In 2000 — a few years after the emergence of Shyheim — the similar name Jaheim appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data:
- 2003: 552 baby boys named Jaheim [rank: 456th]
- 2002: 752 baby boys named Jaheim [rank: 356th] – peak usage
- 2001: 554 baby boys named Jaheim [rank: 437th]
- 2000: 10 baby boys named Jaheim
- 1999: unlisted
- 1998: unlisted
The next year, it saw a massive increase in usage — so big that Jaheim became the fastest-rising boy name of 2001. (The fastest-rising girl name of 2001, incidentally, was the notorious Nevaeh.)
Here’s a visual:
The sudden trendiness of Jaheim also gave a boost to several variant spellings, such as…
The variant spelling Jahiem debuted so impressively in 2001 that it now ranks as the 9th-highest boy name debut of all time.
So what influenced all these names?
New Jersey-born R&B singer Jaheim (pronounced jah-HEEM) Hoagland — known mononymously as Jaheim — who began releasing music in late 2000.
His first hit songs were “Could It Be,” which peaked at #26 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in March of 2001, and “Anything,” which peaked at #28 in April of 2002.
Interestingly, Jaheim referred to himself as “Jah” in the titles of two of the interludes on his debut album, Ghetto Love (2001). This wasn’t enough to have any impact on the name Jah, though.
What are your thoughts on the name Jaheim? (How would you spell it?)
P.S. Jaheim’s grandfather was soul singer Victor Hoagland, who performed under the name “Hoagy Lands.” (Not to be confused with Hoagy Carmichael…)
Sources: Jaheim – Wikipedia, Jaheim – Billboard, Jaheim biography – AllMusic