The NEW nepo babies: From Gemma Owen to Maya Hawke and Brooklyn Beckham… the rising names of the next generation trying to step out of the shadow of their famous parents
- Many nepo babies shoulder the burden of being compared to famous relatives
- Social discourse surrounding nepotism babies in Hollywood reached fever pitch
- MailOnline takes a look at the nepo babies under some very imposing shadows
The social discourse surrounding nepotism babies in Hollywood has reached fever pitch in recent months.
And while there’s absolutely no question that the entertainment industry is saturated with celebrities who were given a leg up by their parents, it does pose the question; are they deserving of such diatribe?
Whether they’re the most talented actress in the casting room or struggling to find an industry they’re truly passionate about, the commentary is generally the same.
If they are wildly successful, we question whether they’re deserving, we want them to acknowledge how their connections sowed the seeds of that success. And if they’re not? They’re ridiculed. We ask why they’re not better, more talented, more like their parents.
Newly released data has revealed the up-and-coming nepo babies whose star is on the rise, based on Google searches in the last year and their YouGov fame score
Newly released data has revealed the up-and-coming nepo babies whose star is on the rise, based on Google searches in the last year and their YouGov fame score.
It’s clear that not all nepo babies were created equally. Some have almost been handed their entire careers on a platter, while in other cases the general public didn’t even know of their handy ties until well into their careers.
Regardless, they now shoulder the burden of being compared to their ultra famous relatives. Critics argue it’s a small price to pay.
Here, MailOnline takes a closer look at the nepo babies who have had the hardest time trying to step out from underneath some very imposing shadows – and those whose star is on the rise.
He’s jumped from photography to cooking and now trying his hand at being a fashion stylist.
Brooklyn is only 23, and some would argue he’s at an age where it’s normal to experiment with your career and hobbies.
Regardless, he’s far and away the nepo baby who is currently copping the most flack for the title.
He’s landed coveted slots on shows like The Late Late Show to plug his various endeavours and has been branded by the public as ‘the definition of privilege’.
And with David and Victoria Beckham as his parents, it’s hard to imagine a world in which the public ever considers him famous for anything other than being their son.
With David and Victoria Beckham as his parents, it’s hard to imagine a world in which the public ever considers him famous for anything other than being their son
When 19-year-old Gemma Owen burst onto the scene through reality television show Love Island, many asked if the teenager was too young to be seeking love.
The daughter of footballer Michael, Gemma made her mark and quickly made one of the smoothest transitions from reality star to influencer in recent memory.
She landed six-figure marketing deals with fashion labels and amassed two million loyal Instagram followers.
While her famous father may have helped to land her a spot on Love Island, it’s hard to argue that her fans could be a direct result of her connections, given their foray into very different industries.
According to data amassed by digital marketing agency, Evoluted, Gemma is the nepo baby with the fastest growing fanbase, with 248,000 monthly Google searches – an increase of a whopping 13,500 per cent.
Gemma is also a dressage rider, and now a business owner with her swimwear line.
The daughter of footballer Michael, Gemma made her mark and quickly made one of the smoothest transitions from reality star to influencer in recent memory
Maya Hawke was one of the undeniable break out stars of Stranger Things and has been hailed for her obvious acting chops.
Even still, as pictures emerged this week of her famous father Ethan directing her in his upcoming film Wildcat, critics questioned whether she would be where she is without her connections.
The 52-year-old, who shares his daughter with his ex-wife Uma Thurman, has cast Maya as the celebrated writer Flannery O’Connor.
While she appears to have won the genetic lottery with her parents’ talent and good looks, Maya is also quick to recognise her good fortune.
In 2022, she told Rolling Stone: ‘I feel like the only way to handle the nepotism thing — which definitely gives you massive advantages in this life — is, you will get chances for free, but the chances will not be infinite.
‘So you have to keep working and do a good job. If you do a bad job, the chances will stop. That’s my ethos.’
And with 10 million Instagram followers and 2,180,000 monthly Google searches, it’s clear her star is on the rise.
Maya Hawke’s famous parents are Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman
Chet, 32, is the son of actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, and has followed his famous father into the entertainment industry.
His first role was in the 2007 film Bratz, and by 2016 he’d landed a recurring role on the American version of Shameless.
Chet’s famous father recently hit out at the ‘nepo baby’ debate, saying any successful nepo baby needs to have a drive to succeed.
‘The shoe industry is a family business. The car industry is a family business. I think my kids are all like Renaissance artists, you know? [They] are good at whatever they choose to be. But the question here is, can you make it stick?
‘You’ve got to have a passion, you’ve got to have a drive. And yeah, our household has existed in the company town that is Los Angeles. Success is a combination of talent, perseverance, drive, and no small amount of luck.’
Chet, 32, is the son of actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, and has followed his famous father into the entertainment industry
Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber, 21, followed her supermodel mother into the industry as a teenager.
But she argues nepotism isn’t as prevalent as it is made out to be. After landing a string of high-profile acting gigs in recent years, Gerber said she earned her roles herself because ‘no artist is going to sacrifice their vision for someone’s kid’.
