Country music is one of the most beloved genres of music in the United States today. The style originated from Blues, Folk, Western, Gospel, and Tejano influences. As with all things “American,” the genre combines a variety of influences and if you listen closely, you will find that the genre offers a wide range of sound from pop to traditional. Finding a name for your baby can be particularly stressful when you do not know where to start and we urge you to look to the world of music and art to find baby name inspiration.
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that country music has had a huge influence on pop culture and almost all the music coming from America today. After we recently saw Dolly Parton receive a vaccine which she donated $1 million to fund, we decided we would look to the brightest stars of country music who inspire us with their iconic songs which have defined the genre. These names and songs helped us come up with country-fried baby names to share with you! Check out these 25 baby names for girls inspired by country music’s legendary performers and their meaningful songs!
There’s only one Emmylou Harris, the singer who gives dignity to an old-style combo name. Harris has one just about every award you can get and is honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Emmylou is, of course, a combination of the names Emmy and Lou. Both Emmy and Lou have German origins with the first meaning “work” and the latter meaning “renowned warrior.”
Lucinda, an elaboration of Lucia created by Cervantes for his 1605 novel Don Quixote, is a pleasingly pretty alternative to Lucy. This Spanish name means “light” and one appealing namesake is country-rock-blues singer Lucinda Williams. In fact, she’s the only Lucinda we have ever known about!
Made famous in fifties movies as a wholesome backwoods gal, the name rose to new heights when Tammy Wynette landed on the scene, breaking hearts with her voice. Although she did sing the country music hit, “Your Good Girl Is Gonna Go Bad,” we do not expect any baby who ends up with this name succumbing to the same fate. Tammy is an English diminutive form of Tamara which means “date palm tree.”
The early 1980s country music charts were dominated by men until Naomi and Wynonna Judd burst onto the scene in 1983. The mother-daughter duo from Kentucky racked up multiple No. 1 hits and a slew of CMA awards between 1983 and 1991. While both Naomi and Wynonna are excellent choices, we decided to feature Wynonna on this list as it is a very unique baby name! Wynonna comes from Sioux Indian tradition and means “first-born daughter.”
Now that she’s an international superstar, it’s easy to forget that Carrie Underwood got her start on American Idol. It’s a testament to her star power, and that incredible voice, that any ties to Ryan Seacrest have long ago faded away. Carrie has faded in favor in recent years, but this classic is still welcome! Carris is a short form of Carol or Caroline and it means “free man.”
One of the newer faces on this list, Kacey Musgraves has become an international star with four studio albums under her belt (including a very underrated Christmas album). Her fourth album Golden Hour won Album of the Year and Best Country Music Album at the 2019 Grammys. Kacey was popular from 1970s to the early 2000s and we would love for it to come back. This charming name has Greek origins and means “thorny.”
From cranked up, bold hits like “Gunpowder and Lead” and “Kerosene” to the career-defining 2016 double album The Weight of These Wings, Miranda Lambert has earned her place as one of the greatest country music artists of all time. She also has a lovely name! Miranda comes from Latin and it means “marvelous.” This baby name is still very popular today.
The 1970s were an exciting time in country music and no one was having more pleasure than Tanya Tucker. After scoring her first hit single at the age of 13 with “Delta Dawn,” Tucker went on to become one of the most popular vocalists in country music for the next thirty years. Tanya has been off the US top 1000 most popular baby names list for over a decade. It has Russian origins and is a shortened form of Tatiana.
Though she has moved on to pop, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift made major waves for the country music genre in her rise to the top. She’s a crossover sensation with countless awards, number one singles, and albums. Taylor is one of the, if not the, most popular gender-neutral names in the US today. Taylor is an English occupational name that means “tailor.” Surprise!
Certified gold country music star Braid Paisley has a great Scottish surname. Paisley means “church” or “cemetery,” and we think it works better for baby girls than boys, but prove us wrong! Paisley is a top 100 name in the US today for baby girls after it debuted on it in 2006. We’re into it!
The daughter of Mother Maybelle Carter, June Carter already had an impressive country music pedigree before she composed and recorded some of country music’s biggest songs. From her collaborations with Johnny to her songwriting prowess, June Carter Cash is one of the most influential women in country history. June, a sweetly old-fashioned month name derived from the goddess Juno, has made a big comeback over the last decade and we could not be more thrilled that new parents are choosing this name once more!
Bluegrass fans were already familiar with the angel-voiced Alison Krauss before her collaboration in the cultural phenomenon that was the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Her albums, from 1999’s Forget About It to 2017’s Windy City have earned her a reputation as a virtuosic interpreter of songs. Alison is a top 500 name for girls today and it comes from French origins as a form of Alice.
13. Lee Ann
The Lee Anna, Leanna, Leanne, name combination is considered a classic by today’s standards. Go your own way with it, but we like the form, Lee Ann, as used by Lee Ann Womack. The overly played “I Hope You Dance” will probably be the singer’s most-remembered track but she cut her teeth on hardcore honky-tonk tunes like “The Fool” and “Never Again, Again.” Lee Ann means “lion-man.”
