Celebrity Names Blog

Sir Elton John's Baby: Born On a Christmas Day, Named for "Levon"

Sir Elton John's Baby: Born On a Christmas Day, Named for "Levon"
Barcroft/Fame Pictures

Sir Elton John's Christmas present? Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John!

The singer and his husband, David Furnish, welcomed Zachary on Christmas Day via surrogate, USMagazine.com learned on Monday.

His second middle name is a reference to Elton John's song, "Levon," which was recorded in 1971, and has this chorus:

He was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas Day
when the New York Times said God is dead
And the war's begun
Alvin Tostig has a son today

The name "Levon" was reportedly taken from Levon Helms, singer and drummer of The Band which was, at the time, John and his collaborator's favorite group. (The name Alvin Tostig, on the other hand, is made up.)

The reference to being born on Christmas day, the day their own bundle arrived, was apparently too much for the new dads to pass up. Levon made the baby name charts briefly in the 1950s, and to our ears has a retro appeal. Perhaps because of the Elton John song, or perhaps because it calls to mind Angelina's choice, Knox Leon?

Although Zachary has fallen from its 1997 peak of #13, it remains a popular name in the US (#53). It is also popular in Canada, Australia, England, and Scotland. Fun trivia: Zachary first made the US charts in 1946, one year before Sir John was born. Robin Williams -- another celebrity of the same vintage and with a similar penchant for statement glasses -- also has a son named Zachary.

Jackson, at #25 in the US in 2009, is even more popular than Zachary. (And like Zachary, it's also popular in Australia, Canada and Scotland). 

What do you think of the name?



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December 28, 2010 10:57 AM
By Lane

It's interesting that both Alanis and Elton John had the Christmas baby, and both went with the hyphenated last name.

Although Furnish John sounds a little like a to-do list entry.

December 28, 2010 5:38 PM
By Mom (not verified)

Zachary Jackson is a mouthful, I think they should call the baby "Levon". It is just different enough without being cutesy.

December 28, 2010 6:32 PM
By Valerie (not verified)

Interestingly enough, they also tried to adopt a Ukrainian HIV-positive baby recently by the name of Lev and are still supporting him.

December 29, 2010 10:51 PM
By Marie (not verified)

I've never listened to the song so I have no idea how to say 'Levon'. Maybe I will check that out...

January 4, 2011 2:23 PM
By justjoslyn (not verified)

Wondering if the middle name of "Jackson" is paying homage to Michael Jackson???

January 4, 2011 6:22 PM
By Kenya (not verified)

Elton John tried to adopt a little boy a while ago named Lev, so that is how I think Zachary's second middle name came from. I have to agree- Zachary Jackson Levon is a mouthful!

January 4, 2011 6:47 PM
By Top 10 Name of the 70s (not verified)

Agreed - I also thought of the little boy "Lev" they had tried to adopt and presumed the Levon was a nod to him.

I infinitely prefer Zachary or Zach to any of the other names! It is not overly common for the English to dismiss first names and go for the middle ones so I would imagine he will go by Zachary.

Isn't Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke's son called Levon Roan?

January 4, 2011 9:39 PM
By Anya (not verified)

I believe they pronounce it LEE-von.
My youngest one is named Levon (Leh-VOHN). It's an Armenian name, variant of Leon. People tend to mispronounce it at first, and once it was spelled LeVaughn in some document. But my family is used to our names getting misspelled or mispronounced, so we just laugh at it and collect multiple variants:)

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