Name Popularity
Top Baby Name Influencers 2023
Top Baby Name Influencers 2023
Apr 19, 2024 4:53 AM

  Baby name influencers don't set out to start name trends, but ultimately, their names go viral.

  When it comes to influential names, there’s a formula for success. Whether the name is that of a celebrity or their child, it needs to be connected to someone who’s highly visible in the media and hit the right style notes of the moment.

  So who are the baby name influencers today? We analyzed the data to find the most influential celebrities and starbabies on American baby names, below.


Top Celebrity Baby Name Influencers

Celebrities are often responsible for introducing unusual names into the mainstream. In fact, we have stars to thank for the debut of a number of names that are now long-established, such as Lauren (Bacall), Tyrone (Power), and Ingrid (Bergman).

  Here, the top baby name influencers whose names have gone viral in 2023:



  Aadhya was one of the 25 fastest-rising girl names in the US last year thanks in large part to Indian actress Aadhya Anand. She narrated the Hindi-language Netflix series Bombay Begums, which was released internationally in 2021.

  In Hindu culture, Aadhya is often given as a name to girls born around the Durga Puja festival, as Aadhya is an epithet of the goddess Durga.



  Social media superstar Aspyn Ovard is popularizing the — formerly — unique spelling of her name, which rose 145 spots on the popularity charts last year. The original Aspen is beginning to plateau at Number 196, but Aspyn is riding a wave of momentum.

  Ovard is also responsible for drumming up interest in Cove, the name of her oldest daughter. With baby number three due in 2024, we expect her to choose something equally influential.



  For the second year in a row, Arleth was one of the fastest-rising names for girls in the US. The reason? Telenovela actress Arleth Terán. Her most recent role was in the Mexican TV show Mujeres Asesinas, which reintroduced her name to prospective parents. Arleth is the Spanish variation of the French name Arlette, which was also a fast riser within Hispanic and Latin American communities.



  Number four on the list of fastest-rising girl names last year was Georgina, which many attributed to America's love of vintage baby names. That may explain part of it, but the name predominantly rose among Hispanic and Latin American families thanks to Georgina Rodríguez.

  Rodríguez rose to fame as the partner of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo but is the subject of the Netflix docu-series I Am Georgina, which profiles her personal life. Her reality show was released in January 2022, coinciding with Georgina's massive spike on the American charts.



  2022 was a banner year for French footballer Karim Benzema, who was the top scorer in the Champions League and winner of multiple elite trophies. His Arabic name was the eighth fastest-rising boy name of 2022, propelled by Benzema's international profile.

  Kareem — as in Abdul-Jabbar — is still the most popular form of this name, but Benzema's rising star is likely to push Karim ahead in the coming years.



  Killian in all forms is on the rise, but unexpectedly, the fastest-rising among them is Kylian. This non-traditional spelling has been boosted by the handsome French soccer player Kylian Mbappé, who boasts 109 million followers on Instagram.



  American football player Zamir White — who goes by the nickname Zeus — declared for the NFL draft in 2022, which introduced his name to millions of fans. Plenty of parents took notice of his striking Arabic name with the zippy Z initial — Zamir debuted in the Top 1000 at an impressive Number 833.



  Mononymous actress Zendaya singlehandedly carried her name into the Top 1000, first from 2014-2016 and then again in 2019. Its growth hasn't slowed down since! Her success with Euphoria and achievement as the youngest-ever Emmy winner will only inspire more parents to use her distinctive Shona name.


Top Starbaby Name Influencers

Celebrity baby names often have a stronger effect on the popularity charts than the names of celebrities themselves. Starbaby names are more likely to be in line with current baby name trends — half of the ever-important influence formula.

  Below are the top eight starbaby names currently influencing American parents.



  Hilary Duff introduced Banks to the baby name pool in 2018 when she welcomed her daughter Banks Violet Bair. Despite using it as a girl name, Banks turned out to be a big hit for boys. It entered the Top 1000 the following year and continues to be among the top risers. Banksy, an artistic baby name and Duff’s nickname for her daughter, made its debut for girls on the 2020 charts.



  Michael Bublé welcomed his fourth child in 2022, daughter Cielo Yoli Rose. Cielo is a Spanish word name that means "sky". As interest in Spanish word names such as Rio, Soleil, and Alma increases, it's no surprise that celestial Cielo was the fastest-rising celebrity baby name of the year.



  Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik named their daughter Khai in 2020, but it was one of the biggest risers for boys in 2021 and 2022. Gigi and Zayn chose it to honor Gigi's grandmother Khairiah, an Arabic and Quranic name. Parents may be attracted to Khai as a heritage choice or as a more unusual spelling of Kai.


