How popular is the baby name Towanda in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Towanda.

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Popularity of the baby name Towanda

Posts that mention the name Towanda

Where did the baby name Tarralyn come from in 2004?

Contestant Tarralyn Ramsey on the singing competition "Born to Diva" (2003)
Tarralyn Ramsey on “Born to Diva

The name Tarralyn popped up in the U.S. baby name data for the first and only time in the early 2000s:

  • 2006: unlisted
  • 2005: unlisted
  • 2004: 5 baby girls named Tarralyn [debut]
  • 2003: unlisted
  • 2002: unlisted

Similar names like Taralyn and Taralynn were most popular during the ’80s…so why did the spelling Tarralyn suddenly emerge in 2004?

Because of singer Tarralyn Ramsey, the winner of VH1’s single-season singing competition Born to Diva, which aired from April to May, 2003.

Five of the eight episodes consisted of auditions held in each of five cities: Miami, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and London. The city-wide winners (Tomey Sellars, Sasha Allen, Tarralyn Ramsey, Towanda Cofield, and Eno Uffort, respectively) then attended a week-long “Diva Boot Camp” in NYC. Finally, music executives whittled the field down to three finalists: Tomey, Tarralyn, and Towanda.

Online voting for the winner will begin on May 11 and will conclude during the opening moments of VH1’s live “VH1 Divas Duets” special on Thursday, May 22. A few minutes later, all of America — including the three finalists themselves — will learn the name of music’s next superstar Diva, who will then perform a song live onstage.

At the Diva Duets concert, which took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Tarralyn got the chance to sing alongside headliners such as Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Chaka Khan, and Ashanti.

After the win, Tarralyn was featured in magazines like People, Seventeen, Ebony, and Jet. This print coverage would have helped draw attention to the specific spelling of her name.

What are your thoughts on the name Tarralyn? (Which spelling do you prefer?)

Sources: Born to Diva –, About – Tarralyn Ramsey, Tarralyn Ramsey – Wikipedia, VH1 is Born to Diva – Daily Double, SSA

Image: Screenshot of Born to Diva

Why did Braxton debut as a girl name in 1994?

Toni Braxton's self-titled album (1993)
Toni Braxton album

The surname Braxton — which has a long history of usage as a boy name in the U.S. — started popping up in the data as a girl name in the mid-1990s:

  • 1996: 25 baby girls named Braxton
  • 1995: 27 baby girls named Braxton
  • 1994: 17 baby girls named Braxton [debut]
  • 1993: unlisted
  • 1992: unlisted

(Hundreds of baby boys were also being named Braxton during these years.)


Because of R&B singer Toni Braxton, who released her successful debut album, Toni Braxton, in mid-1993.

The album’s first single, “Another Sad Love Song”, peaked at #7 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in late 1993. The second single, “Breathe Again,” peaked at #3 in early 1994. Also in early 1994, she won her first two Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best R&B Vocal Performance (for her first single).

Despite Toni’s influence, the name Braxton never became as popular for girls as it was for boys:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Braxton in the U.S. since 1880.
Usage of the baby name Braxton

The year it saw peak usage as a female name — in 2004, with 53 baby girls — it was still picking up steam as a male name. Braxton’s trendiness as a boy name topped out in the mid-2010s, when the name was getting close to the top 100.

Prior to going solo, Toni Braxton was part of a quintet called The Braxtons with her four younger sisters, all of whom have T-names: Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar.

What are your thoughts on Braxton as baby name? (Do you prefer it for girls, or for boys?)

Sources: Toni Braxton – Wikipedia, Toni Braxton – Billboard, Tamar Braxton shares Vincent Herbert love story

P.S. In 2013, Toni’s youngest sister Tamar Braxton welcomed a son in 2013 with then-husband Vincent Herbert. They named him Logan Vincent — in part for the initials “L.V.” On the talk show Bethenny, Tamar explained: “It gives me lots of reasons to buy Louis Vuitton.”