Celebrity Names Blog

Talk Radio Inspired Melissa Rycroft's Baby Name

Talk Radio Inspired Melissa Rycroft's Baby Name
Juan Rico/Fame Pictures

It can be an arduous process finding the "perfect name" especially since, so often, what seems a great choice to one parent leaves the other parent cold. Reality TV star Melissa Rycroft said she and her husband, Tye Strickland, went back and forth about names for months – completely unable to agree on one they both liked – prior to the arrival of their first child in February.

Ultimately, the name they chose – Ava Grace – came to them via the airwaves. Tye, an insurance agent, was listening to a radio show at work when a woman named Ava called in to the program. The name struck a chord, so he quickly phoned Melissa, who was equally smitten. The first-time parents paired it with Grace "because she's our little saving grace," the Dancing with the Stars finalist recently revealed.

While Ava sounded fresh and new to Melissa and her husband, it's actually extremely popular. Ava – which is of German origin and means "bird" – has long fluttered up and down the Top-1000 list. While it dropped out of favor in the 1970s and '80s, since then it's been on the rise and exploded in usage in 2002. For the last five years it's been on the Top-10 annually – peaking at the No. 4 spot in 2007.

Grace, which is derived from the Latin “gratia” – meaning "favor" or "thanks" – has long been a popular name as well. It too became less popular in the '70s and '80s but has been in the Top-100 since 1995 and Top-20 for the majority of the last decade.

Along with the rest of the country, many celebrities have named their daughters Ava, including Reese Witherspoon (Ava Elizabeth), Hugh Jackman (Ava Eliot) and Jason Priestley (Ava Veronica).

Perhaps the best known actress with the name Ava is the late movie star Ava Gardner, whose third marriage to Frank Sinatra earned her more headlines than her Academy Award nominated acting career – they were the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of their time. She's still considered one of the most beautiful stars of all time.

Where have you found inspiration for the names you’ve given? Were you inspired by radio, like Melissa, or television? How about a movie or book? Have you ever given a name which turned out to be extremely popular like Ava is?



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March 12, 2011 5:57 PM
By Dearest (not verified)

Hearing names on the radio reminds me of Tori Amos and how she chose the name Natashya for her girl after hearing the name on the radio :)

March 13, 2011 10:18 AM
By FW (not verified)

I was named after Farrah Fawcett. My mom loved her on Charlie's Angels. Must have been the feathered hair.

March 13, 2011 1:01 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

My hubby REALLY wanted Alexander for our oldest son, but I wasn't sold. It's too popular for my taste. So we took a family poll and Alexander was leading, but it was making physically ill to think of this name on my little guy. When I was talking with my sister on the phone, the woman who raised me (beside my mother) said "What about Sebastian. You used to watch The Never-Ending Story" all the time when you were a kid. Wasn't that the little boy's name?" Well, the boy was Bastian, but Sebastian hit a chord with me and say my oldest bares that name. My hubby did get his way with Alexander for our second, though we call him Alek.

March 14, 2011 10:11 AM
By Katie (not verified)

As a Katie I want to say to Melissa ----- Why would you give your kid the same name as every other kid in her class?

March 14, 2011 1:03 PM
By joy (not verified)

Ava is a beautiful name!

March 15, 2011 1:12 AM
By lucubratrix (not verified)

I was named after a song, and ended up with the #1 name in the US for my birth year (and the decade previous). My parents thought they were giving me an extremely original, creative name. They were, until we moved to the US. :)

My kids' names are very heavily influenced by favorite books.

March 15, 2011 5:56 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Let's not forget Heather Locklear's daughter Ava. Nice name, just too popular now...

March 17, 2011 9:23 PM
By jennifer1 (not verified)

I am Jennifer, born about 5-6 years before Jennifer became surreally popular. In fact, I was the only Jennifer in my graduating class. So, you can't predict the future popularity of a name, but I'd advise against a popular name that you already KNOW is popular.

March 21, 2011 6:39 PM
By Zoe (not verified)

Isn't Ava Grace about the most common combo in the country? It has to be up there with Madison Marie and Olivia Anne.

February 7, 2012 10:55 PM
By auto diagnostic tool (not verified)

Where did you find the inspiration of your name? You inspired by radio, such as Melissa, or television? How a movie or book? You did not give this turned out to be very popular to the AVA is a name?
I want to know.

March 31, 2013 5:03 AM
By Winston Kloer (not verified)

I'm copywriting an analysis journal and gathering up details on this field. This post is one of the more beneficial that I have read. Nice one for writing these details in to one specific setting.

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