If you’re an expecting parent looking for a baby name that rocks, a great place to look for inspiration is to your favorite rock ‘n’ roll performers. Many rockstars have great names (and stage names too) that have an edge to them. For instance, people love John Lennon for his performances as a member of The Beatles, as a solo artist, and for his activism for peace. While John might not be the most exciting name, Lennon sure is a unique one! There are so many musicians whose names you can creatively take and give to your baby. Perhaps there’s a certain band, song, or musician you love. If you can come up with a name that pulls inspiration from any of those things, it will be such a sweet anecdote to tell your child when they’re old enough. Parenting, in most ways, is antithetical to rock ‘n’ roll. Feeding your child, changing her diaper, and never sleeping is not very “metal.” Well, not sleeping might be hardcore, but you understand. Express your inner rockstar by giving your baby a rock-infused name. We’ve come up with 30 rock ‘n’ roll baby names that we love and we think you’ll like the way they sound. Cue the music!
Full disclosure: we’re not the biggest Guns ‘N Roses fans. We are big fans of the name Axl! In Hebrew, the name Axel means “father of peace.”
You can’t do a list about rock ‘n’ roll without mentioning one of the greatest artists of all time, David Bowie. Bowie comes from Gaelic and means “fair-haired.” You can always call him “Bow” for short.
You oughta know that Alanis is a great name for a girl! Alanis Morissette was huge in the 1990s after the release of her album Jagged Little Pill. Alanis comes from the Greek word “alani” which means “open space.”
Annie Lennox partnered with Dave Stewart to form the English hit factory Eurythmics. The name Annie might be a little too vanilla for some and for those brave enough, Lennox would also make an excellent name. Annie is usually a nickname for Annie and means “gracious.”
“The Man in Black,” Johnny Cash, left his mark on American music that resulted in him being inducted into both the Rock ‘n’ Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame. Johnny is a perfectly fine name, but we’re partial to Cash.
Oh, come on, come one, come on! Of course, Janis is a name that belonged to the iconic Janis Joplin. Her music became synonymous with rock music of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Janis is an English name that means “God is gracious.”
Activist and musician Bob Dylan is one of the most celebrated musicians of all time. The name Dylan would make an excellent first name for a boy. Dylan is a Welsh name that means “son of the sea.”
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, Elton John is how most of us know this rock ‘n’ roll sensation. While John is a fine name for a boy, we feel that Elton has a little more pizazz. The name Elton comes from Old English and means “enclosure” or “turn.”
Can we just take a moment to consider how great a name Joni is? Even if the name didn’t belong to Joni Mitchell, it would still be one of the greatest! Joni Mitchell is, of course, one of the most influential songwriters of our time. Her album Blue is widely considered one of the best ever made! Joni comes from the same Hebrew origins as Janis and also means “God is gracious.”
Kate Bush essentially created her own subgenre of rock ‘n’ roll that’s been coined “art rock.” With her experimental style and literary themes, she took the genre to new heights (a Wuthering one?). The name Kate comes from Katharina which means “pure.”
Bassist and vocalist Kim Deal was a member of not one, but two legendary alternative rock bands: Pixies and The Breeders. Although the name Kim is usually used as a shortened form of Kimberly. We think the name Kim should stand on its own. The name Kim is English and means “bold family.”
The Beatles are considered one of the greatest rock bands of all time. One member of the band who has a great last name is George Harrison. Harrison would be an excellent name for a boy and not as on-the-nose as Ringo. The name Harrison is often shortened to “Harry.”
Jimi Hendrix began playing guitar at 15-years-old. A few years later, he would go on to release The Jimi Hendrix Experience, an album that catapulted him to fame and critical acclaim. Widely regarded as one of the most influential rock guitarists ever, Jimi Hendrix should be celebrated. The name Jimi is a really good one! However, we prefer Hendrix. Hendrix comes from the same root as Heinrich and means “ruler of the home.”
Christa Päffgen, known by her stage name Nico, was a fixture of the New York City art scene of the 1960s and 1970s and collaborated with Andy Warhol, Jim Morrison, and most famously the band, The Velvet Underground. Nico went on to record and perform solo works. The name Nico has Greek origins and means, “people of victory.”
Feminist rock icon Joan Jett formed two bands: The Runaways and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Both bands had hits including “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Cherry Bomb,” and “Bad Reputation.” The name Joan would be an excellent name for a girl, but we really liked the name Jett as a boy’s name.
Pioneer of the riot grrrl movement and lead singer of the band Bikini Kill and later Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna is a punk rock legend. While Kathleen is a great name for a girl and we are fond of the nickname “Kat,” we thought Hanna, spelled without the “H” at the end is a great name. The name Hanna comes from Hebrew and means “grace.”
Born in 1990, Mitski Miyawaki is the youngest rockstar to inspire a name on this list. Japanese-American singer-songwriter, Mitski released her third album Be the Cowboy in 2018 and received critical acclaim. Iggy Pop is a big fan of the rocker saying, “She’s a great talent. For me, she’s probably the most advanced American songwriter that I know.”
