Celebrity Names Blog

Ashton Shepherd Welcomes Raden Delilah: A Southern Belle With An Androgynous Twist

Country singer Ashton Shepherd and husband Roland Cunningham welcomed their second child, Raden Delilah Cunningham on Friday, September 9. Also welcoming Raden to the world is big brother James, age 5.  

Raden has an invented name, but also androgynous one, just like her mom. Raden follows the popular “two-syllables, rhymes with Aiden” pattern, which is mostly used for boys, and both loved and hated. But unlike Ashton, which is historically androgynous, Raden is inherently androgynous for lack of precedent. (Think Ashton is exclusively male? These days, perhaps, but it’s only been that way for the last decade.)

To go with an ambiguous first name, Raden’s parents picked a middle name that’s all girl. Delilah, sugary-sweet with biblical roots l and modern popularity, seems like a great fit for a southern belle (Raden was born in Demopolis, Alabama). It also sounds right for the daughter of a musician, since Delilah’s 2005-2006 sudden rise from obscurity followed the release of the Plain White T’s hit “Hey There Delilah.” Whether or not she was named with the song in mind, it’s a nice association to have.

As far as popularity is concerned, it’s likely that Delilah is here to stay for a while, especially with its current use among the celebrity crowd. Kimberly Stewart and Benicio del Toro recently welcomed a daughter named Delilah, as did Laurence Fishburne in 2007. Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin beat the trend when they chose the name for their daughter in 1998.

With an –ayden soundalike  followed by an on-the-rise, old-timey name, Raden Delilah is right on trend. Still, it’s not a combination we’ve ever heard, leaving us to wonder whether it's a name that's edgy and different, or super trendy. Can it be both? If you're among the crowd that thinks -ayden names are overdone, does the same hold true for girls?

-- K.L.


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September 10, 2011 8:32 PM
By K (not verified)

I don't love it and I don't hate it. The only "ayden" name I like really is Aiden/Aidan. And, actually, I prefer Aidan for a girl (our flower girl was one). It seems like there was some purpose & meaning behind "Raden" (read on people.com). I wouldn't use it but it is far less offensive to me than other names. I love that mom & daughter both have androgynous names though.

September 12, 2011 7:35 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

When I hear Raden all I can think is "kadoooooochit!"

September 13, 2011 1:48 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

For me it sounds too similar to radon, the radioactive gas. But maybe it's pronounced with a short "a"?

September 13, 2011 3:56 PM
By Sarah (not verified)

This is WAY too close to Mortal Kombat's Raiden for my liking, especially for a girl. Don't get me wrong, I'm a girl and I like Mortal Kombat; but when I hear the name I can't think of anything but an old dude with lightning coming out of his hands.

September 13, 2011 8:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think it's a horrible first name...but best to them anyway!

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