Where did the baby name Milira come from in 1990?

Milira's self-titled debut album (1990)
Milira album

The rare name Milira first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1990:

  • 1992: unlisted
  • 1991: 16 baby girls named Milira [peak]
  • 1990: 7 baby girls named Milira [debut]
  • 1989: unlisted
  • 1988: unlisted

It more than doubled in usage a year later, then dropped back below the 5-baby threshold.

Where did it come from?

New York-based R&B singer Milira Jones, known mononymously as Milira (pronounced mil-IE-ruh).

Milira’s self-titled debut album, released in June of 1990, featured her two most successful singles: “Mercy Mercy Me” (a “gently hip-hoppy version” of the Marvin Gaye classic) and “Go Outside in the Rain.” Neither one reached Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart, but both landed inside the top 40 on the Hot R&B Singles chart (peaking at #21 and #36, respectively).

Incidentally, one music reviewer began her critique of the album by calling attention to Milira’s name:

Milira — not to be confused with Malaria, Madonna, Martika or CBS recording starlet Mariah — hasn’t much of anything new to offer R&B fans, but what she does, she does professionally.

What are your thoughts on the name Milira?


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