Whether you’re a musician yourself or simply a music lover, here are some unusual, simple and striking names to call your baby in honor of your passion for all things musical. While everyone will know your inspiration behind the iconic names Beyoncé, Celine or Freddie, there are also some names which are just a gentle nod towards your favourite song, genre or instrument – think Jude, Aria or Piper. Who knows – it might even inspire them to go on to become a world-famous star!
Read on for our top pick of names for your new baby boy or girl, inspired by music.
Names inspired by musical stars
While many of us grew up trying to decide which Spice we wanted to be, or whether we’d look as good as Geri with ginger hair, the Spice Girls – Victoria, Emma, Geri and the two Melanies – paved the way for many modern female singers. So, if you want your daughter to have girl power, choose a name inspired by one of these amazing female artists:
After rising to fame in 2008 with her album, 19, you’d have to try hard to not know who Adele is. With many, many awards to her name, Adele has made famous this short and sweet name, which originated in Germany, meaning “kind”.
Queen of country, Dolly Parton is an iconic figure in the music industry. As a name, Dolly started out as the shortened or nickname version of Dorothy, which means “gift of God”. On its own, or as a double-barrelled name, we think Dolly sounds like a fun, carefree name to bestow upon your baby!
This spelling, and the use of Taylor as a girl’s name has only been around since the 1980s. So, it is a relatively new name that has been popular since its inception, boosted by our favourite pop/country princess, Swifty.
Celine is a beautiful name of French origin, meaning “heavenly” or “sky”. Made famous by Canadian singer Celine Dion, this name is also fairly uncommon, only just ranking in the top 1000 in the US.
There would be no doubt behind your inspiration for this name. Whether you would be bold and go for a full on Beyoncé, or instead choose a shortening, Bea, or her alter-ego personality, Sasha (Fierce), Beyoncé is actually a made-up name – a twist on her Mother’s maiden name, Biyence. While 353 babies were named Beyoncé in the US in 2001, there have been less than 5 registered Beyoncés since!
If you’re more of a new-wave fan, use Annie Lennox of Eurythmics fame to inspire your little girl to grow up to be a strong and soulful woman. We love how catchy Annie sounds, and only just into the top 500 names, it is surprisingly uncommon.
If you need more inspiration for powerful female names, look at the greatest albums by female artists for some strong, independent women to honour.
So, while we were wondering what Spice we’d be, we were also probably planning which member of Take That we’d be marrying (…Jason…ahem…). And while it might be a nice sentiment to honour our newborn with the name of our first crush, the names Mark, Gary, Jason, Howard and Robbie have varying histories when they come to popularity. Jason, meaning “healer” in Greek, is the most popular, currently ranking just outside the top 100 in the UK and US.
If you want to look further back into musical history, or Take That just weren’t your thing, here are some more great options for your new son, that you’ll never forget…
If you’re a big Beatles fan, why not choose one of their surnames to add a cool edge to your baby’s name? Famously used as a first name by Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit when their son was born in 1999, Lennon is now used for boys and girls. Alternatively, Harrison is an edgy new variant on Harry, and Starr really would pass on the dream of being a rock-n-roll star to your lucky son! Sorry Paul… McCartney is a bit of a mouthful.
If you’re looking for a quirky and punchy name, look no further. Otis, the name made famous by American singer-songwriter Otis Redding, has two origins – meaning “wealthy” in Germany, and “he who hears well” in Greek. Either way, his future in music will be bright with either of those traits!
The Gallagher brothers rose to fame in the 1990s, as the frenemy frontmen of Oasis. Both names have an indie feel, with Liam being a consistent favourite – inside the top 10 baby names in the US since 2012. Noel has a softer sound, so if you’re wanting a cool, but gentle name, or if he was your favourite brother all along, this could be a nice alternative.
Although his birth name was Farroukh, only his family would have known him as anything other than Freddie Mercury, legendary frontman of Queen. Originally a shortening or nickname of Frederick, meaning “peaceful ruler” in it’s German origin, Freddie has now become much more popular and catchy.
If you’re more of a fan of house music, why not name your son after Scotland’s most famous DJ, Calvin Harris? Many people don’t know that the moniker of global super-DJ, Calvin Harris, is actually his stage name, so maybe if you’re a super fan, you should actually call your son Adam, Calvin’s real name. Confusing. Both are strong, punchy names which we like a lot.
