J.R. Martinez: Daughter’s Name Has Special Meaning

05/03/2012 at 03:00 PM ET
JB Lacroix/WireImage

It’s been less than 24 hours since the baby’s arrival and already new dad J.R. Martinez is thinking about getting his daughter ready for play dates and school.

“She has a full head of hair!” he tells PEOPLE, laughing. “One of the first things I’m going to have to do is learn how to do her hair because she’s got a lot of it!”

One thing Martinez was certain about early on is that the name he and girlfriend Diana Gonzalez-Jones chose for their daughter would not be trendy like “Apple Cider or Salami.”

The Dancing With the Stars season 13 champ tells PEOPLE that little Lauryn Anabelle was named after two very special people.

“Her first name, Lauryn, is after Diana’s younger sister who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year,” Martinez, 28, explains. “And her middle name, Anabelle, is after my sister who passed away when she was 6.”

The couple decided to give their daughter, whom Martinez affectionately refers to as “our little lamb,” unique spellings of their sisters’ names so that “she will have her own identity.”

In fact, the couple have already nicknamed their little bundle of joy Belle. “It’s wonderful to call her by her name, finally,” Martinez says.

– Monica Rizzo

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 60 comments

Erin on

When I saw the post earlier with the name I liked it because I have always loved the name Lauryn (Lauren) but now I like it even more! What a sweet name for a sweet baby and family…congrats!

Leslee on

Lovely to put so much thought into a beautiful name and the reasons behind choosing it truly give the child a start in life that says they really prepared for her. I hope she has a beautiful life.

Miriam Poulsen on

A normal name with great meaning behind. I salute you, sir and madam!

MeredithM on

So sweet they want to honor two people in their lives who was sadly taken away from them. It’s also a beautiful name. Congrats to them!


Beautiful. I wish you both all the love and hapoiness in the world. Enjoy her!!! Beautiful name, beautiful meaning to people that have meant alot to you.

Guest on

So happy for them. The baby girl’s name is such a sweet tribute to their late sisters. I wish J.R and Diana the best of luck with their new family! Congrats!

Sandra on

Congratulations! What a beautiful name and what a beautiful honour to name her after two people in both your lives that you cared about deeply and want their names to live on. May you feel peace when calling her name and knowing that she is loved forever! Again, congratulations!

wondergirl on

Tears”””’that is so sweet! I also salute you, sir amd madam!

Mom Of Twins on

Congrats to them both. Such a beautiful way to honor those you’ve lost.,

Donna Marie on

I love that name! I am so happy for JR and Diana. Wishing them nothing but the best and many blessings!:)

marie on

Apple Cider, Salami! =) That’s funny! What a great couple they are. Congratulations on your sweet, sweet blessing!

SHar on

Beautiful beautiful name for a sweet little girl. I had to laugh when he commented on the stupid names people call their kids like salami or apple cider lol. Finally someone gives a great deal of thought for a name that that little girl has to live with the rest of her life. And what sweet sentiment that went into it too. I am so happy for them. The little I got to know him on DWTS and all that he has been through with his injuries – he is going to make a strong and caring Dad. She is a very lucky girl!!!

hush on

A very pretty name. Enjoy your new baby. They grow so quickly!

Louisa on

This is what a name is all about. I hope good fortune follows them for the rest of their lives.

PatRob on

Always loved JR on All My Children. Beautiful man with a wonderful spirit. If Diana is half the person he is then their baby will be one fortunate little girl. Beautiful names given with so much meaning – makes the ridiculous names like Apple, Sparrow, Bronx, Blue Ivy show that those parents were only thinking of themselves, not the little ones stuck with dreadful names.

I wish JR, Diana, and baby Belle all the best for a long happy future together.

karen on

Congratulations JR. I am so thrilled for you and Diana. Your little Belle will bring yu so much happiness.

Ms Ari on

Precious! And what sweet people to honor their sisters in this way. It certainly beats the heck out of Beretta! 🙂

Kate on

It is great that they changed the spelling to give her a fresh start while honoring their sisters at the same time.

