Celebrity Parents Who Named Their Child River: Kelly Clarkson and More

Kelly Clarkson, Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Morgan.
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While River may seem like an unusual baby name, it’s become quite popular in Hollywood.

When Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara welcomed their first child in September 2020, the couple decided to name their son River to honor the Oscar winner’s late brother, River Phoenix, who died in 1993 at age 23 of a drug overdose. The same month Joaquin became a father, he opened up about how his connection to his sibling remained strong even after River’s death.

“I feel like in virtually every movie that I made, there was a connection to River in some way,” he said during a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper. “And I think that we’ve all felt his presence and guidance in our lives in numerous ways.”

Kelly Clarkson also decided to name her daughter River Rose when she welcomed the little one with ex-husband Brandon Blackstock in June 2014. While part of her daughter’s name has a familial connection, Clarkson confessed she and Blackstock were inspired by the body of water near their home at the time.

“We live on a river, so it really wasn’t that creative. We were outside on our balcony, and we both looked at each other and were like, ‘What about River? That’s kind of cool,’” the singer explained while noting that Rose was her mother’s maiden name. “And I love alliteration.”

Keep scrolling to see all the celebrity kids named River:

All the Celebrity Kids Named River by Their Famous Parents Kelly Clarkson Joaquin Phoenix and More
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Vanessa Morgan

The actress welcomed her first child, son River Dante, with ex Michael Kopech in January 2021.

“To the boy who made me a momma. River Dante 🕊Grateful everyday your lil soul chose me,” Morgan wrote via Instagram in May 2021 while celebrating her first Mother’s Day as a mom. “Brings tears to my eyes how happy you make me. To all the moms out there living that no sleep life and sacrificing day after day for your lil ones, I SEE you, you are beautiful, you are all SUPERWOMEN, you birthed LIFE, Happy Mother’s Day 🌸💐🌷🌺 Go give your moms a big hug! Sending you all love & light.”

Derek Jeter

The former baseball player and his wife, Hannah Jeter, welcomed their third daughter River Rose in December 2021. The couple also share Bella Raine, Story Grey and Kaius Green.

All the Celebrity Kids Named River by Their Famous Parents Kelly Clarkson Joaquin Phoenix and More
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Kelly Clarkson

Clarkson started the River Rose trend in 2014 when she welcomed her daughter. The American Idol alum is also the proud mom of son Remington “Remy” Alexander.

Jamie Oliver

The celebrity chef and wife Juliette Norton named their youngest son River Rocket Blue Dallas in August 2016. The pair are also the proud parents of Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear Maurice.

All the Celebrity Kids Named River by Their Famous Parents Kelly Clarkson Joaquin Phoenix and More
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Homecoming Weekend ; Courtesy of Nick Viall/Instagram

Nick Viall

The former Bachelor star and fiancée, Natalie Joy, welcomed their first child, daughter River Rose, in February 2024. The twosome chose the name to honor Joy’s great grandmother and niece.

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara

The duo secretly welcomed their son in September 2020.

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