We dive into the lives of celebrities’ kids: the ones who carved out their own successful legacies, and the ones who kept to themselves.
From the cinema to the catwalk, Instagram to the indie music scene, you don’t have to look far these days to find the children of celebrities making their own mark on the world. But not all VIP offspring manage to emulate their parents’ success – or even attempt to. Here is how the progeny of some of the world’s most famous people have fared after leaving their remarkable childhoods behind them.
SEAN ONO LENNON
WHO? THE SON OF JOHN LENNON, ONE QUARTER OF 1960S
BRITISH POP BAND, THE BEATLES
The only child of the Beatles icon and his wife Yoko Ono, 43-year old Sean Lennon has also carved out a career in the music industry – albeit without quite the same revolutionary impact as his late father. After co-writing a song with Lenny Kravitz as a teenager, he went on to play in a series of experimental pop bands, none of which enjoyed a huge amount of commercial success. Yet rather than feeling overshadowed by his father’s legendary status, Lennon has long been grateful for the notice it has afforded him: “I have all this attention. And instead of complaining about it, I want to use the situation for a positive goal,” he told Rolling Stone in 1998. While he’s involved himself in various activism initiatives (for example, in 2012 he unveiled a campaign against fracking in the U.S.), today he runs a collaborative artist-run label, Chimera Music.
PRINCESS YASMIN AGA KHAN
WHO? THE DAUGHTER OF 1940S HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS, RITA HAYWORTH
In 1948, Rita Hayworth renounced Hollywood in order to marry her third husband, Prince Aly Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN and the son of a prominent Muslim leader. Their only child, Yasmin, has largely stayed out of the limelight, instead dedicating herself to philanthropic activities – yet her career has still been heavily influenced by her mother. Today, much of 69-year-old Yasmin’s work centers around raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, a decision informed by her years spent caring for Hayworth, who suffered from the condition towards the end of her life.
FRANCES BEAN COBAIN
WHO? THE DAUGHTER OF KURT COBAIN, FRONTMAN FOR
PIONEERING 1990S INDIE BAND, NIRVANA
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain died when his daughter Frances Bean was still a baby, and the now 26-year-old (whose mother is fellow grunge icon Courtney Love) has admitted feeling disconnected from her famous father. When discussing the wealth she inherited from the music legend in a recent interview, she described it as feeling “like money from somebody that I’ve never met, let alone earned myself”. Yet, despite that distance, Frances Bean has still followed Kurt into the creative industries, making waves as a visual artist and even recording a song with the musician Amanda Palmer in 2010. In 2015 she executive produced the HBO movie about her father’s life, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.
WHO? THE DAUGHTER OF JOHN F. KENNEDY, 35TH
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of JFK and fashion icon Jackie Onassis, began her career as a research assistant at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, before deciding to follow in her late father’s footsteps by embarking on a career in politics – something she claims people had been encouraging her to do for most of her life. “Many people remember that spirit that President Kennedy summoned forth,” she said of her decision to enter into the family business. “Many people look to me as somebody who embodies that sense of possibility”. The 61-year-old author, attorney and diplomat’s achievements include serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and working on the presidential campaign for Barack Obama, a man she believed shared many similarities with her father.
WHO? THE SON OF HOLLYWOOD ACTOR, WILL SMITH
He may only be 20 years old, but Jaden Smith has already enjoyed a storied career in showbiz. The child of rapper-turned-Hollywoodheavyweigt Will Smith and his actor wife Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden made his debut playing his father’s son in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happiness before branching out on his own, starring in a series of movies and TV shows as well as releasing his own album in 2017 with a follow up set to be released any day now. But Jaden isn’t the last word in the super-successful Smith dynasty – little sister Willow, an accomplished musician and actor in her own right, is hot on his heels.
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