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Willa Ford’s new baby name is an Old Testament winner

Actress, interior designer and former pop star Willa Ford welcomed her first child with husband Ryan Nece in September.

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And finally, we know the new baby boy’s name: Elijah Everett Mandel Nece. The couple revealed that Elijah was chosen for its biblical roots, while Everett was Ford’s father’s middle name and Mandel was former NFL star Nece’s dad’s middle name.

A Hebrew name meaning “Yahweh is God,” which was the name of the Old Testament prophet who went to heaven in a chariot of fire, Elijah has been in the top 100 U.S. baby boy names since 1995, hitting an all-time high of No. 11 in 2013 and staying there ever since.

Other celebrities who’ve chosen Elijah for their sons include Cher and Gregg Allman, Donnie Wahlberg, James Spader, Wynonna Judd, Elton John and Bono.

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“Everyone can tell you it’s the greatest love you’ll ever know, but truly, watching my husband Ryan with little E is the truest of true love that’s of this world!” said Ford, who partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Dancing with the Stars in 2006 and was fifth to be eliminated from the show.

Ford and Nece married in 2015 and announced their pregnancy in March. Before Elijah’s birth, Ford showed off his gender-neutral nursery, which she designed herself, naturally.
“With my personality, I just knew it had to look nature-y,” said Ford. “It’s so funny — we focus so much on the baby and what the baby’s gonna love. They’re never gonna know what it looks like! I’ll pay money if you can remember what your nursery looked like. It’s really about the mom!”

Congratulations to Ford and Nece on the arrival of baby Elijah!

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