Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

They’re just like us…some artists have middle names they may love or not so much. Take a look, here, at 7 country stars middle names that may surprise you. It’s not that they are bad names or good names, perhaps it’s more that they don’t seem to fit. Or maybe their middle names are a little unusual.

Growing up, I kind of liked my middle name, but was always perplexed by it. It didn’t have a special meaning and wasn’t a family name, my mother just liked it, I guess. My middle name is Beth. It’s not Elizabeth, just Beth. I always thought Elizabeth sounded more regal and definitely more fancy! It doesn’t seem to fit, but I do like the name Beth. So, you catch my drift about middle names that may surprise you?

You may have read my article about country stars who go by their middle names. There are quite a few very famous names on that list. But here, I looked for country stars’ middle names that may surprise you.

I did read once that Kenny Chesney never liked his middle name, Arnold. I’m sure everyone would prefer cool sounding names, but many of us get stuck with family names from days gone by that aren’t very popular anymore. Alan Jackson’s middle name is Eugene. His dad also had that middle name, so apparently it was a family tradition. Alan didn’t get the chance to pass along that family name, as he has 3 daughters.

Using a little help from Country Music Nation and my own research, I’ve complied a list of 7 country stars’ middle names that may surprise you, or may be a little out of the ordinary. No Maries, Anns or Johns here. Just your slightly atypical (by today’s standards) monikers for the famous. See if you find any of these names to be a little surprising. Do you have a somewhat unusual middle name?


  • George Strait

    George Harvey Strait

    The King of Country, the great George Strait will celebrate his 72nd birthday on May 18. The Texas “troubadour” was born and raised in Pearsall, Texas. Hid dad’s name John Byron Strait was passed onto his older brother. So his parents named him George Harvey. George named his only son after him, but his son became known as Bubba. So he is George Harvey Strait Jr. Bubba kept the tradition alive and named his son, George Harvey Strait III, but he is known as “Harvey.”


  • Reba McEntire

    Reba Nell McEntire

    Reba is a somewhat unusual name, so it makes sense her parents, Jacqueline and Clark McEntire, gave her a middle name to fit. As mentioned in Country Music Nation, Reba was named after her maternal grandmother, Reba Estelle Smith. Do you think “Nell” could be adaptation of the name Estelle? The Queen of Country is known worldwide by simply her first name. You know your a big deal when everyone knows you by one name!



  • Cole Swindell

    Colden Rainy Swindell

    Yes, this is his actual, real birthname!. And he’s not the only one. The “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” singer even posted about how he got his name. His full name sounds more like a weather forecast, and it certainly has that surprise factor. He’s become one of country’s hottest singer/songwriters over the last decade. He’s scored 9 #1 hits and released 4 studio albums. Word is there is a 5th album coming soon!

  • Maren Morris

    Maren Larae Morris

    Maren has certainly made a name for herself in the music business scoring multiple country and pop hits and winning many awards, including a Grammy. Morris said she got her first name from from Battlestar Galactica actor Maren Jensen, after her mother who was pregnant watched an old episode and thought it would sound good with her last name. Apparently, it’s a variation of the name Mary. I couldn’t find any meaning behind her middle name, but did find out it’s a name that means “grace.” Today, the name Grace is a very popular middle name. By the way, Maren Larae won her Grammy Award in 2017 for her debut single, “My Church.”



  • Blake Shelton

    Blake Tollison Shelton

    I always thought the name Blake Shelton sounded somewhat like a soap opera character’s name. But Blake is certainly far from that. Born in Ada, Oklahoma in 1976, he is more of a farm guy than a soap star. Although, he has had tremendous success on TV and dozens of hit songs. I did find out his parents names; Dorothy Ann, who used to own a beauty salon, and  and Richard Lee “Dick” Shelton (1940–2012), who was a car salesman. Tollison could be a family name, but it’s also known as a derivative of the name “Thomas.” All in all, it’s a pretty fancy name for a not-so-fancy dude.


  • Bailey Zimmerman

    Bailey Lynn Zimmerman

    At all of 24 years old, Bailey Zimmerman has certainly made a name for himself in the world of country music. He is one of the rare “overnight success stories.” He was working a manual labor gig and started posting cover songs on social media. Before he knew it he was thrown into the fire and scoring his first hit at the age of 22. He’s also the only country artist to earn not 1, but 2 Platinum certifications! It happened in 2022 with his debut single, “Fall In Love” and sophomore release, “Rock and A Hard Place.” Zimmerman grew up in the small town of Louisville, Illinois.  His mother’s name is Kristi Bailey Haerr (she remarried), so we know how he got his first name. Lynn could also be a family name, but I couldn’t find any more information on it. I can’t find any information on his father, except that he owned a trucking company and was the country fan in the family.

  • Chris Stapleton

    Christopher Alvin Stapleton

    Stapleton always seem to come off as the cool, quiet guy. He seems almost shy and soft spoken when accepting his awards or in interviews. But with a middle name of Alvin, it just is a mismatch. His father, Herb Stapleton Jr. was a coal miner and electrical engineer, from Logan, West Virginia. Meanwhile, his mother, Carol, worked at the local health department. Chris was born in Lexington, Kentucky and raised in is Staffordsville. I did find out from that his maternal grandfather was named Alvin Nathan Mace. Ah hah! So, that’s how he got the name made famous by cartoon chipmunks. Still, a fine name. Stapleton has amassed 10 Grammy Awards, including one for his recent hit, “White Horse.” Lots of notches on this artist’s belt!

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