Family Empire: Passing the Genes

Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, proved she was headed in her parents’ footsteps when she made her acting debut in the 2007 film, I Am Legend (appearing alongside her father.) Last month, Willow decided to show off her singing ability as well with the release of “Whip My Hair,” one of the hottest singles currently on the music airwaves. If things couldn’t get any better for the nine-year-old child prodigy, she’s also signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. Willow isn’t the first, and won’t be the last to make her mark. Here are a few other young stars who are heading down a familiar path to stardom:

Diggy Simmons (son of Rev Run)
Diggy Simmons may have become a known face on his family’s reality show Run’s House, but you soon might recognize his voice. The 15-year-old rapper signed to Atlantic Records earlier this year, and he released his second mixtape, Airborne, last month. He’s also a fashion designer who released his sneaker line, Chivalrous Culture (, this past summer.

OMG (son of Ice Cube)
West Coast rap may be making a comeback. Earlier this year, Ice Cube introduced his son OMG to the hip hop world on YouTube. Since then, OMG has been featured on a few of Ice Cube’s songs. We suspect he’s in the studio getting ready for his debut.

Romeo (son of Master P)
Formerly known as Lil Romeo, Romeo, who recently turned 21, has had seven (including compilation) albums to date. Just this year, he founded a record label, Next Generation Entertainment, and released a mixtape. He’s also working on his upcoming album, I Am No Limit. And his career doesn’t stop at rapping- he was a former USC basketball player, and he’s also appeared in numerous films.

BJ & Niko McKnight (sons of Brian McKnight)
Veteran R&B singer Brian McKnight is a multi-instrumentalist who plays nine instruments including the piano, guitar and drums. His two sons, Brian Junior (also known as BJ) and Niko, also happen to be multi-instrumentalists as well as aspiring singers.

Bobbi Kristina Brown (daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown)
Although Bobbi Kristina hasn’t released a song yet, she confirmed that she wanted to pursue a singing career when her mother appeared on Oprah’s show last year. Around that same time, Whitney brought Bobbi on stage to perform a duet with her during a Good Morning America concert. If she can blow anything like Whitney, we can’t wait for her first single to drop.
—— By: Crystal Tate


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