Last week we looked at celebrity baby name debuts. These typically occur the same year or the year after a celebrity baby is born (or adopted).
Sometimes, though, there’s a gap of several years. This typically means that the birth/adoption didn’t draw much attention to the name, but some subsequent media event did.
Here are the three earliest examples of “delayed” celebrity baby name debuts that I know of, plus the stories behind what caused them.
In December of 1961, actress Raquel Welch had a baby girl. The baby was legally named Latanne Rene, but her nickname was Tahnee.
But the name Tahnee didn’t debut on the baby name charts until 1967, when Tahnee was 6 years old:
- 1970: 27 baby girls named Tahnee
- 1969: 15 baby girls named Tahnee
- 1968: 28 baby girls named Tahnee
- 1967: 17 baby girls named Tahnee [debut]
- 1966: unlisted
Why? Because that’s the year Tahnee and her mother were featured in an issue Ladies’ Home Journal.
Tahnee went on to become an actress, like her mother. The usage of the baby name Tahnee peaked in 1985, the year Tahnee Welch played an alien named Kitty in the summer blockbuster Cocoon.
(Her legal name, Latanne, has never made the SSA’s list.)
In April of 1972, musician Robert Plant welcomed a baby boy named Karac Pendra. “Karac” was inspired by Caractacus, the name of a first-century British chieftain.
But the name Karac didn’t debut until 1979:
- 1980: unlisted
- 1979: 6 baby boys named Karac [debut]
- 1978: unlisted
Sadly, Karac died of a stomach infection in 1977 while Led Zeppelin was on tour in North America.
In 1979, Led Zeppelin released the album In Through the Out Door, which included a tribute to Karac called “All My Love.” At least one high-profile magazine, People, mentioned Karac in its write-up of the album. My guess is that this and other press mentions are what caused the baby name to debut in ’79.
(For the record, several U.S. babies named Karac before 1979. And I found one born in London in 1977 named “Zeppelin Karac.”)
In September of 1987, musician M.C. Hammer welcomed a baby girl named A’Keiba Monique.
But the name Akeiba didn’t debut until 1992, when A’keiba was four years old:
- 1995: unlisted
- 1994: 5 baby girls named Akeiba
- 1993: 6 baby girls named Akeiba
- 1992: 49 baby girls named Akeiba [debut]
- 1991: unlisted
M.C. Hammer wasn’t famous in 1987. (“U Can’t Touch This” didn’t become a hit until 1990.) So A’Keiba’s birth wouldn’t have affected the baby name charts that early.
But why did it suddenly hit in 1992?
Because A’keiba was in the spotlight several times that year.
Various publications ran a photo of A’keiba and her father attending the American Music Awards together in January, for instance, and Jet put Hammer and A’keiba (and her name, sans apostrophe) on the cover in May.
Delayed celebrity baby name debuts still occur these days, though less often — at least relative to the sheer number of celebrity baby name debuts that we now see on the charts.
The best internet-era example I can think of is Kailand, son of Stevie Wonder and fashion designer Kai Milla (Karen Millard-Morris). He was born in 2001, but his name didn’t debut until 2005 — the year he started showing up to fashion shows (one in February, another in December) with his parents.
Can you think of any other celebrity baby names didn’t debut on time?
Source: Jones, Jerene. “After Tragedy Left Their Hearts Heavier Than Their Metal, Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin Have Risen Again.” People 27 Aug. 1979: 32.
Update, 5/1/16: Forgot to add Shangaleza to this list! Baseball player Dock Ellis welcomed a baby girl named Shangaleza in 1969, but her name didn’t debut until 1971. Why? A mention in the August issue of Sports Illustrated (“On the Lam with the Three Rivers Gang“):
Dock Ellis, the hottest-talking, hottest winning pitcher in the National League, explained that his one-year-old daugher’s name, Shangaleza Talwanga, meant “everything black is beautiful” in Swahili.
The name ended up being a one-hit wonder.