Happy Father’s Day!

BreatheHeavy Commemorates Our Favorite Pop Star Dads

To celebrate Father’s Day, Team BreatheHeavy’s honoring our favorite pop star daddies.

Dad’s are there for us when we take our first breath, give us that push on our bike after removing the training wheels, bring us to mom for an oversized band-aid after we fall on the pavement after said push, remind us to unbutton our pants after dinner and blame all farts on the dog. Today on Father’s Day, Team BreatheHeavy is celebrating our daddy pop stars who’ve inspired us throughout the years by highlighting their best track (according to us).

Will Smith

Ross @rosslohan
It seems that Will Smith’s music career has been forgotten about as his acting roles cemented his status as one of Hollywood’s biggest actors. However, the Fresh Prince started out as a rapper with Jazzy Jeff and began a very successful solo career in 1997. One of the biggest hits from his debut album was the sentimental ode to Trey Smith, his firstborn and then only-child, “Just The Two Of Us.” Sampling Grover Washington and Bill Withers’ 1981 hit, Smith’s track about fatherhood peaked at #2 in the UK and reached the Top 20 on Billboard in 1998. After this release, Smith had two more children with wife Jada Pinkett-Smith who both emerged as micro-artists performing and acting at a young age. Jaden and Willow continue to show promising signs of being the next generation’s superstars but their dad doesn’t seem to be finished with music just yet. The 46-year-old sent whispers around the music industry last summer as he introduced Calvin Harris at a number of European festivals and was reportedly in the studio with none other than Kanye West. While we wait and see if those collaborations created anything comeback-worthy (it’s been 11 years since “Switch”), we salute the Fresh Prince on Father’s Day and celebrate with his own tribute to fatherhood.

P. Diddy

Nick @nicksawaboy
P. Diddy might be one of the most famous dads on the planet… His alternative name is Puff Daddy, after all! My favorite song from Diddy is without a doubt “I Need a Girl Pt. II.” The song features Loon, Ginuwine, and Mario Winans. It’s one of my absolute favorite throwback songs because it just instantly puts you in a great mood, and a lot of Diddy’s projects has that effect on you. “Girl Pt. 2” reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002 while its predecessor “I Need a Girl Pt. 1” peaked at #2 just weeks before. In contrast, “Pt. 1” is a slower song that features Usher on the chorus. Both are great, but I prefer “Pt. 2” because it’s just timeless.

Justin Timberlake

Jordan @breatheheavycom
I heard a rumor Justin Timberlake is an overprotected daddy to newborn Silas (“He insists Silas sleep in a crib beside the couple’s bed,” an insider told a ~tabloid~, “but Jessica [Biel] is getting annoyed because they hardly ever go out”). Look, Jessica, JT and his dadbod can do as they please, but I’m with you on the not going out thing; JT needs to finish recording his fourth solo studio record because pop music in 2015 needs his inevitable Timbaland-produced contributions. I guess I’ll continue enjoying the smooth sounds of our standout JT track, 2013’s “TKO” off The 20/20 Experience Part II (“Cry Me A River” was a very close second, but I’m burned out playing that song on loop for over a decade and am personally trying to write stories on BreatheHeavy without mentioning Britney. D’oh!). The inside source mentioned above added “Justin makes sure the security cameras are working every morning,” and we salute him for that. Happy first Father’s Day, JT!

Michael Jackson

Jessica @jessicaexhale
As we edge closer to six years since Michael Jackson’s traumatic passing, his indelible legacy as the world’s greatest entertainer has not diminished. There isn’t one single artist making music today who wasn’t somehow inspired by the King of Pop. No one was more affected by his sudden death than his three beautiful children Prince, 18, Paris, 17, and Prince II (affectionately known as Blanket by his family, and who now goes by the preferred name Bigi), 13. The grief surrounding Michael’s passing became all too real when a then 12 year old Paris bravely stood before a crowd of thousands on live television and dissolved into tears as she farewelled the only parent she’d ever known up until that point, calling him “the best father you could ever imagine”. While many chose to exaggerate and vilify what little we saw of Michael Jackson’s parenting, such as his decision to have his kids wear masks in public in an effort to keep their identity hidden, when his children spoke of him, they painted a loving picture of a normal, approachable, fun presence, who enjoyed walks on the beach and eating chocolate – a far cry from the media’s gross depiction of him. Since 2009, the elder Jackson children have been introduced to their mother Debbie Rowe, and Michael’s two sons are said to be doing well, Prince recently graduated high school with honours. Paris, however, the one said to be closest to her father, struggled to cope, tragically attempting suicide in 2013. In 2015, thankfully the Jackson children all appear to be in a good place, after having taken some much needed time out of the spotlight. Choosing a favourite Michael Jackson song is no easy feat, but as it’s Fathers Day, I decided to go with a particularly enthralling live performance of You Are Not Alone, if only for the hauntingly beautiful outro starting at 4:44:

Kanye West

Jarvis @@_J_PoP
Kanye West is the best father of all time! Or at least that’s probably what he’d say about himself if given the chance. The soon to be father of two has always brought an intense passion to everything in his life, including parenting. In typical Kanye fashion, he’s already declared that he’ll fight for people with less conventional body shapes, like his wife Kim, to gain the respect of the public since his daughter is likely to have a similar figure. What other father is thinking about his daughter’s future like this? While this awkward rant, like many of his previous ones, may one day embarrass North, Kanye’s heart is always in the right place. If there is one thing Kanye will teach North, it will be to follow her instincts and passions despite criticism, just like he does. What more could you want from a dad?

Chris Brown

James @newyorkinstinct
I would’ve never imagined that I would be showing some love to this guy, but Chris Brown’s fatherhood (at least via Instagram) has really impressed me as of late. I know. I know. But how can you not feel the good vibes after taking a look at his Instagram? Breezy has bombarded his feed with a ton of photos and videos of his baby girl, Royalty, and I think it’s absolutely adorable. More of this, Chris, and less of, well, everything else.

Ricky Martin

Aaron @azbutterfield
It’s a little odd to be writing about Ricky Martin for Father’s Day when you consider that the Latino heartthrob was actually my first crush. Yes, even at 10 my gaydar was so well tuned that I just knew that the “She Bangs” star and I were destined to end up together. Whilst he may not have come to his senses and realised that I’m the right man for him quite yet, Ricky is my favourite pop dad. His twin sons Matteo and Valentino are the most adorable children you’ve ever laid eyes on and Martin seems to be completely infatuated with them. It’s admirable that Ricky Martin has managed to dedicate time to both his children and maintaining a solid Spanish language musical career, but let’s hope 2015 marks his mainstream comeback.

Who’s YOUR favorite daddy popstar? Let us know in Exhale!