What gave the baby name Levert a boost in the 1980s?

LeVert's single "Casanova" (1987).
LeVert single

The name Casanova — made famous during the 18th century by Italian adventurer and womanizer Giacomo Casanova — started popping up in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1980s. It saw a modest increase in usage a few years later:

  • 1989: unlisted
  • 1988: 14 baby boys named Casanova
  • 1987: 11 baby boys named Casanova
  • 1986: unlisted

The spelling variant Cassanova debuted around the same time, in 1987.

What was influencing these names?

The catchy song “Casanova” by R&B vocal trio LeVert. It was released in mid-1987 and peaked at #5 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. Though the group had multiple songs reach #1 on the R&B chart, “Casanova” was their strongest showing on the pop chart.

The group consisted of brothers Gerald and Sean LeVert — sons of O’Jays lead vocalist Eddie LeVert — and a third member, Marc Gordon.

Thanks to the success of the song, the French surname LeVert also saw its highest-ever usage in the late 1980s:

  • 1989: 17 baby boys named Levert
  • 1988: 19 baby boys named Levert [peak usage]
  • 1987: 7 baby boys named Levert
  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: unlisted

(The surname is rendered “Levert” in the data because the SSA strips out internal capitalization.)

Getting back to Casanova, though…what are your thoughts on “Casanova” as a first name?

P.S. Another member of the O’Jays, Walter Williams, was behind the peak usage of Shalawn and Seandra in the mid-1970s.

Sources: LeVert – Wikpedia, SSA

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