Celebs Who Rode Their Famous Sibling’s Coattails to Success

March 6, 2012  |  

Word on the street is that 29-year-old Kaela Humphries, sister to New Jersey Nets star (and Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband) Kris Humphries, just signed a deal with Ford Models. Kaela has done some modeling work in the past, but signing with Ford is huge. In any event, it’s kind of safe to say that with her brother’s name out there (whether in a positive or negative way, it’s still out there), that probably helped her get her foot in the door with Ford. If so, Kaela wouldn’t be the first celebrity to use his/her sibling’s notoriety as a platform to get their own names out there, only to end up creating their own lane and doing their own thing. Janet Jackson just might be the poster child for gaining celebrity off a name, but creating her own massive following and success. But check these other folks out who attained similar success…and of course, those who didn’t.

Tahj Mowry

Who could forget the Smart Guy? The younger brother of Tia and Tamera Mowry, you could catch Tahj stealing screen time from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on Full House way back in the day. And while his older sisters were busy taking over television with their show, Sister, Sister, he one-upped them by getting his own TV series, Smart Guy. The show only aired for two years, but in that short time, Mowry became pretty big (and pretty freaking adorable). That was 1999 though, and nowadays, he looks…not as adorable, but still decent. Last time I checked he was doing cameos on The Game with Tia, trying to get a music career off the ground, and this year, he’s allegedly supposed to be working on a film called, Baby Daddy…well, alrighty then.

Elizabeth Olsen

Speaking of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, did you know about their sister Elizabeth?Take a good look at her and you can tell that she’s their baby sis (aside from her height): same piercing eyes, similar fashion sense. But this chick is getting the acting success as a serious thesbian that her mogul sisters couldn’t necessarily reach. You have to check out her role in the hit indie film Martha Marcy May Marlene, where she plays a young woman trying to live a normal life after escaping a cult. Talk about deep…

Chico DeBarge

Oh Chico, he was meant to stand out in his family. When you’re the only guy in a famous family who doesn’t sing in a falsetto, you’re just meant to be a star in your own right, and he was. Who else remembers “Talk To Me”? But like his famous siblings, Chico has also seen his share of legal troubles as well. He’s jumped from label to label in the last decade, but after releasing his very honest album, Addiction, in 2009, we’re hoping that things are all good with our guy Chico these days…”Iggin Me” is still my jam!

Solange

Well of course. I think we can all see how hard it can be to be the baby sister (and only other sibling) of a world famous singer who critics and men like to compare you to, but Solange has done well in making sure she’s very different from her sister Beyoncé, but still very successful. She got her start as a singer with her father as her manager as well when she was around the age of 14 and 15, and back then she was going for the Rasta look and rocking long microbraids. After becoming a mother, doing some acting, and going through a transformation after releasing Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in 2008, Knowles cut her hair off, changed up her wardrobe and became something of a fashion icon. Nowadays, she’s a model, spokeswoman for Rimmel London, and is still working on a new album, but she’s clearly having much success being anything and everything BUT Beyoncé’s twin.

Tony Rock

Everytime I think about the fact that Tony Rock is Chris Rock’s brother, I always think back to the show Everybody Hates Chris and wonder, could he be the younger brother on the show that everyone was swooning over as a kid??? Maybe or maybe not, because while there were only three kids on the show, the Rock family had eight! Anyway, Tony Rock definitely followed in the footsteps of his older brother, doing stand up and appearing on shows like All of Us, and he even has his own show called The Tony Rock Project. While he clearly got his start with the help of his brother’s name, he’s definitely doing big things on his own.

Tamar Braxton

Tamar has been singing since she was a little girl trying to harmonize her want and need for toilet paper, and when she joined with her sisters in a group, The Braxtons, she thought they were going to make it to the top. Well, Toni did, but for Tamar and the rest of her sisters? Not so much…

After trying to perform in a group with the rest of her siblings (sans Toni and Traci), Tamar tried to get her foot in the door as a solo artist, but wound up singing backup for her sister. That was of course, until the whole family was asked to do this little reality TV show thing…Just like that, Tamar became something of a household name (who isn’t saying hotmess.com?). Though she isn’t successful solely based on her music like she might have wanted, if it wasn’t for that show, she wouldn’t have had the chance to perform on the Soul Train Music Awards last year, nor the chance to now have her own spinoff show with her hubby and manager, Vince.