Mitski is a Japenese name that means “full moon.”
Nirvana provided the soundtrack for Generation X. The band’s frontman Kurt Cobain might not have been with us long, but he did leave us with an incredible musical legacy. The name Kurt is a German name that means “bold.” Come on!
For fans of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac, consider naming your son Mac. Fleetwood might sound a little clumsy as a first name. We liked the casual sound of Mac as a name for a boy. In Gaelic, you’ll see “Mac” a lot, as in Mackenzie. Mac means “son of.”
Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young occasionally) were a folk-rock supergroup that formed in the late 1960s. Graham Nash is one of the band’s key members and we can’t stop thinking about how good his last name would sound as a boy’s first name. Ash and Asher are pretty common names, but Nash offers some variety. The name Nash means “at the ash tree.” That seems pretty rock ‘n’ roll!
10. Suzi or Siouxsie
Suzi Quatro and Siouxsie Sioux are two extremely talented rock stars that share the same stage name, although they’re spelled very differently. We think both spellings of the name are fun, each in its own way. The name means “lily” or “rose.”
Viv Albertine is a punk rocker best known for her work with the English band The Slits. Viv, of course, is short for Viviane but we just really love the name Viv as a standalone name for a little girl. The name Viv means “alive.” Nothing will make you feel more alive than listening to Viv play guitar!
Known as “Rockhouse Redding,” Otis Redding is often associated with soul or R&B music. But many rock artists that followed him have cited him as an influence. His influence became so apparent that he was eventually inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. The name Otis used to be extremely popular and it means “prosperity.” It’s time for this name to make a comeback!
Singer, songwriter, poet, and author Patti Smith is a punk rock icon. Her debut album, Horses is widely regarded as one of the most influential rock albums of all time. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the name Patricia, in fact, Patti Smith was born with that name (shocker!). We like Patti because it’s playful and fun. The name means “noblewoman.”
The name Rosetta is a great name for a girl for a number of reasons. The first being that you can break it into two wonderful nicknames, “Rose” and “Etta.” Yes, there’s more to love. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is known as “The Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll” after she recorded gospel music with a unique rhythmic accompaniment that was unlike any music that came before it. She influenced other musicians like Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry. Rosetta is an Italian name that means “splendid.”
Multi-instrumentalist and a legendary rockstar, Prince wrote his first song “Funk Machine” at just 7-years-old. He would go on to touch and entertain the entire world. Prince would make a handsome name for a little boy.
While we’re big fans of Elvis Presley, we’re not too crazy about the name Elvis. Elvis is regarded as a cultural icon and commonly referred to as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” or simply “The King.” To this day, Elvis remains the best-selling solo music artist of all time. We love the name Presley for a boy and we’re not the only ones. In 1999, model Cindy Crawford gave her son the name.
Although her later music skewed country, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow started out firmly in the pop-rock genre. We truly adore the name Sheryl and think it would be a great name for a little girl. It’s English in origin and means “beloved.”
Yes, we’re giving you two David Bowie-inspired names on this list, and we’re not ashamed about it! Ziggy is such a fun name for a boy and it wasn’t until we saw Big Little Lies that we even considered it as a first name. Ziggy Stardust was the name of David Bowie’s glam alter ego in the 1970s. Ziggy is actually a pretty common nickname for boys named Sigmund. It’s not too out there, people! Name your sons Ziggy.
Mystical singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks started out as a member of the legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac before pursuing a solo career. Her first solo album, Bella Donna was released in 1981 and Rolling Stone called her, “the reigning Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Stevie is a nickname for Stephanie and both are fine names, we just really love the name Stevie for a girl. The Greek root word that Stevie comes from means “crown.”
Are you ready to shred? Rock ‘n’ roll-inspired baby names are all about thinking outside the box and getting creative with names. If you don’t feel like any of these names jive, think about some songs you love. For instance, Eric Clapton’s “Layla” single-handedly popularized the name Layla in the 1970s. Layla is a great name! If you’re having difficulty finding the perfect name, put on your favorite record and let it rouse your creativity!
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 30. Axl
- 2 29. Bowie
- 3 28. Alanis
- 4 27. Annie
- 5 26. Cash
- 6 25. Janis
- 7 24. Dylan
- 8 23. Elton
- 9 22. Joni
- 10 21. Kate
- 11 20. Kim
- 12 19. Harrison
- 13 18. Hendrix
- 14 17. Nico
- 15 16. Jett
- 16 15. Hanna
- 17 14. Mitski
- 18 13. Kurt
- 19 12. Mac
- 20 11. Nash
- 21 10. Suzi or Siouxsie
- 22 9. Viv
- 23 8. Otis
- 24 7. Patti
- 25 6. Rosetta
- 26 5. Prince
- 27 4. Presley
- 28 3. Sheryl
- 29 2. Ziggy
- 30 1. Stevie
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