Famous offspring are rarely as successful as their folks, no matter how hard they may try.
A star is born?
"I would say, from my limited experience of hearing about what other kids of people who are successful go through, like Julian Lennon, that there are not that many clear examples of kids doing a good job of putting themselves out there and coming up with the goods," said Duncan Jones recently. Jones, who was once named Zowie by his father, David Bowie, has just made a low-budget sci-fi movie that echoes his father's The Man Who Fell to Earth. Jones's film, Moon, has been praised by critics.
It's the first time that Jones, who earned his directing chops in commercials, has stepped out of the shadow of his famous father. And if he has done so cautiously, it's not hard to see why. For most famous children, getting attention from the public is not difficult. It's knowing what to do with it that's tricky. A sense of direction eludes all but the very few, and the rest often find themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
"I think Stella McCartney has done a good job," said Jones, but the director struggled to come up with more examples of successful famous kids. Fortunately, we have a list to help him out. 1. Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof Blurb: Bob Geldof's middle daughter has done it all - not terribly well. Is there nothing she has not tried her hand at? Just 20 years old, she has been a columnist, a TV presenter, a runaway bride, a divorcee, a model, the face of an Australian fashion line, a DJ, a musician and been voted the 53rd sexiest woman in the world (by the readers of FHM). But by far her most outlandish project was the December 2008 launch of Disappear Here, a style guide aimed at young adults. The process of launching the magazine was the subject of an MTV documentary. The first issue featured reviews of coffins.
Successful? The response to Disappear Here was largely negative. A second issue was produced in April, but Peaches was not listed as editor in chief. They said: "Will Disappear Here magazine ever see the light of day or are we truly living through the ruined last days of the insipid celebrity oligarchy?" - www.mojo4music.com 2. Julian and Sean Lennon Blurb: One was the prodigal son, the other not so much.
John Lennon ignored his first son, Julian (who, after being left out of his dad's will, was reduced to buying his father's possessions at auction), and doted on his second son, Sean. But the talent in the family arranged itself differently. It was Julian who enjoyed three billboard top 10 hits. Sean's snoozy solo effort, Into the Sun, sank shortly after release. Successful? Julian received a nod from the Cannes Film Festival for his 2007 documentary Whale Dreamers. His sixth album, Everything Changes, is released this year. Sean has released albums and film scores, but flies under the radar.
They said: "Sean was clearly John's favourite while he was alive." - The Times. 3. Jakob Luke Dylan Blurb: He has a lot to live up to. "When I listen to Blood on the Tracks," said Jakob Dylan, "that's about my parents' divorce." Awkward! But that wasn't the only problem for Jakob. "My dad is the best at what I do," he noted. Success? His band the Wallflowers' 1996 album, Bringing Down the Horse, won two Grammys and sold six million copies. This year, Dylan was voted by the readers of Vanity Fair as one of the most handsome men in the world.
They said: "He has had to compete not only with his father's peerless achievements, but also with the standard of his own commercial success. Two subsequent albums, have not sold nearly as well." - The New York Times 4. Jack Joseph Osbourne Blurb: A chip off the old, heavily tattooed, foul-mouthed block. "They never went to school," observed a member of the production staff of The Osbournes once the hit MTV reality show propelled the family to fame. "I was paid to stay home," shrugged Jack. His lack of schooling (and dyslexia) hasn't harmed his career. If there is a reality TV show with a youthful demographic, Jack Osbourne will present it: Adrenaline Junkie, Extreme Celebrity Detox, Celebrity Wrestling.
Successful? For every up, there has been a down. They said: "The man can do anything he wants. Anything in the world. He just needs to decide whether to pitch it at ITV2, Virgin1 or MTV." - The Times 6. Stella McCartney Blurb: A famous kid with, you know, a real job. She may have attended Sussex state schools, but Stella McCartney always had connections to die for. As a teenager, she did work experience at Christian Lacroix and her graduation collection at St Martin's was modelled for free by Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Yasmine Le Bon. But unlike other famous designers she did not get a first.
Successful? She was the creative director of the Paris fashion house Chloé before launching Stella McCartney with Gucci. She also designs for Adidas, H&M and Gap. She made Time magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People in 2009, the only fashion person to do so. They said: "Her first collection for the house Chloé, shown in Paris in October 1997, quickly dispelled any doubts about her talent." - Vogue