Pharrell Williams, the hip-hop artist best known for the Oscar-nominated single 'Happy', revealed the meaning behind the name of his son Rocket Ayer, born in 2008. The name serves as a homage to Williams' favourite musicians, Roy Ayers, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock.

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Williams stated that he and his wife, designer/model Helen Lasichanh, wanted to give their son an inspirational name while also honouring their musical idols. This was achieved through the name 'Rocket', as it serves as both a symbol of souring high, and is found in the name of a song by several artists that Williams enjoys.

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During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell Williams was recorded saying "In the same way that the Indians name their children like behind a force or an animal or an element, we named him after a manmade machine that was meant to go up. Meant to ascend."

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He continued in the interview to fully explain the name of his son, by confirming that "metaphorically, it was because of, you know, Stevie Wonder's 'Rocket Love', Elton John's 'Rocket Man' and Herbie Hancock's 'Rocket'. All of my favourite musicians. And his middle name is not 'Man'. It's Ayer after Roy Ayers."