The Willis Clan are a family like no other. This multi-talented brood makes big-family life look like an extreme sport. Ranging from ages 2 to 21 years old, the children are beautiful, motivated, creative, athletic, exceptional. There's no instrument they can't play, no dance style they can't conquer.
The Willis Clan is about quality, not just quantity. With lots of love, homeschooling and hard work, parents Brenda and Toby Willis are raising 12 kids to be the best. And this is clear when you see the family in action on the Great American Country “The Willis Clan” show.
They are in a family band managed by music industry legend Doc McGhee, are national dance champions and state champion athletes. Where do they get the drive to strive?
"Our viewers will connect with The Willis Clan and share their passion for music and what is most important in life: strong family bonds, hard work, love of outdoors, and living simply," says Sarah Trahern, general manager, Great American Country.
"Each week, this unique family will entertain and inspire with their amazing talent, energy, enthusiasm and tireless can-do spirit."
The 14 members of The Willis Clan are parents Toby and Brenda and their 12 children: Jessica (21), Jeremiah (20), Jennifer (18), Jeanette (17), Jackson (15), Jedi (13), Jasmine (11), Juliette (10), Jamie (8), Joy Anna (6), Jaeger (3), and Jada (2).
Toby and Brenda Willis home school their 12 children and are uncompromisingly raising them all to become world-class musicians, dancers, athletes, and, most of all, good people and successful adults.
From the adult children to the toddlers, every child from an early age on is self-reliant and determined to be the best. Members of The Willis Clan are world champion Irish folk dancers and national swing dance champions and hold 12 state wrestling titles combined.
The seven oldest siblings are multi-instrumentalists, singers and songwriters who play together in a professional touring band called "The Willis Clan." Highly accomplished in Celtic/world, country, bluegrass, and pop music, they have opened for major artists such as Brad Paisley and The Band Perry, and recently signed with McGhee Entertainment, management for many notable artists, including Clint Black, Darius Rucker, and Kiss.
The oldest kids now take on a big part of the job mentoring and educating the youngest children. All of the kids also participate in daily workouts, dance practice, and rehearsals for the family band. The girls practice Judo and self-defense, taught by Toby, and the wrestlers -- Jedi and Jackson -- train with and wrestle with their father. The entire family sometimes works 16 hours a day perfecting all their skills. All this, while accomplishing their daily household chores, makes it a struggle to find balance and accomplish everything that needs to get done.
In the series launch, tensions mount as the Willis Clan prepares for an important showcase for Nashville's biggest music executives. Oldest kids Jessica and Jeremiah disagree over the set list, equipment problems and a flat tire plague the band, and Jennifer's broken retainer nearly causes her to miss the gig.
In more episodes this season, viewers will see the Willis Clan as they rise to many occasions and meet several challenges. The kids are faced with choosing priorities when important wrestling tournaments conflict with band dates, Toby takes them on a university tour to expose them to the differences between undergraduate life versus home schooling, they are under pressure to produce their own high-budget Hollywood-style music video to present to Nashville music executives, and are constantly rehearsing, playing gigs, writing new songs and working hard with hopes of being signed to a major record deal.
“The Willis Clan” airs on Great American Country, Thursday at 8pm ET/7 pm CT.
Check out their talent here: