Special Report

Most Popular Music-Inspired Baby Names

Parents tend to want their child to have a unique, memorable, or meaningful name. Whether it’s an old family name, a beautiful one borrowed from nature, or a rare name with a distinctive spelling, there are thousands of names to choose from. (Here are America’s most popular nature-inspired baby names.)

Some parents, whether they mean to or not, may name their child after a musical instrument – like Viola, Bell, or Calliope – or choose a name that honors a famous musician. Surnames of rock stars like Bowie, Jagger, and Lennon have become popular baby names in recent years, and it’s hard to imagine their prevalence in the absence of their namesake’s notoriety. Lennon, in fact, is one of the 25 most popular music-inspired baby names (though those others didn’t make the cut this year).

To determine the most popular music-inspired baby names, 24/7 Tempo first reviewed newborn baby name data for 2021 from the Social Security Administration, then identified the names with the highest occurrences that are associated with musical instruments and music theory, as well as songs or famous musicians.

Click here to see the most common music-inspired baby names

Some of the most popular music-inspired baby names saw peaks in popularity at the same time that a star with that name (such as Aaliyah) was at the height of their fame. Others may have jumped in popularity as a tribute after a beloved performer’s death. Some, like Cecilia, Layla, and Delilah, most likely became common due to the success of hit songs with those names. (Here are 25 American names that are popular for the first time.)

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