“Cool mom.” The term might sound like an oxymoron to some or make you think of Amy Poehler’s sad character in Mean Girls ("what's the cool jams?"). But as those surprising vintage photos we find of our parents looking like hip strangers prove, moms are people, too. And some of these mothers played in bands and starred in cult TV shows!
Click NXT to meet the moms that were making it happen even before they made the musicians you know today:
Less than a year after Whitney Houston’s untimely death, her mother Cissy Houston released Remembering Whitney, a controversial book chronicling their relationship and the singer’s stormy life. But Cissy was a gospel and soul singer in her own right, and before she gave birth to “Nippy" she sang backup for legends like Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley.
According to Kreayshawn’s Instagram, the “Gucci Gucci” rapper is a mom to be. And if she has a daughter, they should form a three-generation all-girl band with Kreay’s mother Elka Zolot, a singer and guitarist best known for her surf-punk trio the Trashwomen, who were seriously badass. It must feel weird to be out-cooled by your own mom.
Sean Lennon was a wee 5 year old when he started recording with one of the most recognizable names in rock history: His mom, artist and activist Yoko Ono. Being the spawn of rock royalty is a lot to live up to, but judging by their most recent collab—"Please Don’t Frack My Mother" performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon—Sean’s clearly proud to have an awesome mom.
Rufus Wainwright was born into the family business—both parents were established singer-songwriters. His mother Kate McGarrigle was a celebrated Canadian folk musician who performed solo, as a duo with her sister Anna and alongside her children Rufus and Martha until her death in 2010.
“Mama Maybelle” Carter sang and played the guitar, banjo and autoharp in the country music dynasty that was the Carter Family. June joined the family band at age 10 and later played with her mom and siblings in Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters. Basically, Johnny Cash had the coolest mother-in-law ever.