Contemporary music is a powerful influence in society — yes, even in baby names. Just ask the whole generation of Michelles, Melissas, Rhiannons and Carolines over here. Having a child named after a song provides a touchstone to that time and place when that piece of music touched you. As we watch the Grammy Awards handed out this year, it’s not only a good chance for some of us to see our favorite stars and catch up on the great artists we hadn’t necessarily noticed all year. It’s also an opportunity to pick up some new baby name inspirations.
With the exception of Lizzo’s “Jerome,” there weren’t a lot of songs featuring names nominated for Grammys this year. But as we sifted through the nominees and winners, we found many singers whose names might wind up trending on upcoming baby name lists. Billie Eilish, for instance, is already becoming a popular prospective baby name.
“Billie Eilish is doing for the name what Billie Holiday didn’t, and Ariana has really catapulted that name to stardom,” Nameberry cofounder Pamela Redmond Satran told SheKnows. “Also Zayn Malik (both names) has been huge in recent years.”
There are some traditional names in this group — like Gary (Clark Jr.) and Maggie (Rogers) — that could make comebacks in the next generation. We also highlighted some unusual names too, like Tank and the Bangas singer Tarriona Ball.
If the current crop aren’t to your liking, Satran says that some parents turn to music legends for their name inspiration.
“We are seeing lots of musicians’ last names taking off: Lennon, Bowie, Presley,” she said. “It’s a creative way of honoring a creative hero and definitely defines your taste via your child’s name.”
At the very least, we hope this slideshow can help you update your Spotify playlist!
A version of this story was originally published January 16, 2020.