Carson Daly: Why My Son Is My Secret Weapon

01/07/2013 at 01:00 PM ET

The Voice's Carson Daly: Why My Son Is My Secret Weapon
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

All Carson Daly‘s shushing and swaying couldn’t keep his daughter Etta Jones quiet on a recent holiday flight cross country.

Fortunately, Daly and his girlfriend Siri Pinter come equipped with a backup plan: big brother Jackson James, 3½.

“Etta was crying on the flight home from New Year’s Eve in New York. I looked at Siri and I have my finger in her mouth — she won’t suck on that — I’m out of my tricks,” The Voice host, 39, told PEOPLE at NBC’s Television Critics Association party Sunday in Pasadena, Calif.

“Siri tries her tricks and then we looked at Jackson and we go, ‘Jack, come here, make her stop crying!’ and Jackson comes over and goes, ‘Hi baby sissy!’ and he kisses her and she lights up.”

With the 4-month-old “locked into” Jackson, Daly admits his son has completely stepped up to the plate when it comes to caring for his sister.

“I almost forget she’s in the house sometimes and Jack reminds me, ‘Dada look out for Etta!’ He’s like an adult,” the proud papa jokes.

But while Etta’s brother may be shining in the sibling spotlight, it’s her great grandparents who served as inspiration behind her moniker.

“Etta is Siri’s grandmother’s name, Henrietta. It was an homage to her. When we go to visit Siri’s mom in Minnesota, we stay down in her basement and it’s where her grandparents lived,” Daly explains, adding Jones is both his middle name and his mom’s maiden name.

“We wanted Etta to have some of Siri’s family. Etta Jones was also a great jazz singer.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Aili Nahas

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 29 comments

avalyn on

I remember watching Carson on TRL every day after school. It baffles me (still) he is now the father of two children. He seems so devoted to them when he talks about them, completely beaming and living up the moment of it all.

2BParents on

What a beautiful baby name. I love it when they call the baby after a loved one. Very cute story.

Anonymous on

Awww, what a sweet story!

Mama Bambi on

Love it !!!

KaySea on

Cute story … but … Etta JAMES was a great jazz singer, not Etta JONES.

Kim on

it’s Etta JAMES.

terea on

Hmm. Forgets the baby is there and has to have his young son help take care of her. I don’t see a Father of the Year award anytime soon. Maybe for honesty but not for being a good dad.

rachel on

“Etta Jones” is a nice name, but it’s “Etta James” who was the great jazz singer. Haha!

Megan on

No, he IS talking about Etta JONES:

Google is your friend, people.

tasha on

I thought it was etta james that was the singer, but there may be another one.

Heather on

Etta JONES was an American jazz singer for over 50 years. Not to be confused with Etta James…. Look it up.

Anonymous on

Wow, Etta Jones is a great jazz singer…Etta James would be more of a blues, soul, and/or R&B artist.

Jen on

terea, bitter much? Its no wonder you’re so unloved.

Marci on

Etta Jones was an american Jazz singer. Im pretty sure Carson knows what he is talking about. GOOGLE is a beautiful thing people…..

Cute story Carson.

Dee on


I am not a hater, just an old fashioned kind of gal and I applaud the fact that you sound to be quite the doting dad, just think, if you take all that love for your “girlfriend” and children, make the “girlfriend” your wife, you’ll probably be even happier. I don’t understand why marriage takes a back seat in family planning these days. If you love the mother and are committed to your relationship with her and also the children, shouldn’t be a problem to purchase the ring and seal the deal with sacred vows.

All the best.

BH on

How about planning a wedding Carson?

Anonymous on

Ahem – Etta James AND Etta Jones were both Jazz singers…how about you look things up on wikipedia before making yourself look dumb.

Robin on

Very cute!! My son was like that and still is with my daughter. She adores him (he pretends he can’t stand her) but when she was a baby, sometimes he was the only one that could calm her and she would always listen to him when I needed her to do anything, like go to the doctor and get a shot, etc.! They will be very close! Cute story! : )

Lina Bina on

You all REALLY should google stuff before you talk….Etta JONES was an amazing jazz singer. Etta JAMES also sang Jazz, but her style encompassed blues, R&B and gospel as well. Stop trying to make someone look stupid if you don’t research because you know what they say about people who assume.

Beth on

It was Etta James, not Jones, but close enough.

Mimi on

I think its very cute story! Thats priceless! Big brother Jack calming baby Etta down n hes only 3 1/2…now im not sure abt him saying that he forgets shes in the house n his son has to remind him…as far as cohabiting n hving kids w marriage or no marriage thats just the way it is these days…u either live together n raise kids or u marry then hv kids just depends on them…

Momof3girls on

Such a cute story!!! Why do they need to get married?? I just don’t get it, everyone has a different view on marriage. Maybe their like me, I view it as a piece of paper, nothing more. I’m happilly unmarried, with the same man for almost 10 years and two children. By not being married, it doesn’t mean you don’t respect each other and aren’t committed to each other. Get over it people.

Anonymous on

Okay, people. FIrst of all, he said he ALMOST forgets Etta is in the house, not that he DOES forget she’s in the house. And second, I’m sure he was probably exaggerating a bit. Actors do that all the time when they tell stories.

After all, we tend to want to hear exciting stuff, not normal, boring, every day stuff! 😉

Anonymous on

Oh, and it also clearly states that he was JOKING when he said that about forgetting the baby was in the house! Doesn’t anyone understand jokes anymore?!

Anonymous on

Dee- That’s all well and good, but what if Carson DOES want to get married and SIRI is the one dragging her feet? What should he do then? Force her to marry him?!

Grace Adams on

Carson – watching you on Jay Leno.

You are always welcome in MN.

Would love to take you and your family skiing or snow tubing in MN – even at zero!!

Love you and love that you have a girlfriend from Eagan!

Rrr on

Etta Joanes is also an american Jazz musician people…

dsfg on

Guys, he’s a comedian, he’s joking.
Marriage is basically a product of religion and not everyone is religious. You can be committed to each other without an official marriage. I personally am a Christian and I believe in marriage but that doesn’t mean people who aren’t married can’t commit to each other and raise children responsibly.

susie on

I think if you love someone, you shouldnt have to prove it with a shiny ring and a piece of paper. Both of these can be destroyed, but your love is forever. Just what i think.