Lisa on

JR seems like such a genuinely nice man and his lady too seems lovely. He is a brave and positive person deserving of much happiness. Lauryn Anabelle is a very sweet, feminine name and just the loveliest meaning behind it. She will be so proud of her name and her parents one day.

A&MsMom on

FINALLY!!! A star with enough sense to pick a beautiful, normal name that won’t get his daughter tormented in school! Congratulations on Lauryn Anabelle, she’s a lucky little girl!

Mira on

That’s how you put meaning into a name. Not by “honouring” the ceiling in your apartment or the date your record dropped.

SLB on

FINALLY, a normal name with special significance!

Julianna on

I had no idea who this guy was until I started watching DWTS. He wasn’t my favorite, but now I’m a fan. I love when parents give their children names that are important to them. What a beautiful homage JR and Diana paid to their sisters. Wherever they are, I’m sure they’re very pleased with it. Congratulations, again, to the entire family.

ELC on

She has a very sweet name and I like the spelling of her first and middle names. They are unique and special to the parents and that’s what counts. Congratulations on the new arrival. Its certaintly a nicer name for a little girl than Maxwell Drew.

ELC on

What a sweet name and I liked how her first and middle name are spelled. Congratulations to the parents of their new bundle of joy. Its certaintly a nicer girls name than Maxwell Drew. How horrible is that??

PJ on

JR has been one of my favorites since I was introduced to him on All My Children and from Dancing with the Stars. Miss seeing him. All the best to JR and Diana on their new arrival. Such a beautiful name with such emotion behind it. Can’t wait to see a picture of the family.

Dorothy on

Congrats on Baby Belle! Love this and her formal names! Great idea of honor the sisters who have passed. Wonderful. Lots of love there.

KGurley on

I love how she is named after both of her deceased aunts. What a perfect way 2 pay tribute 2 deceased family members. 🙂

mks on

So sweet to name their little girl after two females who are important to them but who unfortunately will not get to meet their little girl; it gives her a connection to them even though she will never meet them.

Also like that they gave her slightly different spellings with both names; so that while she shares a name with their two sisters, it is still very much her name that is unique to her.

Julie on

Beautiful name…lovely couple..amazingly inspiring man Soooo happy for them!

Tee on

Ach, what a sweet story! How wonderful that they chose to honor this baby’s two aunts like this! Lauryn Annabelle is a beautiful name for what is most surely a beautiful baby girl!

Annie on

Now that is a lovely name!! Finally, a celebrity with some sense. My beautiful Emily Grace is named after her great-grandmothers. Congratulations to your family.

Me on

Classic & classy.

crystal on

I have a friend with the name Lauryn.. same spelling

not unique

Harley on

So very happy for JR and his lady to have that beautiful little one in their arms! It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time to know why she was named Lauryn Annabelle. I wish them all the best in the world, and I certainly hope little miss inherits her father’s beautiful, strong spirit.

Salsoulgrl on

You’re missing the point Crystal. Lauryn is unique to little Belle. Different from both her aunts’ name spellings.

Shannon on

Bellle is beautiful nickname. I’m sure the little baby is, too. Congratulations!

Steph on

Beautiful name! Baby Belle is named after her 2 guardian angels that are up in heaven looking over her. Congratulations!!!!

Missy on

HILARIOUS all the bible thumpers are all over Jessica Simpsons post talking about how shes this horrible person because shes not married and having a baby but yet not one person is stating it here. Double standard much because of the person who had the baby?

Liz Stewart on

I love her name and the meaning means alot.

meghan on

Missy, take your crap stirring somewhere else.

Bree on

Love it!! What a beautiful way of honouring two special people while still allowing little Belle to have her own identity by spelling the names differently 🙂

I do not normally like it when kids first names are after a family memember (Not a criticism of anyone just a personal issue, I fully respect a parent’s right to name their child whatever they choose) but this is just such an amazing story for Belle to have and done in such a beatiful way by altering the spelling that really I just love it!!

