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Pamela Redmond Satran

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M.I.A.: What To Name Your Rocker Baby

Posted: 02/06/09 04:49 PM ET

The nine-months-pregnant M.I.A. may score the ultimate celebrity mommy publicity coup and give birth while performing onstage at the Grammys this Sunday. Yes! Not only the most dramatic event, but at the ideal venue!

Even if we're spared that spectacle, we're confident M.I.A. will come up with an entertaining baby name. Of all the crazy celebrity baby names, rocker and rapper baby names are the craziest.

Like tattoos and sequins, crazy baby names have become a rocker institution. Frank Zappa revolutionized the celebrity baby naming culture in the 1960s when he named his two oldest children Moon Unit and Dweezil. (The hospital actually refused to record the name Dweezil, so Ian Donald Calvin Euclid was the original name on the birth certificate, changed legally to Dweezil when he was five.)

Zappa's baby names ultimately won him more attention than his music, a truth not lost on rock and rap stars today. It's gotten so that Britney Spears giving her sons the ordinary names of Sean and Jayden seems more suspect -- what's the problem, Brit? -- than Erykah Badu and Jay Electronica naming their newborn daughter Mars Merkada, though their choice was initially rumored to be the even-more-outrageous Twitty Milk.

Listen up, M.I.A. Lesson #1 in naming your rocker or rapper baby is that you can never choose a regular old first name. Instead, consider the following baby-naming lessons from the musical mommies and daddies who came before you:

Name Your Baby After Another Musician

There are lots of good choices among the Musician Names. Your fellow rockers seems to be the name of someone cool and dead, as detailed by the following choices:

CASH (as in Johnny) - "Slash" Hudson from Guns N' Roses
DJANGO (as in Reinhart) -- Siobhan (Bananarama) Fahey & Dave Stewart
EVERLY (as in Brothers) -- Anthony (Red Hot Chili Peppers) Kiedis
HENDRIX (Jimi) -- Zakk (Black Label Society) Wylde
LENNON - Liam (Oasis) Gallagher
NESTA - Bob Marley's original name was a middle name choice of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale.
THELONIOUS (Monk) - Mitch (Crash Test Dummies) Dorge
WOLFGANG (Amadeus Mozart) - Eddie Van Halen

But M.I.A., we think you should diverge from the pack by naming your baby after someone cool, dead, and female, such as Janis JOPLIN or Billie HOLIDAY (for a boy), or maybe BESSIE Smith or DINAH Shore, for a girl.

Name Your Baby After Royalty, A Deity, Or A Mythical Figure

The following choices are already taken by your fellow rappers and rockers:

KING - Rapper T.I., aka T.I.P, aka Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.
MARQUISE - 50 Cents
MESSIAH - T.I.
NEVAEH - Christian rocker Sonny P.O. D. Sandoval launched a craze when he named his daughter heaven spelled backwards.
PRINCE - Michael Jackson reportedly named two of his sons Prince.
SINDRI - This Norse name meaning "mythical dwarf" was the choice of Bjork.
TENZIN - The first name of the Dalai Lama was chosen by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch.

Still up for grabs: BUDDHA. Advantages: Works for either a boy or a girl, and as far as we know, there's only one.

Name Your Baby After A Place

Most rockers and rappers have named their babies after the kind of back alley, hardscrabble places they might play if they hadn't made it big.

ALABAMA -- Travis (Blink 182) Barker and Shooter Jennings both picked this name.
BRONX - Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson went all out for attention with this one.
BROOKLYN - Posh Spice used this for her first son with David Beckham.
HEAVEN - L'il Mo
KINGSTON - Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their older son for the city in Jamaica, mon.
MEMPHIS - Bono
ZUMA - Stefani and Rossdale chose the name of a California beach for their younger son.

But why go there, and we mean that literally? You've had a fascinating and peripatetic life, that might inspire the following place name choices: LONDON, INDIA, or SRI LANKA.

Choose The Name Of A Food Or Spice

Food names have attracted much notoriety, especially:

APPLE - Infamous choice of Chris Martin and, you know, Gwynnie.
PEACHES HONEYBLOSSOM - Bob Geldof was an early celebrity crazy baby namer, and Peaches is not all grown up and talking on TV about how much she hates her name.
SAFFRON - Simon Le Bon
SAGE - Lars (Metallica) Ulrich

Our tip: Choose a name that represents a food you love. CHOCOLATE, maybe? MINT, or MELON?

Name Your Baby After A Thing, Any Thing

Many musicians have made selections from the vast world of word names, for example:

BAMBOO - One of the most outrageous word names, by Big Boi of Outkast.
CROSS - Another Big Boi pick; no coy Cruz for this guy.
CYPRESS - Sol.
KARMA - Ludacris.
PUMA - Erykah Badu
STORY -- Sol & Ginuwine, though this one is a pan-Hollywood favorite.
ZEPPELIN - Jonathan (Korn) Davis

Our ideas for a word name? Hard to narrow it down to one choice, but you may want to sing it like it is and just name him or her F.A.M.O.U.S.

Pamela Redmond Satran is a developer of nameberry and the coauthor of nine bestselling baby name books.


 
 
 

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