Ozzie & Ozzy

  The coolest vintage nicknames of the moment are Ozzie and Ozzy, endorsed by stars like Mandy Moore, with her son Oscar Bennett "Ozzie", and Luke Cook, who has a son named Ozzie Alexander.

  Ozzie appears to be the preferred celebrity spelling, but Ozzy dominates among mainstream parents. The latter rose almost 100 spots to reach Number 620 in the US for 2022.



  When Emma Roberts named her son Rhodes in 2020 (on the recommendation of our Name Guru to the Stars) it was a bona fide unique name — about as common as Chevy or Todd for babies born that year. In 2021, Rhodes almost doubled in popularity, and in 2022, it finally broke into the Top 1000.



  Saint was destined to be a success, not only because uber-influential celebrity (former) couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West chose it for their son in 2015, but because it fit in with some of the rising trends at the time. Short, exalted word names — including Reign, another name popularized by a Kardashian — are now extremely hip, thanks in no small part to stars like Kim and Kanye.



  Ever since Kylie Jenner named her daughter Stormi in 2018, her name has been bounding up the charts. It finally broke into the Top 1000 in 2020 and last year jumped over 100 spots to rank at Number 818.

  Atmospheric names are one of the biggest baby name trends for 2024, so Stormi — along with Kylie Jenner's son's name, Aire — is expected to continue its ascent.



  A friendly Swahili name with an evocative meaning — "beautiful" — Zuri is a modern favorite in the US. The spelling variation Zhuri was used by Savannah and LeBron James for their daughter, born in 2014.

  Her name has been rising under the radar ever since, but it wasn't until last year that Zhuri finally broke the Top 1000, reaching Number 843 after climbing more than 200 spots.


Future Starbaby Name Influencers

These celebrity babies were born too recently to know if they will have any impact on current baby names, but we expect them to be among the biggest baby name influencers of 2024 and beyond.



  Serena Williams gave birth to her second daughter in August, Adira River. A straightforward, cross-cultural choice with a powerful meaning — "strong" — Adira is shockingly underused. But not for long...



  After feeling baby name regret about the name Wolf, Kylie Jenner changed her baby boy's name. She finally revealed her choice — Aire — in 2023, weeks before her son's first birthday. This atmospheric name, along with homophones Eyre and Heir, is one to watch in 2024.



  The British royal family has proven influential for baby names on our side of the pond — can Princess Eugenie revive Ernest? Her second son, Ernest George Ronnie, was born in May. His name carries the fashionable -st ending of August (the name of Eug's oldest son) and boasts the sweet nickname Ernie. Ernest is poised to be the next so-crusty-it's-cool old man name.



  Chrissy Teigen and John Legend welcomed their daughter Esti Maxine in January 2023. Her traveling lite name quickly caught the attention of prospective parents, who see it as a fresh, ever-so-slightly vintage, multicultural mini name. Expect to see many more babies name Esti — and Este, Estie, and Estee — in 2024.



  We were lucky enough to receive two baby name announcements from Rihanna and A$AP Rocky in 2023. In May, they revealed the name of their son RZA Athelston, days before his first birthday. RiRi welcomed their second son, Riot Rose, in August, and his name is more likely to take flight.

  Sound-alike Ryatt was among the Top 25 fastest-rising names for boys of 2022, but RiRi and Rocky have normalized Riot, which is often considered more aggressive and violent than its Wyatt-like counterpart. We should see it hit the mainstream soon enough.



  -ai Names — as in those that end in -ai, not names created by Artificial Intelligence — are one of the top baby name trends for 2024, exemplified by tennis player Naomi Osaka's daughter Shai. Often cross-cultural, gender-neutral choices, -ai names hold a lot of appeal for modern parents.

  Shai has origins in Hebrew, meaning "gift", along with Egyptian mythology. Actor Josh Peck used the name Shai for his son in 2022.



  Never underestimate the power of a Kardashian birth announcement. Tatum may seem normal by Kardashian standards, but this name will be on the radar of every prospective parent of 2024. While Tatum has plateaued for girls, we expect it to pick up speed for baby boys, a la the youngest Kardashian.



  The biggest name trend of next year is Girl Names for Boys, as chosen by Chrissy Teigen and John Legend for their son Wren. The way parents name boys is fundamentally changing, and predominantly feminine unisex names — like Wren, Juniper, and Harlow — are now on the table, along with traditionally feminine names such as Artemis, Capri, and Willow.


About the Author


Sophie Kihm

LinkSophie Kihm's Personal Website

  Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest.

  Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

  View all of Sophie Kihm's articlesChevron - Right

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