He has released 17 top 10 charting studio albums. His most recent #1 was 2009's Together Through Life. Four Bob Dylan singles have also reached the top 10 on the pop singles chart. He has earned 10 Grammy Awards among 37 nominations. All of that success is dwarfed by the long shadow of his influence on other recording artists.  

Jakob Dylan was born in 1969 the youngest of four children born to Bob Dylan and his first wife Sara. Jakob Dylan formed the rock band The Wallflowers in 1991. Their self-titled debut generated little sales, but the second, 1996's Bringing Down the Horse, became a massive success. It peaked at #4 on the album chart and earned a quadruple platinum certification for sales. The single "One Headlight" was a #2 pop hit and earned the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The Wallflowers have continued to maintain a strong following.

04
of 13

George and Dhani Harrison

George and Dhani Harrison
George and Dani Harrison. Photos by Michael Putland / Hulton Archive and Valerie Macon / Getty Images

George Harrison was the celebrated lead guitarist of the Beatles. He is considered one of the top guitar players of all time. As a solo artist he released six top 10 charting albums and five top 10 charting pop singles including the #1 hits "My Sweet Lord" and "Got My Mind Set On You." He died in 2001 at age 58 a victim of cancer.

Dhani Harrison is the only child of George Harrison and his second wife Olivia. His first major project as a professional musician came in helping put together his father's final studio album Brainwashed. Like his father, he plays guitar. In 2006 he formed his own band thenewno2. In 2010 he worked with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur in the group Fistful of Mercy. Their debut album As I Call You Down was released that same year. 

05
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Berry Gordy and RedFoo

Berry Gordy and RedFoo
Berry Gordy and RedFoo. Photo by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Berry Gordy is a record producer and songwriter, but he is best known as the founder of Motown, one of the most influential record labels of all time. He is instrumental in launching the careers of The Supremes, the Temptations, The Miracles, and The Jackson 5 among many many others. Motown placed 79 singles in the pop top 10 between 1960 and 1969. Berry Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Stefan Kendal Gordy, aka RedFoo, is the youngest of Berry Gordy's eight children. In 2006 he formed the electronic pop dance act LMFAO with his nephew Sky Blu. They released the multi-platinum international pop hit singles "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It" in 2011. They became two of the bestselling pop hit singles of all time. The duo went on hiatus in 2012 and RedFoo launched a solo career with the international hit single "Let's Get Ridiculous."

06
of 13

Julio and Enrique Iglesias

Julio and Enrique Iglesias
Julio and Enrique Iglesias. Photos by Santi Visalli / Archives / Getty Images and Gabriel Solera / Getty Images

Julio Iglesias and his son Enrique are two of the most successful Latin pop artists of all time. Julio Iglesias is credited with selling more than 100 million records worldwide. His first hit album in his native Spain was the #3 charting Yo Canto in 1969. In 1984 he broke into the mainstream pop chart in the US and around the world with the top 5 hit "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," a duet with country star Willie Nelson. 

Enrique Iglesias is the youngest of three children born to Julio Iglesias and his first wife Isabel. He is one of the bestselling Latin pop artists of all time. Enrique Iglesias is credited with worldwide record sales in excess of 100 million. He has hit #1 on the Latin chart in the Us 26 times, an all-time record, and #1 on the dance club chart 14 times, more than any other male artist. Five of his singles have reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 including two that went all the way to #1. 

07
of 13

John, Julian, and Sean Lennon

John, Julian, and Sean Lennon
John, Julian, and Sean Lennon. Photos by Michael Brennan / Hulton Archive and Michael Buckner / Getty Images

John Lennon gained worldwide acclaim as a member of the Beatles. As a solo artist he released seven top 10 charting albums and eight top 10 charting pop hit singles. "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" went all the way to #1 and "Imagine" is considered one of the greatest pop songs of all time. He died tragically at age 40 in 1980 of a gunshot from a deranged fan.

 

Julian Lennon is John Lennon's son by his first wife Cynthia. He has earned success as a pop musician. His debut album Valotte reached the top 20 on the album chart in 1984 on the way to platinum certification. It included the top 10 pop it singles "Valotte" and "Too Late For Goodbyes." Sean Lennon is John Lennon's son by his second wife Yoko Ono. He has an extensive career as a rock and experimental musician. 

08
of 13

Bob, Kymani, Julian, Ziggy, Damian, and Stephen Marley

Bob, Kymani, Julian, Ziggy, Damian, and Stephen Marley
Bob, Kymani, Julian, Ziggy, Damian, and Stephen Marley. Photos by Michael Putland / Hulton Archive and Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

Jamaican reggae performer Bob Marley is considered to be one of the key figures in the development of the world's popular music. He was also dedicated to the Rastafari movement and concepts of equality and justice. Bob Marley's 1976 album Rastaman Vibration with his group the Wailers reached the top 10 on the US album chart. It included the minor hit single "Roots, Rock, Reggae." He died a cancer victim in 1981 at age 36. Since then his music has been revered worldwide and the 1984 compilation album Legend has sold more than 15 million copies in the US and spent more than 340 non-consecutive weeks on the album chart.