Charlie Murphy

CHARLIE MURPHYYYYYYYY (*in a fake Rick James voice*)! You have probably seen Eddie Murphy’s big brother in a number of films over the years but never noticed him: Harlem Nights, Mo’ Betta Blues, CB4. He was even a rapper in the’80s (those Murphys, always trying to do something in music…), but most of the time, people just knew him as Eddie Murphy’s brother. And then all that changed when he decided to tell a few stories on Chappelle’s Show about his adventures rolling around with Eddie Murphy and his entourage. Those hilarious stories, later played out by Dave Chappelle, made Murphy a star on the show and pretty popular in the mainstream. Since then, he’s been doing voice work for different video games and movies, but I think we’ll always recognize him for his “True Hollywood Stories.”

Ashlee Simpson

She might have pretended that she didn’t want to be looked at as Jessica Simpson’s little sister when it came to her music career, but honestly, where would this child have been if her older sister hadn’t paved a way for her? Due to her sister’s success with reality TV and music, her baby sister obtained her own reality TV program, The Ashlee Simpson Show, and easily got her foot in the door both with TV and with a music deal. But aside from that, her music success was a lot different than Jessica’s, as well as her life direction. While her debut album, Autobiography, went triple platinum, her singing talents were found to be questionable and after she was caught lip-synching on Saturday Night Live, she ditched being a pop star to be a wife and mother, and after about three years, she filed for divorce. Since then, she’s just been working on the fashion side of things, collaborating with her sister’s popular brand to create fashions for girls the 7-16 range.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner

The idea that a whole family has capitalized off of scandal behind a sex tape still boggles my mind, but yet and still, all the Kardashian family is making money and moves thanks to the sexual exploits of Kim. But the youngest kids of the large family have managed to do it without needing a spinoff show or being caught up in controversy. Both girls are trying their hand at modeling, and you can catch them doing it big for the likes of Forever 21 and in the pages of Teen Vogue.

Ray J

But of course, this list would be nothing without Ray J. You know you’re where you are because of your sibling when people constantly say, “Wait a minute, ain’t that Brandy’s brother?” Literally every show that brother was on back in the day had something to do with Brandy (I’m just waiting for him to get a cameo on The Game now), and most music videos she had, Ray J would show up in. Aside from trying to do music (and you know you only remember “One Wish” and “Wait a Minute”), having a scandalous reality dating show and a sex tape, that’s pretty much what Ray J is known for. And it’s pretty clear that at this point in life, that’s something he’s very comfortable with. *Kanye shrug*

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  • Toosmart2bfooled

    As far as Tia and Tamera? I like them. But, I prefer Tia over Tamera. Why? Tia keeps it real. She recognizes her African side. Yet with Tamera, she doesn’t. Why didn’t she find and marry a black man? I’ll tell you…because she just like her mom didn’t want any dark skin boogie bear looking children. So she married white. Just to avoid her children resembling her cousin Jerome. It’s sad, but true.

  • Mrs Quila

    To play Ray is playing yourself only 2 songs LOL stop it s@xy can I and Shorty got gifts were the s**t but pick up RAYDIATION the CD is nice

  • Mallory94

    I wouldn’t say Tahj used his sisters’ fame.  Sure it may have helped him, but he was a great young actor, I don’t know about now.  We’ll see.  No, I don’t think Elizabeth Olsen used her sisters’ fame either.  I didn’t even know about her until she started popping up, she’s a good actress.  I don’t even know who Chico is……………………….  I cannot say much about Solange..I hadn’t heard of her before she became famous, I rarely hear of her now, so she could’ve used Beyonce’s fame there.  I have heard of Tony Rock, but until now I didn’t know he was related to Chris Rock whose name I heard often, and until now I hadn’t known he was the actor in Everybody Hates Chris..a show I used to watch…so who knows maybe he did maybe he didn’t.  I had never heard of Tamar, or her sister..  I didn’t even know Eddie Murphy has a brother, so maybe he is or not using Eddie’s fame.  Ashlee may or may have not used Jessica’s fame, either way I love her.  I hadn’t even heard of those two Kadarshian’s, I’m not a fan of the family though, I wouldn’t say they’re using the fame…maybe getting popularity off of it accidentally, but I wouldn’t say they want to be looked at like a Kim/Khloe/Whoever’s sisters.  I love Ray-J and Brandy so I don’t care there and I don’t know, they’re both very talented.  I didn’t even know they were real siblings.

    • Short2130

      Wow… There is a lot you didnt know! I thought EVERYONE knew Charlie was Eddie’s brother… I never know why the Kardashians were famous… You have never heard of Toni Braxton??? Wow…

  • um.. serious “thesBian”?  Is there something you are trying to say abut Elizabeth Olsen or just a typo?  