With classic hits “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Blowin’ in the Wind”, American singer-songwriter from the 1960s, Bob Dylan is an idol of many. Dylan is actually a Welsh name, with a Celtic meaning of “son of the sea” and is popular across western countries, especially those with a strong Celtic past.
Names inspired by song titles or lyrics
If naming your baby after your favourite star is too overwhelming for you, why not choose a more subtle option, which may seem like a regular name to anyone else, but holds a special place in your heart, reminding you of your favourite song. We love these options;
Psychedelic Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was released by The Beatles in 1967. Lucy, meaning “light”, has French and English origin and has been well within the top 100 baby names for the last three decades.
If you have a feeling your little girl may grow up to be a heartbreaker, maybe naming her after Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 hit is the perfect idea. With Latin origin, Cecilia is more unusual than it’s variant, Celia, and has a soft, lyrical sound to it.
The song Eleanor Rigby, another hit by The Beatles, has quite a sad story, but it’s a very pretty name none the less. Meaning “bright” or “shining”, in its original Greek language, it’s an optimistic name and can easily be shortened to Elle or Ellie.
The namesake for Eric Clapton’s 1970 hit, Layla is a sassy and modern sounding name, although it originates from Leila, the ancient Arabic name, meaning “night”.
“Ruby Ruby Ruby, Ruby… Waaoooaaooaaoooo!” Kaiser Chiefs’ 2007 hit had us all singing along in the car/club/shower and really anywhere else you heard it. The Ruby is July’s birthstone, so a particularly apt choice for your daughter if she’s born that month.
Yet another classic song by The Beatles, Hey Jude was written by Paul McCartney to cheer up John Lennon’s young son, Julian, while his parents were going through divorce. Originally “Hey Jules”, it was changed to Jude when it became clear that singing the name Jules didn’t have the same impact. It also means “praised”, so that’s nice too.
Whether you’re looking towards Lily Allen’s classic tune (and rather naughty brother), or Burt Bacharach’s 1960’s classic work sung and covered by stars such as Cilla Black, Cher and Dionne Warwick, for inspiration, Alfie is a great name for a cheeky little chap.
If none of these have quite hit the spot, you may want to look further into the works of American composer/songwriter/producer, Burt Bacharach.
With hundreds of songs written during a career of over thirty years, there are many more names suggestions in his titles and lyrics, including Arthur, Lisa, and Nikki.
Names inspired by genre and instruments
If choosing your favourite artist or song would just be too hard, maybe consider choosing a wider influence, such as genre or musical instrument. Many of these names will be more unusual, so if you’re looking for something unique, keep reading…
If you enjoy whiling away the hours listening to some cool jazz, share the love of this relaxing genre with your newborn. Jazz can be used for baby boys and girls and is fairly unusual for either genre – just entering the top 5000 names in the US and UK in the last decade.
While technically not a genre, Aria is the Italian word for “air” and is the term given to a solo piece in Opera. If your newborn has a powerful voice from day one, maybe this is a great choice for her!
If you’re a lover of all things rock music, this could be the name for you. While many would think of Sylvester Stallone’s boxing films, Rocky is actually an Italian word meaning “rest”. First registered as a name in the 1920s, it’s got history, it’s got a cool sound to it and a bit of a punch.
Most of us would probably rather forget learning to play the recorder as a youngster, but if you were actually good at it, or play any of the wind instruments, maybe Piper would be a great dedication to your talent as aname for your daughter. Inside the top 100 names currently, Piper is a name you don’t hear often, but is striking and interesting when you do.
Maybe you play the harp, or maybe you don’t, Harper is a gentle, melodious sounding name. Although recently brought to the public’s attention by Victoria and David Beckham’s daughter, and currently sitting within the top 20 in both the UK and US, Harper is still a name which is rarely heard.
If you love music and have chosen a lyrical moniker for your little one, tell us! Have you been bold, or subtle with your choice? We would love to know if we have inspired you with our suggestions and look forward to hearing about all of the new musical babies growing up! The world needs song, so let’s hope these wonderful, musical names will inspire the next generation to make more beautiful music!