If there's anything that signifies a particular era, it's the popularity of certain names synonymous with it, which have a way of moving from pop culture to hospital delivery rooms. While musicians and other celebrities are busy naming their children unique 'don't-worry-it-will-grow-on-you'-type twists on fruits, colors, and cities, the rest of us just give their names to brand new bundles of joy.
A case in point: Names.org listed the top 20 musicians that have been inspiring baby names, linking their success to spikes in the names' popularity. While many of the names existed already in North American consciousness, like Whitney, Ariana, and Selena, there are others that are undoubtedly linked to the rise of their namesake artists, like Ashanti and Rihanna, with the Bajan beauty's name not showing up in new American births until after her debut in 2004.
But who comes out on top? None other than one of music's biggest voices, Mariah Carey. Mother to twins Moroccan and Monroe, Mariah's name slipped briefly out of popularity in the mid-2000s but never dipped below the thousands of new baby girls born since the 90s.
There are a handful other artists whose career highs and lows directly impacted the name's popularity throughout the years, such as Miley Cyrus, whose popularity in 2008 resulted in 2,649 babies given her name, up from 27 babies just five years earlier. Even the legendary Whitney Houston bumped the arguably already-common name up from 693 babies in 1977 to nearly 10,000 after the release of her self-titled debut in 1985.
The name Aaliyah, already a common Arabic name in slightly varied spelling, actually peaked in popularity in 2012—over a decade after the death of the namesake R&B singer in 2001.
Go here to see the list, along with the charts detailing the rise and fall of the names' popularity, in its entirety.