Rock Stars Who Were Born Rich
The only thing worse than a spoiled-rotten rock star is a spoiled-rotten rock star who was born that way. There’s a popular theory that’s been around since at least the early ’70s that claims that middle-class people make the best rock ‘n’ roll. We’re not sure if that’s entirely true, but the middle and working classes (as well as artists below those levels) certainly have more on the line than folks born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Either way, the artists who make our list of the Rock Stars Who Were Born Rich have recorded some great music over the years, even if they made their first million before they learned to walk.
The only reason we’re singling out Julian Casablancas from his equally born-rich bandmates in the Strokes is that his financial advantages stretch back further. Casablancas’ dad is the co-founder of a Paris-based model agency that’s represented Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum and many other supermodels over the past 40 years; his mom is a former model (natch) and a onetime Miss Denmark. If that isn’t enough to make you see green, his grandfather was a super-successful textile businessman.
Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey started life as Elizabeth Grant in New York City, where both of her parents worked for Grey Group, a real-life ‘Mad Men’ agency that deals in advertising, marketing and possibly mid-afternoon highballs. She went to boarding school, studied philosophy in college and recorded an album under her own name before she reworked her image and music. Oh, and her middle name is “Woolridge,” which is pretty damn fancy-pants.
The She & Him singer was born in Los Angeles to Hollywood parents. Her mother, Mary Jo Deschanel, starred in ‘The Right Stuff’ as astronaut John Glenn’s wife and in ‘Twin Peaks’ as the wheelchair-bound mother of one of the show’s troubled teens. Zooey’s dad, Caleb Deschanel, is an acclaimed director and cinematographer who’s been nominated for five Oscars for his work on movies like ‘The Natural’ and ‘The Passion of the Christ.’
It should come as little surprise that Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig boasts a privileged background. Just look at him. He looks like he just stepped out of an L.L. Bean catalog. He was raised in Upper Manhattan by a psychotherapist father and a mother who worked behind the scenes on movies and TV shows. Koenig majored in English literature at Columbia University — a career path favored by born-rich kids and destined-to-be-poor-forever idealists.
DJ/producer/party-starter Mark Ronson has a long list of friends and clients that includes Adele, Nas, Amy Winehouse and Duran Duran, among countless others. He undoubtedly got some hobnobbing tips from his uncle, British real-estate tycoon Gerald Ronson, a fixture on past richest-men-on-the-planet rankings. Ronson the artist is also related to a couple of well-known politicians, one of whom has a “Sir” in front of his name. Plus, his stepfather was the guy who played guitar in Foreigner.