Where musical talent comes from remains a mystery. While some people work for countless hours honing their craft, it seems like others might simply have musical abilities coursing through their DNA.
Here are five great artists who inherited some musically-gifted genes from their extraordinary parents.
The firstborn daughter of actor, singer Serge Gainsbourg and model, actress Jane Birkin is a multi-talented woman. Charlotte Gainsbourg first appeared on record with her father on the (questionable) song ‘Lemon Incest’ in 1984. She released her debut album Charlotte For Ever in 1986 before deciding to pursue a career in acting. 20 years on from her debut, Gainsbourg made her return to music and has since released four critically acclaimed alternative rock albums – most recently Rise in 2017.
Mercury Prize-winning pianist and currently in-demand producer James Blake is actually the son of James Litherland – the guitarist of prog rock and jazz fusion band Colosseum. Litherland played in numerous other bands including Mogul Thrash and Bandit as well as working as a session musician.
It’s easy to see where Grace singer Jeff Buckley got his gifts from when you hear his father Tim Buckley. In the ’60s, Tim Buckley was a successful folk singer-songwriter who branched out into the worlds of jazz and funk in the ’70s. At the age of 19, Tim fathered his first son Jeff who went on to become one of the most highly regarded singers of his generation. Sadly, Jeff followed in father’s footsteps in more ways than one – at age 28 Tim Buckley died of a heroin overdose, while Jeff Buckley drowned when he was only 30.
Albert Hammond Jr (The Strokes)
Lead guitarist of The Strokes, Albert Hammond Jr, is the son of well… Albert Hammond – a famous songwriter. Hammond Jr changed the course of music in the early 2000s when The Strokes released their debut album Is This It?, but before he was even born, Hammond Sr was writing major hits for other artists. His most notable songs include Whitney Houston’s ‘One Moment In Time’, Starship’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ and The Hollies’ ‘The Air That I Breathe’.
Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk)
You might have thought Thomas Bangalter (one half of Daft Punk) was built in a factory, but it turns out he has an actual family. Bangalter’s father Daniel Vangarde was one of the producers and songwriters behind disco band Ottawan – best known for their hit single ‘D.I.S.C.O’. Before his mainstream success with Ottawan, Vangarde formed the duo Yamasuki Singers in 1971. Their first and only album Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki became a cult favourite and was later widely sampled by dum and bass producers. In the ’90s, he was an instrumental figure in Daft Punk’s early career and proved to be a big influence on their disco-based fourth album, Random Access Memories.