Kings Of Leon & Other Musicians Whose Fathers Were Preachers
Kings of Leon haven’t toured the United States since July 27, 2011. That night, a drunken Caleb Followill left the stage between songs and never returned. The rest of the concert, as well as the rest of the tour, was cancelled.
Amidst erroneous rumors that Kings of Leon were breaking up, the band released their sixth studio album, Mechanical Bull, on Sept. 20, 2013. The opus debuted at number two in the U.S. and number one in the United Kingdom. The album’s lead singles were “Supersoaker” and “Wait for Me.” Like most of KoL records, critics received it with open arms.
To support their latest offering, Kings of Leon have announced plans to tour the United States. Their trek begins Feb. 5, 2014 with a Kings of Leon concert in Atlanta. Their final date is March 8. On that night, Kings of Leon perform in Chicago at the United Center.
Right now, there are 16 stops on their itinerary, with the highlight being a Kings of Leon concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. The band keeps insisting that their current calendar is the first leg of a larger outing. That’s good news for Kings fans on the Left Coast. As things currently stand, the farthest west the band is planning on collecting Kings of Leon tickets is Kansas City, Missouri on March 5.
Opening for the Grammy Award winning band will be Gary Clark, Jr. He’ll be at every Kings of Leon concert including shows in Toronto, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Clark is on the road supporting his latest work, Blak and Blu.
Kings of Leon, which consists of three brothers and their cousin, are named after their father Ivan Leon Followill. He was a preacher with the United Pentecostal Church and often took his sons with him on the road.
For most of their childhood, Caleb, Nathan, and Jared (who, like their pops, go by their middle name) followed their father as he preached all over the southern United States. Occasionally, while dad preached, the boys were put to work banging drums.
The Kings of Leon are far from the only musicians to have a connection with the church. Below are other singers and recording artists who are the offspring of a preacher or became one themselves. By the way, Dusty Springfield, who sang “Son of a Preacher Man,” is not listed below. Her father was a tax accountant.
Leonard Cohen’s father owned a clothing store but his grandfathers were prominent figures within the Jewish faith. His mother’s father was Rabbi Solomon Klonitsky-Kline, a Talmudic writer. His father’s father was the founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Growing up, Leonard Cohen was told he was a descendant of “Aaron,” Moses’ older brother and the first High Priest of the Israelites.
Known as the “King of Soul,” Sam Cooke’s father is Reverend Charles Cook (Sam later added the “e” to his last name), a Baptist minister. Before singing songs like “You Send Me, “Chain Gang,” and “Twistin’ the Night Away,” Cooke was a member of the gospel group The Soul Stirrers. They originated in 1926 and are still performing today.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo grew up on an ashram. An ashram is basically a compound for followers of the Hindu religion. Residents practice yoga and receive religious instruction. Usually, an ashram is located in the middle of nowhere or at least close to it. Cuomo’s ashram was run by Sri Swami Satchidananda and was located in Pomfret, Connecticut. When the ashram moved to Virginia, Cuomo and his family moved to Storrs.
Marvin Gaye’s father, Marvin Gay Sr., was a minister. He was also a horrible man. The younger Marvin once described his father as a “cruel and all powerful king.” The singer’s sister claims that their father beat Marvin, Jr. from age seven well into his teenage years. On April 1, 1984, the elder Marvin fatally shot the younger Marvin after an extended family altercation.
Al Green’s pop, Robert G. Greene, Jr. was not a preacher but a sharecropper. Green, however, became an ordained minister in 1976. He turned to the church after his mistress assaulted him and committed suicide. The tragedy forced Green to examine his life and change his ways.
Aretha Franklin’s father, C.L. Franklin, was an itinerant preacher who founded the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. After her parents divorced, and her mother died, Aretha was occasionally looked after by gospel legend Mahalia Jackson.
Katy Perry is the daughter of not one but two Pentecostal pastors, Maurice Hudson and Mary Perry. Growing up, the “I Kissed A Girl” singer attended parochial schools and sang in church. As a young woman, Perry wasn’t allowed to listen to pop or rock music. Instead, she listened to gospel. Remember, her debut album in 2001 was in the genre of Christian rock.
Little Richard grew up poor but part of a very religious family. His father was a deacon in his church and two of his uncles, as well as his grandfather, were ministers. As a child, Richard and his family belonged to several churches but his favorite was the Pentecostal because of the live music. Richard became an ordained minister in 1970.
Joseph Simmons is better known as DJ Run, founder and lead vocalist of Run-D.M.C. In 2005, Simmons was ordained as a Pentecostal minister by his mentor E. Bernard Jordan. After being ordained, Run changed his nom de plume to “Reverend Run.”
Justin Timberlake’s father isn’t a minister but his father’s father is. Charles L. Timberlake was a Baptist minister. Now we know why Justin was raised Baptist. In 2001, Justin Timberlake told Larry King that he was more spiritual than religious. So I guess that means we won’t be treated to “ReligiousBack” a remake of “SexyBack.”
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