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Ten Musicians Who Grew Up Without Siblings

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Bassist John Entwistle, The Quiet One For The Who, Was The Only One In His Family


You can immediately exclude from this list any songs by the Osmonds or the Jacksons or the Cowsills, who all comprised a large number of family members. Even acts such as Oasis or the Everly Brothers can be discounted, for they involved at least one pair of siblings.

The following artists, who like the late Michael Nesmith, are the only child in their immediate families. You would think that, because of their lack of siblings, these musicians would be primarily solo acts.

While several of them are, the list still contains only children who thrived as members of bands. In fact, the greatest rock band in the world landed two of its quartet on this list.

Michael Nesmith

Famously, his mother invented Liquid Paper, allowing he only child to pursue an unpromising career as a folk singer before attaining stardom as a member of the Monkees.

Mark Foster

The leader of Foster the People has stated how being an only child resulted in his pursuit of music, and it really paid off when his debut album soared with the single “Pumped Up Kicks.”

Elvis Costello

Declan McManus did eventually acquire a half-sister, but it was long after he had come of age to prepare soft punk albums like My Aim Is True, This Year's Model and Armed Forces.

Ringo Starr

Probably The Beatles drummer benefited from being an only child, for his numerous illnesses as a child allowed his parents to dedicate all their efforts to tending his health.

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John Lennon

Perhaps his troubled childhood would have been easier to endure had he had a sibling to share it with, but then his magical collaboration with Paul McCartney may never have developed.

John Entwistle

Among the Who the bassist became known as the quiet one, which is surprising given the fact that he never had a sibling to speak up for him.

Brian May

Even though he wrote the beautiful “Sail Away Sweet Sister” for The Game album, the Queen guitarist was raised with neither a sister nor a brother.

Gene Simmons

The Kiss bassist grew up without any siblings, only to discover after forty years he had two half-brothers and a half-sister living in Israel.

Robbie Robertson

As the sibling-less Robertson has stated publicly many times in the past decade, Band drummer Levon Helm became like the brother he never had.

Keith Richards

Unable to enlist the help of nonexistent siblings, the Rolling Stones guitarist probably learned quicker than most how to become a “Street Fighting Man.”

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