Best Rock Sibset? No Doubt!
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Rock stars are infamous for the wide range of names they give their kids, stretching from the ordinary (Harry, Henry, Josh, Jack) to the outrageous (My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way’s daughter Bandit, Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz’s sons Bronx Mowgli and Saint Lazslo).
But there is one group whose members have successfully walked the line between the two extremes and come up with some great, imaginative, but user-friendly, names for their offspring, some of them quite ahead-of-their-time trendsetters.
Stefani and husband Gavin Rossdale have a strong attachment to the Jamaican city of Kingston, where much of the work on the No Doubt album ‘Rock Steady’ was done in 2001. And Kingston has probably been the most influential choice: he landed on the popularity list at Number 937 the year little Kingston Rossdale was born and since then has leaped up more than 700 spots to Number 190. It has also contributed to the rise of the short form King (now 193) and a whole retinue of other royal appellations. McGregor reflects dad Rossdale’s mother’s Scottish roots.
Another sentimental geographical choice, he was named for one of the Stefani-Rossdales’ favorite spots, Zuma Beach in Malibu, California. Nesta was reggae legend Bob Marley’s real first name before immigration officials changed it to Robert; Gwen has long been influenced by his music. Nesta also links to big brother Kingston’s Jamaican name. Rock speaks for itself.
The powerful Greek sun god name Apollo, which also calls to mind the NASA moon-landing program and the legendary Harlem theater, entered the popularity list in 2012, and may well get a boost via this third Stefani-Rossdale boy. In addition to being two of the fastest rising boys’ names, Bowie and Flynn are the maiden names of Apollo’s parents’ mothers.
TONY ASHWIN KANAL:
Coco was first publicized by the French designer Chanel (born 1883), and then popularized in 21st century America by the daughter of Courtney Cox and David Arquette (born 2004), and is now ranking at 410 on Nameberry. Reese was feminized by actress Witherspoon (it was her mother’s maiden name), climbing 700 places since it entered the Top 1000 in the year 2000. Bassist Kanal, born in London to Indian Hindu parents, not surprisingly picked the name of a major Hindu goddess, Lakshmi, as a middle name for his daughter.
The pungent spice and color name Saffron has never ranked in the Top 1000 and so was quite an unusual choice when made by Kanal, though it’s popular on Nameberry, ranking at Number 368, and will surely find its way onto the national list. Rose, on the other hand, is the ubiquitous middle name of the early 21st century. And then, once again, Kanal picked a traditional Hindu name for his daughter’s second middle, a unisex Sanskrit choice meaning “ray of light.”
Guitarist Dumont has been remarkably consistent in the choices of names for his three sons—all have three-letters, and all are cutting-edge, starting with the dashing Ace. Ace has been climbing since the year of Ace Dumont’s birth, is now at Number 498, 177 on Nameberry, and most recently was chosen by the high-profile Jessica Simpson.
Doubly stylish is the name of the second Dumont boy. The river-related Rio has often been used in films as a charismatic cowboy name. Never having made the SSA list, it ranks at Number 815 on Nameberry. As for Atticus, the classic Latin name of the noble To Kill a Mockingbird lawyer/dad, has been rising since 2004, now at Number 404 in the US, and a sensational Number 3 on Nameberry!
The Dumonts have moved off the grid with their third choice, the Hawaiian appellation Koa, which is the common name for a Hawaiian acacia tree used, appropriately, for making musical instruments. It is nicely balanced by the classic name of dad Thomas in the middle.
Drummer Adrian Young was seven years ahead of Kourtney Kardashian when he named his son Mason in 2002, though there’s no doubt that it was KK—as well as a couple of fictional characters– who was instrumental in propelling the name to the Number 2 spot in 2011. Like several of the other No Doubt kids, Mason got a classic middle.
Another prescient choice was the luscious floral name Magnolia, which didn’t enter the Top 1000 until last year. And it’s a pretty fair assumption that this babe’s second name is a tribute to Ms. Stefani, who shares that middle name, given to her by her parents inspired by the Four Tops recording of the song “Walk Away Renee.”