She downplayed her parents’ role in her career’s upward trajectory, saying: ‘My mom always joked, ‘If I could call and book a Chanel campaign, it would be for me and not you’.’
The actress and model recently starred alongside Brad Pitt in Babylon, and is next set to appear in teen-flick Bottoms with Ruby Cruz for director Emma Seligman.
Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber (pictured together centre), 21, followed her supermodel mother into the industry as a teenager
OnlyFans model Lottie Moss, 24, the half-sister of catwalk icon Kate Moss, says she’s ‘sick of’ the nepotism debate.
The young aspiring model concedes her supermodel sister provided her with a sizeable stepping stone into the industry.
She said: ‘I’m so sick of people blaming nepotism for why they aren’t rich and famous or successful – obviously it’s not fair that people who come from famous families are getting a leg up because of that but guess what?
‘Life isn’t fair – if you put your mind to something you can accomplish anything! So instead of being negative about other people’s success go and try and create your own!’
OnlyFans model Lottie Moss, 24, the half-sister of catwalk icon Kate Moss, says she’s ‘sick of’ the nepotism debate
Paris is the second child of the late pop icon Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe.
Like her famous family, the singer has a love for music and officially released her first single, Let Down, in 2020, with her debut album dropping in November that year.
She released her single, Lighthouse, and its music video in June and another single titled Just You in October.
In addition to her music, she’s signed with IMG Models and has featured in Chanel and Calvin Klein campaigns.
Most recently, she has been the face of KVD beauty and Kim Kardashian’s Skims line.
She’s also dabbled in acting, featuring in Gringo and Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story in 2021.
Thanks to her inheritance from her father’s large fortune, as well as her own earnings, Paris is believed to have a net worth of $100 million.
Paris is the second child of the late pop icon Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe
Jake, 20, is the son of rocker Jon Bon Jovi and now dating Stranger Things superstar Millie Bobby Brown.
While he has decided not to follow his father into the music business, Jake isn’t straying too far, embarking on an acting career instead.
When asked by Man About Town magazine about a potential music career, he said: ‘I think I’ll leave that to my dad! There’s really no following the act there.’
He’s credited to feature alongside Keirnan Shipka in the upcoming film, Sweethearts.
Jake has more than a million Instagram followers and has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom, with a 272 per cent increase in monthly Google searches.
Pictured: Jake Bongiovi with girlfriend Millie
Jake, 20, is the son of rocker Jon Bon Jovi. While he has decided not to follow his father into the music business, Jake isn’t straying too far, embarking on an acting career instead
When Timothée Chalamet’s agent Brian Swardstrom recently eluded to the fact that the Little Women star ‘hadn’t auditioned in seven years’, he unintentionally waded into the nepotism debate.
Chalamet’s famous family ties had long been overlooked. He’s the nephew of director and producer Rodman Flender.
And while he’s a bona fide star with several huge films under his belt and an Oscar nomination for best actor, the concept of him no longer needing to audition for roles was hard to imagine for some.
While critics said it was an obvious sign of nepotism, others pointed out that it’s a standard practice for in demand actors who have proven star power.
Regardless of his ties to the industry, there’s no doubt his star has eclipsed that of his famous family.
Chalamet’s famous family ties had long been overlooked. He’s the nephew of director and producer Rodman Flender
Calum Best is the son of English model Angie Best and footballer George Best.
While he’s featured in a string of reality television programs and launched his own men’s fragrance line, he’s most famous for being a nepo baby – and his string of famous romances.
Calum has been linked to Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Harding and Jodie Marsh.
Calum Best is the son of English model Angie Best and footballer George Best
Sofia Richie is a social media personality/model/fashion designer surrounded by celebrities.
Her father is Lionel, her older sister Nicole, her godfather Michael Jackson and ex-boyfriend Scott Disick.
She went to a high school dubbed ‘celebrity high’ and counted the Jenner sisters among her close friends.
The 24-year-old has featured in campaigns for major brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Adidas.
Even still, for many people, she’ll always be Lionel Richie’s youngest daughter. Or the baby sister of The Simple Life star Nicole Richie.
Her father is Lionel, her older sister Nicole, her godfather Michael Jackson and ex-boyfriend Scott Disick
Hailey Bieber is undeniably the ‘it girl’ of the moment. From glazed donut skin to ‘Bieber brunette’ hair salon requests, she’s developed a cult following of women who want to be just like her.
She’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin and niece of Alec, but unlike some of her peers, Hailey was able to make light of her controversial nepo baby label.
Recently, she was spotted proudly rocking a ‘nepo baby’ baby t-shirt in Los Angeles.
Even still, everything from her relationship with Justin Bieber to her famous friends has been put down to nepotism.
She’s got 49.8 million followers online, her skincare and makeup line Rhode Beauty, and has more than 1.5 million Google hits each and every month.
