The Hottest Celebrity Baby Names
By Abby Sandel
Do celebrity baby names influence the names we choose for our children? Or are the stars just like us, drawn to the same styles and trends that appeal to parents everywhere?
It’s probably a little bit of both, but looking at the new US Top 1000, there’s no question that many a rising name also appeared on a high profile birth announcement.
Sometimes it takes a few months for a celebrity baby name to really catch on. Two of the hottest names in 2014 were 2013 choices: Everly, the daughter of Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, and Axl, son of Fergie and Josh Duhamel.
But plenty of 2014 starbabies share their names with other children born in the same year.
Here are nine girl names, plus two boy names, that were on the rise in 2014, influenced – at least a little bit – by celebrity parents.
River – This nature name is still more popular for boys, but sci fi has given us unforgettable female Rivers on Doctor Who and Firefly. Kelly Clarkson welcomed daughter River Rose in June. She wasn’t the only one. River leapt 134 places to Number 453 in 2014. Kelly has said that she and husband Brandon Blackstock got the idea from their Nashville home, which faces a river.
Alena – The Jonas Brothers graduated from the Disney Channel to pop stardom. Then oldest brother Kevin and new wife Danielle starred in their own reality series, Married to Jonas, on E! Before they welcomed their first in February, the pair promised a name that was “different enough but not totally out there.” Alena hit the mark, but has since climbed 114 places to Number 617.
Frances – Late night talk host Jimmy Fallon and wife Nancy Juvonen have great taste in names. Their daughters are Winnie, born in 2013, and Frances, who arrived in 2014. Classic, lady-like Frances was up 91 spots to Number 602 in 2014. But the younger Fallon arrived in early December, so we can’t give the couple credit for this comeback name.
Giovanna – Who would have guessed that the Jersey Shore alumni would turn out to be such great baby namers? Nicole Polizzi – better known as Snooki – welcomed her second child with husband Jionni LaValle in September. Giovanna is an Italian heritage choice, just like big brother Lorenzo. Giovanna trended up 88 places to Number 873.
Hazel – Actors Emily Blunt and John Krasinski married in 2010, and in February 2014, they welcomed a daughter with a stylish, vintage name. Hazel has already made a comeback. Julia Roberts helped spark a revival when she gave the name to her daughter in 2004. But the high profile couple helped boost the name even more. Hazel rose 50 places to Number 107.
Zuri – Kishwahili name Zuri succeeds for so many reasons. It’s fresher than the so-popular Zoe, has that great Z sound, and a winning meaning: beautiful. Zuri has been climbing since 2010, but some of the name’s 50 place rise to Number 475 in 2014 might have something to do with Le Bron James. The NBA star named his daughter Zhuri Nova in October, but shared her named on Instagram over the summer.
Rose – Actress Scarlett Johansson and husband Romain welcomed a daughter in early September 2014. It was announced that the new arrival’s name was Rose Dorothy. I’d love to give the couple credit for the rise of Rose. The name was up 31 places to Number 194 in 2014. But that’s a little late in the year to have an impact. Rose’s middle name, Dorothy, was another big gainer, up 78 places to Number 729.
Nia – Stevie Wonder is a grandfather, and the father of a newborn, too! New arrival Nia’s name is one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa – very appropriate for a December-born daughter. The name might owe more of its 19 place jump to Number 487 to other reasons: a similarity to Mia, actresses Nia Vardalos and Nia Long. But Wonder has been a trendsetter before. His older daughter was named Aisha in 1975, and it spiked in popularity over the next few years.
Esmeralda – Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling made us wait a few weeks to learn their daughter’s name after she arrived in September. Despite the lateness of the name announcement, it might have helped push Esmeralda up 17 places to Number 376. Eva later shared that the couple took their inspiration from The Hunchback of Notre Dame character.
Celebrity influence was less obvious in same-year boys’ names in 2014, but here are two that may have been boosted by high profile birth announcements.
Apollo – Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have three sons. Firstborn Kingston’s name entered the US Top 1000 in 2006, the same year he was born. Their second son’s name, Zuma, hasn’t proven as popular. But in early 2014, the family added a third son, Apollo Bowie Flynn, and Apollo gained 169 places to rank Number 801. There were more boys named Bowie, too, though the name is still outside of the Top 1000.
Bodhi – Could Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green’s second son be the reason Bodhi surged 192 places to Number 615 in 2014? Firstborn Noah’s name was already a Top Ten choice when he arrived in 2012. But the couple took a bolder approach when they named their second son, Bodhi Ransom, in February of 2014. The spiritual name has been catching on since 2010.
Do you tend to avoid names if they appear on celebrity birth announcements? Or do you think celebrity influence plays a big part in determining which names catch on?