John Wayne’s Granddaughter Grew Up to Become a Famous Country Singer

by Chris Piner

Known for being the guitarist of Runaway June, Jennifer Wayne, comes from a famous family thanks to the one man referred to as “The Duke”. Whenever discussing the movie industry and icons immortalized on screen, it is hard not to mention John Wayne. Being the definition of what a man was back in the day, Wayne acted in Hollywood for 50 years, credited with having over 160 feature films. But when it came to his granddaughter, Jennifer, the Duke was nothing more than a loving family man who controlled the AMC channel. 

Although knowing of her famous grandfather, Jennifer Wayne never met him as he died three years before she was born. Recalling how she learned about his fame, the 40-year-old singer told Risen Magazine, “When I was little, I would always ask the other kids, ‘What channel is your grandpa on?’ because mine was always on AMC and I could just turn it on [and see him]. So, I’d always ask what channel their grandpas were on because I didn’t know that it was any different.”

Jennifer Wayne Remembers Grandfather Being A Family Man

Surrounded by a loving family, Jennifer Wayne remembered stories about the man known for being untouchable. Jennifer told one of her favorites about the actor. “He used to wake my mom up early in the morning and say, ‘Get up! You’re burnin’ daylight!’ My mom also said that there was a rule in the house that if you walked by him, you had to give him a kiss,” She added, “He was so affectionate and loving with his family. He was such a family man.”

Jennifer Wayne’s connection to John Wayne comes from the relationship between Aissa Wayne and Earl Lawrence Kuhle II. John Wayne married Pilar Pallete in 1954 and both were together until he passed away in 1979. Aissa was the daughter of Wayne and Palette. For those who might not know, Aissa, 66, starred in a few films with John Wayne. They included The Alamo and McClintock!

Being A Wayne, Parent, And Singer

For Jennifer Wayne, her life recently expanded when she welcomed her daughter, Lilya Maria Moody, on April 18. Married to Austin Moody, the singer has shared numerous pictures of their daughter, noting the struggles of being a mother. “Still trying to figure out how to do it all and be a good mom… a lot of times I feel like I’m failing… exhaustion is something I’m getting used to. A lot of times I’ll tell Lily, I’m so sorry you got me as a mom! I have no idea what I’m doing! But moments like these make me think maybe she’s ok with it.” 

Gaining recognition from the CMT Music Awards for being Breakthrough Video of the Year for Buy My Own Drinks, Jennifer Wayne and Runaway June have toured with Carrie Underwood in 2019 and Luke Bryan the following year.