Rock Star's Baby Name Rockets up Charts for Kids

ByABC News
May 18, 2006, 4:00 PM

May 18, 2006 — -- Celebrities are known for picking odd names for their kids, but now one of those choices is making it onto the birth certificates of a lot of other newborns.

While the most popular baby names remain Jacob, Emily, Michael and Emma, new parents are increasingly choosing a more "heavenly" name.

Nevaeh, or heaven spelled backward, has gained traction faster than any name since the government began tracking names in 1880.

It started when Sonny Sandoval, of the Christian rock group POD, added a Nevaeh to his family.

"He named his daughter Nevaeh in the year 2000," explained Kent Adams of the American Names Society. "Shortly after his daughter was born Sandoval went on MTV's TRL and told the world her name."

And the name caught on.

The year before Sandoval's announcement there were only eight Nevaeh's on record.

In 2001 it broke into the top 1,000 names for babies in the United States, and in 2005 it cracked the top 100 as the 70th most used name, ahead of old favorites like Rebecca, Amy and Kate.

That was the biggest jump for a name in more than a century.