Congrats to J.R. and Diana and welcome to the world baby Lauryn Anabelle!!

Anonymous on

A&MsMom- And how do you know Lauryn won’t get tormented in school? Since Belle is her nickname and therefore likely what the kids at school will know her as, they could easily call her “dumbelle”, or tease her by saying things like, “Gee, does that ring a BELLE?!” Or, if they know her full first name, they might call her “Borin’ Lauryn”. There’s no such thing as a tease-proof name!

Missy- I could be wrong of course, but I think a big part of the reason for all the comments about Jessica not being married is because she made such a big deal about saving herself for marriage the first time around, and now she went and had a baby out of wedlock. In otherwords, people are saying she’s a bit of a hypocrit. Again, I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’d have been nearly as many comments about her not being married had she not been so vocal about remaining a virgin until her first marriage.

Susan on

I thought her name was beautiful when I read it yesterday and now I totally love it and love the meaning behind both names – congrats to JR and Diana!

Alexia on

Love the name! It’s so touching that they put so much thought into the name and honored loved ones, too!

CJ on

I served in the same brigade as J.R. a few years after he was injured. “We few, we happy few, we Band of Brothers.” I am so happy for my Brother as he welcomes a precious little one into the world.

ecl on

I really like the name, but I’ve never understood why people give their child a first name and then use the middle one. Why not just switch them if you want to call her by her middle name?

Anonymous on

Now that’s a beautiful name! Two of my favorite names for a girl and I love the reasoning behind it and the spelling even though I’m usually all about traditional spelling.

Congrats to JR and Diana! I became a fan of his on DWTS. He won me over with his lovely personality and goodness of heart. That little girl is so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful man for her father–a real hero.

Marky on

Anonymous, what I find sort of interesting is that I read comments about how Jessica talked about saving herself for marriage 12 years ago, and who knows? maybe she did, but now she’s been divorced for a long time and is engaged to the father of her baby, but somehow that makes her a hypocrite, or somehow so much worse than any of the other 35 or so people who have had babies in the last year and aren’t yet married. I don’t think so; I wonder what all you posters said about various things when you were young compared to what you say now, or what you do now? This “hypocrite” business seems to be reserved for others and never for looking at ourselves. Unless you are perfect, what are you thinking judging someone else, posters?

As for J.R and Diana, congratulations on their baby girl, and I wish them the best!!

henrietta on

Lauryn is a lovely name. My late daughter, Lauren, also died unexpectantly and I wrote the book: THROW ME THE ROPE: A Memoir on Loving Lauren. As Victor Frankel stated: LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH. AMEN. BEST OF LUCK TO BOTH OF YOU.

Debbe on

I am sooo happy for them.

Susan F Albert on

Finally, parents that have given thier child a normal name. Although, I like the name Bronx. JR was one of my favorites when he was on All My Children. This man has been through so much, and has come out on the other side with dignaty. I am so glad he has found happiness. Congrats to you both on the birth of your beautiful daughter. She sure is one lucky little girl.

Barb on

God Bless your little family. May you have years and years of joy raising your little bundle of joy. Teach her to dance at an early age J.R.

kasia on

it’s creepy to name kids after dead family members, especially when both names like that, but definitely better than apple cider

J on

Meghan, you fell for it sucka…lol!

robinepowell on

Beautiful names and actual people names too. Maybe they’ll start a trend and other celebs will start using more normal names again.

Anonymous on

ecl- Maybe they liked the nickname Belle but thought Lauryn Anabelle sounded better than Anabelle Lauryn?

AlaBella on

It’s a lovely name with great meaning. I love how they chose to spell the names differently so “she will have her own identity.” It’s very thoughtful

B.J. (the girl) on

I adore this man. Everything he says, I just love him! Brings a tear to your eye. I love the meaning behind her name – especially love Anabelle and the nickname Belle (I may have gone with Anabelle Lauryn but both are nice!)

Erin on

Rest In Peace Lauren, we all miss you<3