Celebrity Names Blog

Greyson Michael Chance: Name Rises

Greyson Michael Chance: Name Rises

Greyson Michael Chance's video performance rocked Ellen DeGeneres, but his name's also a rising star. You heard it here first: Greyson's a good bet for a dramatic rise when the 2010 SSA baby name rankings come out.

Who is Greyson Michael Chance? This week's internet celebrity, the adorable tween joined YouTube and uploaded a video of himself playing Lady Gaga at his school recital. Two weeks later, his video's been viewed (at presstime) over 8.5 million times. This afternoon, he appeared on Ellen. (Ellen first watched his video one day before she had him on her show.)

Of course, the age and swoopy brown locks raise inevitable comparisons to Justin Bieber. Is Chance the new Bieber? No, he's bigger. Talent aside (though no question Chance has talent), we can tell by his name. Try Googling Justin. Justin Bieber doesn't come to the top of the list. Then try Googling Greyson. You'll find (as of presstime) that all the top links go straight to Chance. Single name recognition (when a first name is linked to a single, specific performer) serves a talented young pianist well on the way up the ladder. (Think: Tori.) Bieber, meanwhile, has to compete with that other Justin (Timberlake, who also has a cooler last name).

But Greyson Michael Chance's single name recognition is only part of why we predict the name Greyson will rise. No, the reason, instead, is Kayson. And Kaysen. And Kason.

The name Greyson already has momentum. When Chance was born, in 1997, Greyson was #839 on the charts. This year, it's #347. (The spelling Grayson is #172). That puts the popularity of Grayson about on popularity par with spellings like Jaiden, Wesley, Lila and Makenzie.

But the real story here is a sound story. Just take a look at these names from our list of fastest risers (calculated according the Baby Name Wizard's hotness formula).

  • Kayson (8th fastest rising boy's name for 2009)
  • Casen (31st fastest)
  • Kasen (51st fastest)
  • Kason (78th fastest)

Four of the top 100 fastest rising names are homophones for a name that exactly rhymes with Greyson.  In fact, there are several other -son names among the fastest rising:

  • Jaxson (14th fastest)
  • Garrison (46th fastest)
  • Hudson (79th fastest)
  • Bryson (80th)
  • Jameson (82nd)

And finally, there's an upward trend for the "ayse" sound found in the middle of Greyson and Kayson.

  • Hayes (45th fastest rising)
  • Chace (60th fastest)
  • Blaise (63rd fastest)
  • Ace (#102nd fastest)

Together, they create a context where Greyson (with its evoctions of Batman's "Boy Wonder") is poised to rise. The association with the Boy Wonder of the piano will undoubtedly help things along.

What do you think, will Greyson rise?



Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

May 13, 2010 3:38 PM
By Lane

Greyson Michael Chance. I can't stop saying it. It has a good cadence.

May 13, 2010 4:30 PM
By Lacy (not verified)

It does have great cadence. I bet his friends shorten it to Grey regularly. It's a great name. So interesting about the similar sounding names all rising in popularity.

May 13, 2010 11:25 PM
By gina (not verified)

wow this boy is my age .... and he isna piano prodigy ..... I wish i knew him

May 17, 2010 10:31 AM
By Brit (not verified)

Greyson (or maybe Grayson) is also the main male character on the show Cougar Town.

For Greyson Michael Chance, I also think it's great that his last name is becoming a popular first name.

May 17, 2010 10:16 PM
By Amy (not verified)

My husband and I can't get over the fact this kid is Greyson. My husband's name is Greyson. He was born in 1974 and his name never caught on in a fad! Ha! (Of course this is pre YouTube.) Anyway, the only people we meet with the same name are young boys named Grayson with an "a". We did meet a little girl once named Gracen.

May 19, 2010 1:21 PM
By NAMES (not verified)

Definitely, I love the name Greyson!

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