  • Diamon

    I love Toni Braxton and three sisters and Tamar is not one of them to damn GHETTO she is a hoodrat.com foreal all the playen with the hair, shaken the head, the voice, they picking on me, i need a record deal, and me me me is killing my eyes!!!! i will not be watching her act a fool any more this year, she talks to much, and got on Dr. Phil and told every body’s buzz but hers and she knows it all. It just makes Toni the STAR look so bad.

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  • Oharris64

    Ray-J started out in acting first. He was in a sitcom with Sinbad way before Thea and Moesha. Ray played an adopted troubled kid when he was like seven years old.

  • tiffanysince1987

    Ray J has many talents 🙂

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  • i dont agree with all of these. like someone already mentioned, Tahj was the reason that the twins even got discovered, that is fact. And Mary Kate and Ashley’s sister is a serious actress. Her acting chops would have landed her a gig regardless. And Kim K’s sisters, true her name got them an audition and for an agent to give them a look, but they do have that specific look designers look for. Without Kim K, they probably could have made it too. And lets not get started on Solange. I like her better than Beyonce. So -_____-….And Kaela Humphries has been a plus sized model for a while.The rest I agree with. 

  • Tagirl

    -Oh my, she’s not lying. I only remember “Wait A Minute” and “One Wish” by Ray J. He was in absolutely everything Brandy did. However, when she was on “Thea,” he was on “The Sinbad Show.” That was a good show. Brandy’s one of the top 25 child stars of all time and she made sure her brother ate. She had him on her shows, videos, albums; just everything.

    -Tamar definitely came up off Toni. She did all of them a huge favor by doing the show, or else we wouldn’t know who they were. Although, I recognized Towanda from when she was on that Inyanla show “Starting Over,” back in the day, which I watched because they said that Toni Braxton’s sister would be on it. Tamar came and visited her there. Andre didn’t come off as the bum he does on this show though.
    -Wow, the Olsen sister is much taller than M & A. She can do what she wants. Her big sisters have a billion dollar empire.
    -I liked Ashlee Simpson’s music. She couldn’t sing like Jessica (who has a beautiful voice) but she tried the alternative route.  She’s smart to join her sister, Jessica Simpson, in her billion dollar clothing empire. I read Jessica nets $100mil a year off of it.
    -Chico had some nice music in the mid to late 90’s. I used to love the song that he and Joe had together.
    -Didn’t know Charlie was older than Eddie.

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  • Krystal

    uum sorry to tell you but Tahj acted first. He was on Full House and Tamera was his sister in an episode. Someone saw the twins and give them their own show. Yes they were more popular but they were discovered because of him

  • Misskaywill

    And to who ever wrote this article Kaela Humpries has been modeling for a while. You don’t make it to fashion wk by saying Kris or Kim name…. sorry don’t play her like thay

  • Jen

    Oh gawwwwwd!  Tamar will have more exposure on tv?  I don’t think I can take much more of the “why-is-everybody-picking-on-me-in-that-annoying-screeching-voice-and-I-don’t-care-cuz-its-all-about-me-and-I’m-gonna-get-my-record-deal-but-my-husband-doesn’t-know-it-yet-cuz-he’s-gonna-help-me-I-got-this-boomdotcom.  Dang, I have to go out more!

    • ariesdollface

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  • JACKIE

    that right RAY J make the story worth telling even with all the stuff he has done HA HA HA …he is cute and he can hold a tune and act but I SMELL GAY TAR with that little girly dog…HA HA HA…BRANDY can’t make her brother famous if she can’t stay that way her self and they really need to get rid of there mother as MANAGER…THEY GET A HOLD LOT MORE FAMOUS WHEN THEY DO….

    • Misskaywill

      Disagree!!! Ray J is famous because of Brandy. Ray J had no career before she put him in Moesha and let him sing a couple of times. The difference is Ray J just capitalized on his success… and got into gossip worthy relationships with ppl like Lil Kim, Whitney nd of course Kim K. Brandy on the other hand had so many detours such as the stupid debacle when she got pregnant and alleged marriage to that car accident that was clearly not her fault that was draining. But I TOTALLY AGREE that woman desperately needs to GOOOOO!!!

  • Pasty Cheeks

    Ray-J is the worst singer ever to have a video,album or single.That is all.

    • Jen

      Whaaaaaaaaaaat?  You didn’t like One Wish??? 

      • SweetT

         If I had “one wish” it would be for him to never sing that song again…

        • Fsc3etienne

          Haaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa!!!!! I so agree!

      • M.Holl

        haha i was just gonna ask the same thing!!