Music and religion often go hand-in-hand, as the legendary tale of the Blues Brothers artfully and hilariously depicts, and for the following musicians it definitely started out with parents who were involved in churches. Read on for the Encyclopedia of Music’s list of five musicians who have preacher parents.
Five: Aretha Franklin. Franklin’s father, C.L. Franklin, was a pastor for New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan from 1946 to 1979. It was here that Franklin began her singing career by singing gospel. It wasn’t until she was 18 years old in 1960 that Franklin signed with Columbia Records and started her career as an independent singer.
Four: Joy Williams. Better known as one-half of the folk duo called the Civil Wars, Joy Williams happened to two parents who were full-time members of the ministry. Like Aretha Franklin, Joy Williams also began her singing career in the Christian music scene. Prior to joining John Paul White to form The Civil Wars in 2009, she had recorded three Contemporary Christian Music albums.
Three: Alice Cooper. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Born Vincent Damon Furnier, Alice Cooper definitely went a different direction than his father, a lay preacher for the Church of Jesus Christ (also known as the Bickertonite Church). According to Wikipedia, he was only active in his church at ages 11 and 12, however recently he’s made comments referring to his being a born-again Christian.
Two: Katy Perry. Katy Perry’s Christian roots are fairly well-known. Her debut album was released 15 years ago as a Christian artist under her given name, Katy Hudson. Raised with Pentecostal pastor parents, Perry attended religious schools, and was taught not to listen to “secular” music. That’s all in the past, however, Perry says she still maintains a positive relationship with her folks.
One: Kings of Leon. The band is comprised of the three Followill brothers and their cousin Matthew Followill. Growing up, they were raised on the road with their traveling evangelist father. Although their father eventually left the church, he was originally a United Pentecostal Church pastor, while their mother led worship during all-night church meetings. No telling why he eventually left the ministry.