Baby name story: Colby O’Donis

American singer Colby O'Donis Colón
Colby O’Donis

Do you remember Lady Gaga’s first (and arguably catchiest) hit single, “Just Dance”?

The featured vocalist on that track was Colby O’Donis — full name Colby O’Donis Colón — who began performing and recording music as a child.

Colby was born in 1989 to New York City disc jockey “Fast Freddy” Colón, who was eager to tell the story behind his son’s name back in 1999:

“You need to ask me about his name — Colby O’Donis is his first and middle name. He’s named after a firefighter who died saving my life when my house caught on fire in Brooklyn when I was 7 years old,” said Colon, who said O’Donis dived on top of him just as the ceiling collapsed. “The guilt was so bad that he died just two days before he was supposed to retire — I researched his life. He saved over 27 people’s lives. I never understood why this man would die and I would live. That’s why my son is named Colby O’Donis Colon — he’s the namesake of this hero.”

So far I haven’t been able to track down any information about the firefighter, but Colby’s father (whose full first name was Sigfredo) was born in 1958, so the house fire would have happened in the mid-1960s.

P.S. “Just Dance,” released in 2008, was co-written by Akon.


Image: Screenshot of Colby O’Donis from the music video for “Just Dance”

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