Linda Ronstadt is often tied to the rock scene of the 1970s, and with good reason. But country music can lay claim to the powerful singer as well. Over her 40-year career, Ronstadt worked with artists across all genres, including Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash. She enjoyed her first country hit with 1973’s “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” Linda has Spanish origins and it means “pretty.”
There are a few ways to get to the name Trisha, you can spell it Tricia, or use it as a nickname for Patricia, or do as Trisha Yearwood did and make it work in the Trisha form. Trisha Yearwood started out working as a background vocalist in Music City, but it wasn’t long before she took center stage. Yearwood broke out with 1992’s critically acclaimed “Hearts in Armor,” which spawned two Top 10 singles. Trisha means “noble.”
Mississippi-born Faith Hill came into Music City rocking with her 1993 debut album Take Me As I Am, which produced three No. 1 singles. Since then, Hill has continued to prove herself as one of country music’s most impressive artists. Faith is a virtue name, one of the most popular ones in the US today.
Best known for her powerful vocals and raw emotion of tracks like “Independence Day,” Martina McBride is one of the most influential country music artists of the last three decades. Martina is a girl’s name of Spanish, Latin origin meaning “warlike.” This name has been off new parents’ radars for a couple of decades and we would love for it to come back in style.
Growing up in Kentucky’s Butcher Holler, Loretta Lynn didn’t have to search far for inspiration. She married and had four kids all before she released her first single, “Honky Tonk Girl.” Taking from her own life experience “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin,'” Lynn went on to write some of the best country songs ever written.
Rissi Palmer grew up with parents who loved Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton, so when iconic songwriter-producer team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Yolanda Adams, Mary J. Blige) courted her, she decided to stay true to her country music roots. Rissi also has a glorious name! Rissi can be considered another form of Reese or the female form of Rocco, an Italian name meaning “curly.”
Indie superstar, Neko Case is a name you do not often find listed as one of the brightest country stars working today, but powerhouse vocalist and songwriter should firmly be placed in country music Pantheon. Neko curiously means “cat” in Japanese, but it is also considered an offbeat cousin of Nico. Nico is a Greek name, a form of Nicholas, that means “people of victory.”
Shania is a Native American name of Ojibway origin meaning “I’m on my way.” Pop and country music queen Shania Twain broke out with her sophomore album The Woman in Me, which lead the way for 1997’s Come On Over, the best-selling record by a female artist of all time. Since she landed on the scene, she caused the name to trend in the US for baby girls.
Equipped with a dynamite voice and jovial personality, the Oklahoma-native is one of the most beloved and acclaimed vocalists in the history of country music. Over her 40-year career, Reba McEntire has racked up over 30 No. 1 hits! Reba has Hebrew origins and means “fourth-born.” Reba was an extremely popular name among new parents until the late 1960s. Bring Reba back!
Decidedly vintage-sounding, Patsy was an extremely popular name until the 1930s. The name is an alternative form of Patricia, so like Trisha, this name means “noble.” The appellation’s most famous namesake is Patsy Cline. The country music legend accomplished in a few years what many artists hope to accomplish in a lifetime. She ushered in the Nashville sound with timeless hits like “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces.” Heartache has never sounded so good. A great inspiration and excuse to use the name, Patsy, no doubt!
Jolene seems like the most obvious choice when we’re thinking about names in country songs. Of course, we pulled this one right out of Dolly Parton‘s song of the same name. Jolene is the beautiful woman who Dolly’s man is cheating on her with, but she has a very elegant name. Jolene is a modern, American invented name that means “the Lord is God.” The name has been off and on the US top 1000 list since 1928 and after dipping for decades, it started to make a comeback in 2010! Keep up that momentum, new parents!
In the US, Dolly was a top 300 name around the turn of the last century. However, as the name became synonymous with Dolly Parton, parents shied from giving the name. It’s downright impossible to imagine country music without Parton. Her mega hits “I Will Always Love You,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Jolene” and countless others aren’t just part of the fabric of country music, they’re part of the cultural lexicon. Parton is an American Treasure and one of the greatest artists of all time. Her name is an alternative form of Dorothy, which also means “gift of God.” Truly, a gift.
Yeehaw! Did you love these country music baby names for girls inspired by the brightest stars of the genre and their defining songs? We sure hope so! While we leaned heavily on the names of many iconic musicians, we could not help ourselves from including the wonderful name Jolene. We hope you feel inspired by these talented women of country music and will consider one of their names for your baby girl.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Emmylou
- 2 24. Lucinda
- 3 23. Tammy
- 4 22. Wynonna
- 5 21. Carrie
- 6 20. Kacey
- 7 19. Miranda
- 8 18. Tanya
- 9 17. Taylor
- 10 16. Paisley
- 11 15. June
- 12 14. Alison
- 13 13. Lee Ann
- 14 12. Linda
- 15 11. Trisha
- 16 10. Faith
- 17 9. Martina
- 18 8. Loretta
- 19 7. Rissi
- 20 6. Neko
- 21 5. Shania
- 22 4. Reba
- 23 3. Patsy
- 24 2. Jolene
- 25 1. Dolly
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