She’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin (pictured together at the premiere of Camp Rock in 2008) and niece of Alec
Hailey is also married to Justin Bieber, and is definitely considered the ‘it girl’ of the moment
It may still be too early to determine how much Jack Keating has benefitted from nepotism.
His father is Ronan Keating, and the surname may have given him a boost in the casting process for last year’s Love Island… but it certainly didn’t keep him in there.
He had a short stint in the villa which was long enough to earn him about 50,000 Instagram followers and some red carpet invitations, but the jury is still out on whether there’s any other benefits coming his way.
Pictured: Jack Keating
His father is Ronan Keating, and the surname may have given him a boost in the casting process for last year’s Love Island… but it certainly didn’t keep him in there
Noel Gallagher and Meg Matthews’ daughter Anais has spoken openly about the benefits of nepotism in her own life.
The aspiring photographer and daughter of Oasis rocker Gallagher was given the enviable job of shooting a campaign with Coca-Cola shortly after graduating.
In November, Anais herself addressed the criticism surrounding ‘nepotism babies’ and admitted she is ‘grateful’ for the ‘privilege’ her upbringing has given her.
She confessed she would be ‘tone deaf and irresponsible’ if she didn’t admit the ‘leg up’ in life her upbringing has given her, saying it is something she will be grateful for ‘until the day I die’.
Noel Gallagher and Meg Matthews’ daughter Anais has spoken openly about the benefits of nepotism in her own life
With musician Fatboy Slim for a father and broadcaster Zoe Ball for a mother, is it any wonder Woody Cook waded into the entertainment industry?
The 21-year-old claims he’s determined to carve his own niche in the industry and says his tenacity has brought him any success he’s had so far in the industry.
‘I have never worked harder than I did to get Glastonbury, I worked harder than I did on my exams to get my friends and I there. So, someone could say it’s nepotism, right,’ he said.
‘We asked my dad for help, and he was like, ‘no’ and it’s good, it’s how you grow. I wouldn’t want to be known as a ‘nepotism baby’.
With musician Fatboy Slim for a father and broadcaster Zoe Ball for a mother, is it any wonder Woody Cook waded into the entertainment industry?
Haylie Duff is the older – and far less famous – sister of Hilary. Their mother is a film producer with credits on A Cinderella Story, The Perfect Man and Material Girls, and Hilary’s manager.
While Haylie initially started acting along with her sister, she’s never managed the same level of success and fame.
These days, Haylie’s priorities lay with motherhood. She said: ‘As a mom to two amazing kiddos, I can easily say it’s the most rewarding experience of my life.’
Haylie Duff is the older – and far less famous – sister of Hilary. Their mother is a film producer with credits on A Cinderella Story, The Perfect Man and Material Girls, and Hilary’s manager
Jamie Lynn Spears
The younger sister of megastar Britney recently broke down in tears discussing her struggles with being in her older sister’s shadow.
Jamie Lynn was a rising star in her own right with a show on Nickelodeon as a teenager. She quit the show with an ambition of moving into movies when she fell pregnant with her daughter Maddie, aged 16.
She disappeared from the limelight to raise her daughter, while Britney battled mental health issues and worked to free herself from her conservatorship.
Speaking of being in her sister’s shadow, Jamie Lynn said during her stint on Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test: ‘Growing up, my sister became famous, worldwide famous, when I was very young. I guess I just wanna like [proving that] I’m just like worth something.’
‘I’m so proud of her, love her to death, but I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I don’t really have anything for myself.’
Jamie Lynn Spears is the younger sister of megastar Britney, and had her own Nickelodeon show as a young girl
Actor Jack Quaid is the son of actors Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid and got his first break with a bit part on The Hunger Games.
He’s previously said he considered changing his surname when he first started out in the industry because of his concerns about comparison to his parents.
In an attempt to strike out on his own two feet, he declined his father’s offer to share an agent.
Actor Jack Quaid (right) is the son of actors Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid (left) and got his first break with a bit part on The Hunger Games. Also pictured: Kimberly Buffington
As Lindsay Lohan launches her long-awaited comeback, the mind wanders to her younger sister Ali.
Ali is listed as a singer, actress, model and television personality.
She’s used her name and affiliation with Lindsay throughout her career, releasing a Christmas album titled Lohan Holiday, a single for the reality television series Living Lohan and appearing in an episode of Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club.
Ali is listed as a singer, actress, model and television personality, and is the sister of Lindsay Lohan
Lourdes Leon is the famous daughter of music icon Madonna – and has followed her into the industry.
But the 26-year-old argues she’s different to other nepo babies because she was ‘raised to be so much smarter than that’.
In an interview with The Cut, she said: ‘There’s undeniable privilege that I’d be stupid to not realize. Nepotism babies are pretty awful usually, and my mom and my father raised me to be so much smarter than that.
‘I want to feel like I deserve things and not just like I’ve been given things.’
She released her debut single, Lock&Key, in August last year. The song has been played a little under 810,000 times on Spotify.
Lourdes Leon is the famous daughter of music icon Madonna – and has followed her into the industry
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