In 1985, the usage of the baby name Soleil — which is pronounced soh-lay, roughly — nearly quintupled:
1987: 18 baby girls named Soleil
1986: 19 baby girls named Soleil
1985: 29 baby girls named Soleil
1984: 6 baby girls named Soleil
Because of young actress Soleil Moon Frye.
She was the star of the memorable children’s TV series Punky Brewster, which began airing on NBC in September of 1984.
The show was about a feisty, colorfully-dressed young girl named Penelope “Punky” Brewster. After being abandoned by her parents, Punky was begrudgingly taken in by a cranky widower named Henry Warnimont (played by George Gaynes). Henry eventually warmed to Punky and, in the penultimate* episode of the second season, he legally adopted her.
In mid-1985, the Washington Post called Soleil Moon Frye’s name “peculiar” and offered this explanation:
Soleil’s mother said her daughter was scheduled for a July birthday. When she showed up in August, Frye said she picked “Soleil” (French for “sun”) because “August was the month of the sun” and “Moon” because she liked the lyrics from a song in “Annie Get Your Gun”: “I’ve got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.”
Recently, Frye was quoted as saying: “I love having a unique name.”
Indeed, she’s continued the tradition with her own four children: daughters Poet and Jagger, and sons Lyric and Story.
The name Draven first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1994. Rather unusually, it debuted for both genders in the very same year:
Boys named Draven
Girls named Draven
163 (rank: 853rd)
182 (rank: 797th)
Here’s a visual:
Where did the name Draven come from?
The dark movie The Crow, which was released in May of 1994.
The film was set in “some decaying urban hell […] where armed gangs prowl the alleyways and common people are driven inside to merely survive.”
The main character was resurrected rock star Eric Draven. He and his fiancée had been murdered by gang members the night before their wedding. Exactly one year later, Eric rose from the dead to avenge their deaths.
The Crow starred actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee. Sadly, Brandon was fatally wounded by a prop gun during filming. He died in March of 1993. The same year, usage of the compound name Brandonlee more than tripled:
Here are Jermaine’s thoughts on some of the Jackson family names, from his memoir:
I have often wondered how many names my parents went through before agreeing on the final nine. Not that it mattered in the end, because the choice of “Sigmund Esco” for their first son morphed into “Jackie” when Papa Samuel thought it easy to refer to him as “Jackson boy,” then laziness shortened it some more. And “Tariano Adaryl” [sic] became “Tito” because it was easier for us all. I was forever curious as a child about how two people’s taste could go from the exotic-sounding “Jermaine LaJuane” to “Michael Joe.” From somewhere, and especially after Michael’s death, a rumor began that his middle name was Joseph. Maybe this myth prefers the echo with our father’s name because the crossover reads better about a father and son who struggled to see eye to eye. “Joe” was his middle name, as recorded on his birth certificate. His first name was almost “Ronald,” at the suggestion of Mama Martha, but Mother quickly quashed that one.
(Papa Samuel was Jermaine’s paternal grandfather; Mama Martha was his maternal grandmother.)