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Musical offspring: Is talent genetic?

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Having finally torn myself away from the tickled loris long enough to explore other internet offerings, I recently came across the boppy, Britney-esque new single “Goodbye” from a young singer named Kristiana DeBarge. But it’s not the song’s Bubble-Yum riff on 1969 novelty smash turned classic sports-stadium kiss-off “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” that spun me right round like a record.

All I could think, Music Mixers, was holy surname, batcheese — could she possibly be related to the James DeBarge?? He who once showed the world how to dance to the beat of the rhythm of the night? He of the secret, annulled marriage to Janet Jackson and silken Soul Glo locks?

Indeed! Kristiana is his daughter — one of three children, in fact. The DeBarge-ian heights her career may or may not reach are still unknown, but her story does offer a glorious addition to my Post-It Note encyclopedia of second- or even third-generation (see Hanks: Williams Sr., Jr. and III) musical talents.

Clearly, the pool varies widely, from the dearly departed Jeff Buckley (son of beloved cult folkie Tim, also gone much too young) to the Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan (perhaps you’ve heard of Bob?) and the black-velvet-choker jams of Wilson Phillips (sprung from the loins of both the Mamas and the Papas’ Michele and John Phillips and Beach Boy Brian Wilson), to Nelson, the golden pop-metal showponies bequeathed to the world by the late, great teen icon turned rock legend Rick Nelson.

While you ponder the dominant — or tragically recessive — genes passed on by chart-topping talents, and leave them in the comments section below, I leave you with the father-daughter duo so rich in combined musical earnings that they could probably afford to buy Christmas from Santa Claus:

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