Bob Marley had three children with his wife Rita including the musicians Ziggy and Stephen. He also fathered a number of children with other women including the musician sons Julian, Kymani, and Damian. All have followed their father's legacy in reggae. Ziggy Marley won a Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Reggae Album for his album Love Is My Religion. Damian Marley won the award in 2006 for his album Welcome To Jamrock. Stephen Marley won the same award in 2012 for Revelation Pt. 1 - The Root of Life. The brothers have frequently been musical collaborators as well.

09
of 13

Master P and Romeo

Master P and Romeo
Master P and Romeo. Photo by Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Percy Miller, aka Master P, is a rapper and music entrepreneur. In the late 1990s he released two consecutive #1 hit albums Ghetto D and MP Da Last Don. His singles "I Go the Hook Up!" and "Make 'Em Say Uhh!" both reached the pop top 20 and were part of three consecutive singles to top the rap chart. While his own popularity as an artist faded, his business investments including heading No Limit Records have made him one of the most wealthy figures in hip hop. 

Percy Miller, Jr., aka Romeo, and originally Lil Romeo, is Master P's son with rapper Sonya C. He is also the nephew of successful rappers C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker. The first Lil' Romeo album was released when he was only 11 years old. It landed in the top 10 on the album chart and included the #3 charting hit single "My Baby." It has proved to be Romeo's most successful recording. In 2011 he appeared as a contestant on the hit TV series Dancing With the Stars.

10
of 13

Paul and James McCartney

Paul and James McCartney
Paul and James McCartney. Photo by David M. Bennett / Getty Images

As a member of the Beatles and a solo artist Paul McCartney is one of the most successful pop musicians of all time. He has written or co-written 32 #1 pop hit singles. He is credited with worldwide sales of more than 100 million albums and 100 million singles. Paul McCartney is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as both part of the Beatles and as a solo artist. He has won 21 Grammy Awards.

James McCartney is the youngest of Paul and Linda McCartney's four children. His mother passed away a victim of breast cancer in 1998. He has worked with his father on a number of his recordings. In 2013 he released his first solo album Me and toured the US in concert. 

11
of 13

Rick, Gunnar, and Matthew Nelson

Rick, Gunnar, and Matthew Nelson
Rick, Gunnar, and Matthew Nelson. Photos by GAB Archives / Redferns and Albert L. Ortega / WireIMage

Rick Nelson and his sons Gunnar and Matthew are part of three noted generations in the entertainment industry. With his parents Ozzie and Harriet, Rick Nelson was part of the Nelson family that starred in the long-running TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. During the show in the 1950s he became a successful pop musician as a teenager.  Rick experienced a comeback to the pop charts in 1972 with the hit single "Garden Party." On New Year's Eve 1985 he died in a plane crash at age 45. 

Gunnar and Matthew Nelson are the sons of Rick Nelson and his wife Sharon Harmon, sister of actor Mark Harmon. They are identical twins. Their parents divorced in 1982 when the twins were 15. Following their father's musical legacy, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson formed the dueo Nelson and signed a recording contract in 1989. Their debut album After the Rain was a smash hit. It included the #1 pop hit single "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" and the top 10 follow up "After the Rain."

12
of 13

Eddie and Wolfgang Van Halen

Eddie and Wolfgang Van Halen
Eddie and Wolfgang Van Halen. Photo by Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Eddie Van Halen is revered as one of the top rock guitar players of all time. He was a co-founder of the group Van Halen. The group has released 11 top 10 charting studio albums. Four of those went all the way to #1 and the first 10 were all certified multi-platinum for sales. The group topped the pop singles chart in 1984 with the hit "Jump."

Wolfgang Van Halen is the son of Eddie Van Halen and his first wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli. In 2006, when he was only 15, it was announced that Wolfgang Van Halen would replace Michael Anthony as the group's bass player. He has played with band since. Earlier this year an announcement was made that he is at work on a solo album.  

13
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Loudon Wainwright III and Rufus Wainwright

Loudon Wainwright III and Rufus Wainwright
Loudon Wainwright III and Rufus Wainwright. Photo by Robin Platzer / FilmMagic

Folk musician and actor Loudon Wainwright III is a key figure in a musical dynasty. He was marrried to acclaimed folk singer Kate McGarrigle and later Suzzy Roche of the vocal group the Roches. He is the father of musicians Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche. He had a top 20 charting pop hit single in 1973 with the novelty song "Dead Skunk." He was the musical guest for the 5th episode of Saturday Night Live in its debut season. In 2010 he won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album with High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project

Rufus Wainwright is a singer-songwriter noted for his sometimes flamboyant style. He came out as gay as a teenager. Rolling Stone magazine named him Best New Artist of the Year on the strength of his self-titled debut album released in 1998. His highest charting album has been Release the Stars which hit #23 on the album chart in 2007.

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Lamb, Bill. "Fathers and Sons In Pop Music - 13 Notable Families." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, thoughtco.com/fathers-and-sons-in-pop-music-3248143. Lamb, Bill. (2016, August 22). Fathers and Sons In Pop Music - 13 Notable Families. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/fathers-and-sons-in-pop-music-3248143 Lamb, Bill. "Fathers and Sons In Pop Music - 13 Notable Families." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/fathers-and-sons-in-pop-music-3248143 (accessed November 19, 2017).