Natali and Lady Gaga? How About The Five Most Truly Talented Sets of Siblings In American Music?
Over the weekend we became aware of the fact that Lady Gaga a) has a little sister named Natali Germanotta and b) that Natali is pretty stylish, just like her big sis. This got us thinking about all the other famous musicians out there with siblings that are just as talented as they are, even if they don't always get the credit they deserve.
DENNIS AND BRIAN WILSON
If you know the Beach Boys, you know Brian and Dennis. Brian has been described as a tragic genius, and has been credited as the creator of the most artful music made by an American pop composer. Brother Dennis Wilson, however, was a pretty interesting guy--he cowrote some of the Beach Boys' most famous songs, such as "South Bay Surfer", "Friends", and "Be Here in the Morning". Also, he was the only Beach Boy who actually surfed. Sure, he hung out with Charles Manson and married the illegitimate daughter of his cousin and bandmate, but he also was a pretty talented artist in his own right. He released a solo album called Pacific Ocean Blue in 1977, which gained modest sales and critical acclaim. He drowned in 1983 so his solo artistic development--and his legacy--is sadly sparse. But it's clear from listening that Brian wasn't the only talented Wilson brother.
REV. RUN AND RUSSELL SIMMONS
Talk about talent. Reverend Joseph "Run" Simmons puts the Run in Run DMC and his brother Russell Simmons is a founder of Def Jam Records. Founded in 1984 by college student Rick Rubin, Simmons joined the nascent company shortly thereafter. By 1987, the label was behind a handful of gold and platinum releases and showed no signs of slowing down. Russell Simmons might not have invented rap, per se, but he might be accurately credited for the astonishing, widespread success of rap and hip hop today. As Salon's Jeff Stark put it,
As a young man, he heard a thriving, vibrant music in battered ghettos and solid middle-class black neighborhoods like his own and turned it up loud enough to blast suburban multiplexes and small-town burger joints. If Simmons hadn't mainstreamed rap, someone else certainly would have -- the music was too potent, too necessary, too relevant to smoke without ever catching fire. The point is that Simmons lit the match.
Russell Simmons speaks in the video above about innovation and business, and given the vastness of his success, it's probably worth watching.