What’s in a name: 10 successful people with unusual names

I grew up in a family of three siblings and strongly disliked my name. It was obviously non-traditional than most, and I thought it was stranger than the much simpler names chosen for my brother and sister. Later, I learned that my dad wanted to give me a unique name. But, little did he realize or he failed to remember that I had an older cousin whose name rhymed with mine. Her name is Lenika. Hint Hint: Can you guess my name? I vowed that I would never give my child a name that was unfamiliar and non-traditional.

However, during a conversation with my co-worker, I had a slight change of heart. We had a discussion about birth names, and their seemingly magical powers. Think about it. Some of the most successful and talented people in the world have odd names. I compiled a list of top names in music, sports and business. I think there’s some validity in the claim that your birth name can have power. #ibedamned

madonna
Madonna
Madonna: a musical icon, American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Often referred to as the “Queen of Pop,  she achieved gross popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in her songs and music videos.
beyonce
Beyonce
Beyonce: She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the all-girl group, Destiny’s Child.  The group became one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time with over 60 million records sold. Throughout her career, she has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist making her one of the top selling music artists of all time.

And her sister,

solange-knowles
Solange Knowles
Solange: Solange started in the music industry with several temporary stints with Destiny’s Child, before going solo. She released her first album at age 16 in 2002. Her latest album won a Grammy for Best R&B Performancec and in December 2016, she was ranked as the 100th most successful dance artist of all time.
Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck: Celebrity chef and restaurateur. He owns restaurants, catering services, cookbooks and a cooking product line.
lebron-james
LeBron James
LeBron James: Professional NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s also the all-time leading scorer for the Cavaliers. LeBron has won three NBA championships, four MVP awards and two Olympic gold medals.
Ima Hogg
Ima Hogg: She was known as “The First Lady of Texas”, an American philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts, and renowned in Texas during the 20th century. She successfully ran for a seat on the Houston School Board in 1943, where she worked to remove gender and race as criteria for determining pay and established art education programs for black students.
omarosa
Omarosa Manigault
Omarosa:  She is the Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison on President Trump’s administration. Omarosa gained fame as a contestant on the Trump’s first season of The Apprentice. She later returned for the series sequel, Celebrity Apprentice.
vivica-fox
Vivica A. Fox
Vivica: Actress, producer and television host. She began her career with roles on the daytime television soap operas, Days of Our Lives and Generations. She later moved to prime time starring opposite of Pattie LaBelle in Out All Night. She went to the big screen in two box office hits, Independence Day and Set It Off.
Learned Hand
Judge Learned Hand: A judge and judicial philosopher. Hand served on the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has been reportedly quoted more often by legal scholars and by the US Supreme Court than any other lower court judge.
Peerless Price
Peerless Price: A former NFL wide receiver who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the draft in 1999. Price also played for the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys.

Share your birth name and its meaning. My name is Danika - it means "morning star" in Denmark. The pronunciation is different but I'll take every bit of its magical
powers, all the same
. 🙂

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Dear 80s baby: a letter to my younger self

Born on the heels of the Baby Boomers, the 80s baby was introduced to society around the time of the drug boom, during the birth of the neon fashion craze and big, wild hair. We were the rockers, the hip hoppers, the techies. Oh, how I wish I had a crystal ball, a genie in a bottle or superpowers so that I could freeze time or take a walkabout into the future. If I could talk to my younger self, I’d give the greatest pep talk of the 20th century.

Dear 80s baby,

Enjoy life…period. Make more memories during elementary school recess, snap up more polaroids with the family and knock on just one more neighbor’s door, run like hell so you can laugh about it later. 80s baby, you may not understand it now but relish in the creature comforts of blissful youth because what’s in store for you later will make you cringe at humankind.

You think curfews are bad now? Just wait until the two-thousand-teens when you’re afraid to venture outdoors.

Imagine police in riot gear in your neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon, reckless and rebellious youth, mother nature wreaking havoc on far reaches of the globe, gunmen shooting down innocent bystanders, our country’s wayward justice system, historic and unprecedented elections and men dying helplessly in the street while their suspects go free. I’m merely touching the surface. This is your life, 80s baby.

Mama will never tell you that there would be days like this. She will; however, tell you that history repeats itself but you are the captain of your destiny. YOU are at the helm of your life.

You’ll experience tragedies – lose family and friends and become overwhelmed by personal struggles. But, you’ll also observe many triumphs. It may be that you have to work twice as hard or that you may be passed up for some advancements, but not to count you out, in the end, you will make it and celebrate in your victories.

You’ll be in the class of firsts, you’ll witness history in technology, social media will be the bridge to reuniting families and friends and developments in medicines will allow many patients to live longer.

80s baby, we still have a long way to go; you were born to be resilient. Your grandparents fought the race, your parents carried the baton and now it’s up to you to finish it. You’re just getting started. You see, there are decades to follow, and you’ll have lots of time to put your stamp on it. And, by the time you peer into the 20-teens, you’ll know that 30 years earlier, wasn’t just a walk in the park, it was training day. #ibedamned.

Sincerely,

Your future self

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