This was not the year for Nicks, Johns, Mollys, Kevins and Jacks. At least not for the babies born in Nashville. There would be no ordinary or common names allowed. Only big names for the littlest newcomers to the families of country music stars. In chronological order, here’s a list of the year’s arrivals:
Camden William Gunderson (March 10)
Love and Theft’s Eric Gunderson and wife Emily welcomed their first baby into the world several weeks early. Gunderson hasn’t revealed any special meaning to Camden’s name, but he and bandmate Stephen Barker Liles occasionally tweet photos of themselves with their sons with captions like, “What a blessing! Life is so fun & God’s timing is perfect! The best years are ahead!”
Elijah Craig Walker (June 16)
Clay Walker and wife Jessica welcomed their third child, Elijah, to their growing family. The couple has William, 4, and Mary, 3, plus two teenage daughters from Walker’s previous marriage. I’m guessing the name Elijah came from the Bible. And I’m guessing that pretty soon, all three kids will stumble onto a box of yearbooks, letters and photos of mama ’fore she was mama.
Eisele Kaye Tyrrell (July 22)
Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott and husband Chris Tyrell brought their first baby girl into the world this summer, and while it took them a while to name her, they are now in love with their choice. Her names honor Chris’ mother’s maiden name and Hillary’s mother’s middle name. “Once we saw her and said it, it was done. We love how it sounds kind of musical. It has a sing-song sound to it. It floats in a pretty, musical way,” Scott said when Eisele was born.
Knox Bentley (Oct 9)
Big sisters Jordan, 2, and Evalyn, 5, probably adore their little brother Knox and his cute little name. Dierks Bentley and wife Cassidy haven’t talked about where they got the name for their first son, but right after the pregnancy was announced, Bentley told me what names they had ruled out. “We have too many Toms in the family. We thought about Jack, but that wouldn’t work for us. I thought about my dad’s name [Leon], but he never wanted to pass that along. I wish he was still here so I could ask him,” he told me.
Jett Barker Liles (Dec. 2)
Love and Theft’s Stephen Barker Liles and fiancée Jenna Kennedy’s first baby looks just like his mother, according to Liles. The named supposedly stands for things like excellence and abundance. But I just wonder why they didn’t name him Stephen. If that name was good enough to make it into a Taylor Swift song (“Hey Stephen”), it would’ve made the perfect name for the Liles boy.
Ryker Mobley Brice (Dec. 4)
Lee Brice, wife Sara and their first son Takoda welcomed little Ryker to the family. “Mobley was my great-granddaddy’s middle name, my daddy’s and mine,” Brice said of the baby’s middle name. He didn’t say where the Ryker came from, but it is a Danish form of Richard and means “powerful ruler.” So maybe he’s destined to run Nashville someday.