What gave the baby name Taja a boost in 1988?

Taja Sevelle's self-titled album (1987)
Taja Sevelle album

In 1988, the baby name Taja saw a spike in usage so steep that it entered the top 1,000 for the first and only time:

  • 1990: 85 baby girls named Taja
  • 1989: 127 baby girls named Taja
  • 1988: 259 baby girls named Taja [rank: 724th]
  • 1987: 30 baby girls named Taja
  • 1986: 11 baby girls named Taja

The names Lataja and Nataja also debuted in 1988.

What caused the sudden interest in all these names?

Singer Taja (pronounced tah-zhah) Sevelle, who was born Nancy Richardson in Minneapolis in 1962.

(In fact, records reveal that a handful of the Tajas born in the late ’80s were given “Sevelle” as a middle name.)

Taja Sevelle was a vocalist in several local bands, which is how superstar Prince — who was also based in Minneapolis — heard of her. She collaborated with him on some of his music in the mid-1980s, then signed a recording contract with Prince’s Paisley Park Records.

Her self-titled debut album came out in 1987, and her first single, “Love Is Contagious,” peaked at #62 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in October of that year.

Though she continued putting out music, none of her subsequent singles were as successful as her first.

Do you like the name Taja? Would you use it?

Source: Taja Sevelle – Wikipedia

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