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Category: rock star baby names

posted by: bluejuniper View all posts by this author
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By Brooke Cussans at Baby Name Pondering

Performers often adopt a stage name – something that is memorable and conveys a particular image, their public persona. This seems to be particularly noticeable with music artists. Actors can hide behind the characters they portray, but a music artist is much more exposed. They are their music, and their public persona can help sell their music and sell tickets to concerts and gigs. And the name they choose to go by can be an important tool to build this persona.

But how do music artists choose a stage name? Here are five examples of current music artists who have used different methods to choose their stage names.

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slsharlo

2011 was quite a year for celebrity baby names, but then again, you could say that for every recent year.  Some stars this year mined new old-fashioned sources of inspiration, while others went wild with inventions of their own.  Here, the Nameberry Awards for the best, the worst, the weirdest, and the wildest celebrity baby names of 2011.

The Nelson Eddy Memorial Award goes to…

REX HARRISON, son of Niki Taylor.

Rather than being tributes to bygone stars, these seem to be lucky—or unlucky—accidents.  Celine Dion appears to have inadvertently saluted stiff 1930’s operetta star Nelson Eddy with the combined names of her twin boys, while Niki Taylor (possibly unknowingly) paid tribute to Rex Harrison, the star of My Fair Lady.

Newest celebrity gender bender

ARLO, daughter of Johnny Knoxville and son of Toni Collette

Knoxville and Collette picked this conventionally male (but unconventional) name for different gender children in the same year.  Other gender boundary breakers: Martha Stewart’s granddaughter Jude, Mariah Carey’s daughter Monroe, and quarterback Peyton Manning’s little girl Mosley Thompson.

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Rock Star Baby Names: The Nameberry 9

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For her Nameberry 9 Newsiest Names blog this week, Abby Sandel, of Appellation Mountain, takes a long, hard look at the diverse kinds of rock star baby names picked by some hard-core dads..

Over the past week soccer player Gabriel Zakuani named his son Trendy and actor Dylan Walsh welcomed a daughter called Amelie BelleBoth were newsworthy.  Trendy has already grabbed a few headlines, and seems likely to appear on year-end lists of the wackiest baby names of 2011, while the French Amelie has met with applause.

November also marks the nationwide opening of rockumentary The Other F Word, a tale of punk rock parenting told from the perspectives of the dads.  All of the fathers started out as young and rebellious.  A few of them, including former Pennywise frontman and movie developer Jim Lindberg decline to share their kids’ names, but most do reveal what an anarchist names his baby.

For the most part, the names are stylish but far from outlandish – more Amelie than Trendy.  None of them are as outrageous as, say, Frank Zappa’s Moon Unit and Dweezil.  Some of the names might feel almost ordinary by today’s standards, but half of these kids are in their teens and twenties, putting them ahead of the curve.

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In her debut blog for Nameberry, our newest intern, Hannah Tenison, shares her favorite classic rock ‘n’ roll baby names.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.”

When your name is crooned by Eric Clapton, it takes on a whole new level of cool. Undoubtedly chosen for its lyrical, laid-back, la la la sound, Layla also sports an intriguing meaning that suits the song’s bluesy quality: “ night” in Arabic. Practically unknown before the song’s release, Layla first hit the U.S. Top 1000 in 1972, when Clapton’s rock ballad achieved chart success. There, it hovered for awhile, fell off the charts again, and then emerged anew upon the release of Layla’s Unplugged version in 1992, when it began a steady climb to baby name stardom. Today, Layla rests at an unquestionably popular Number 37, and is sure to climb even higher, given all its attractive characteristics.

Though it is probable that not all parents of little Laylas were inspired by the song, it is sure to have influenced at least some, and for those willing to dig a bit deeper into rock history for inspiration, past the dated “Roxanne” (The Police) and “Barbara Ann” (The Beach Boys), there are a number of likely gems á la Layla, just waiting to be discovered. While that list does tend to favor the girls, who tend to be more popular subjects of love songs than men, if one looks past the songs and toward the artists themselves, a whole treasure trove of possibilities can be found, and not all of them as far out as one would think.

Here are my favorite rock ‘n’ roll baby names for boys and girls, with the songs and artists referenced. (The Beatles, in particular, seem to have had their finger on the baby naming pulse!)  Keep in mind that these lists are not comprehensive, but, rather, reflect those names that seem particularly relevant to the modern day crowd, have an intriguing sound, or simply have that rockin’ edge.

GIRLS

Alice (White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane and Alice Cooper)

Athena (Athena, The Who)

Caroline (Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond)

Cecilia (Cecilia, Simon and Garfunkel)

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Baby Names

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 This week, Abby Sandel, creator of the always interesting appellationmountain.net, goes through the list of  Rock‘n’Roll Hall of Fame inductees and selects the coolest rocker name possibilities.

The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame inducted its 2011 class last week.  Since 1986, more than 605 individuals have been added to their list of notables.  Most are performers, and many are household names.  Alice Cooper and Neil Diamond were among the most recent inductees.

Many a rock star was born plain old John or James, but scroll through the list, and plenty of possibilities emerge.  They’re the kind of names that evoke late nights, loud sounds, and a certain unpredictable, fiercely creative spirit.

What could be a more fitting source of inspiration for baby names?

Booker – As in Booker T. and the M.G.s, pioneers of the Memphis sound.

Cash – The Man in Black played to prisoners and sang about the perils of naming your son Sue.  His surname has been racing up the charts since Joaquin Phoenix played the singer in 2005’s Walk the Line

Cohen – Perhaps among the most controversial boy’s name of our era, but if you’re thinking music, it brings to mind poet-turned-performer Leonard Cohen.

Cole – He’s a Top 100 choice for boys, due in part to the unforgettable NatKingCole.

Crosby – There’s ice hockey hotshot Sidney, Hollywood crooner Bing, and David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Dylan – Celebrated singer-songwriter Bob Dylan remains an elder statesman of rock, but as a given name he’s been wildly popular since the 1990s.

Elvis – Sharing a name with the King of Rock and Roll could be a lot to live up to, but it hasn’t hurt fellow Hall of Famer Elvis Costello.

Everly – Brothers Phil and Don were part of the inaugural set of inductees.

Floyd – Which one’s Pink?  Among the most successful rock bands of our time, their name was inspired by blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.  As a name, Floyd has been out of favor for decades, but could make for a daring choice.

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