The fame of the name has much to do with the popularity of baby names. Monica was ranked #61 in 1985 and was ranked #79 in 1997. When Monica Lewinsky admitted to having oral sex with then-President Bill Clinton, the name began to fall in popularity rankings among the baby names chosen. Clinton admitted in August of 1998 that he had had an "inappropriate" relationship with Lewinsky. The popularity of the female name Monica dropped in 1998 to #105 in the name ranking records of the Social Security Administration. By 2004 the name had fallen to #226.
The name Paris, ranked #805 in 1985, has moved up to #156. Paris Hilton's rise in the media has no doubt had much to do with this. In an article on baby names and trends in Forbes.com in April by Leah Hoffman, the name Shirley tripled in frequency between 1933 and 1935, coinciding with the popularity of one of the first child media stars, Shirley Temple, and Elvis rose almost 60% in 1956 when Elvis Presley released Heartbreak Hotel.
Perpetually a cute and popular name: Ashley. The name moved into the top 10 in 1983 and has stayed there. No doubt the popularity of Ashley Olsen of the Olsen Twins will keep this name popular with those who grew up enjoying the Media Stars Ashley and Mary Kate. Reese Witherspoon, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress this year, might be the influence behind the rise in popularity of the name Reese for girls. It wasn't even in the top 1,000 names prior to 2000 when it hit #885. For the lastest year's ranking, Reese was #262 in 2004. Bets are that it will continue to move up. Madonna, though, has not been in the top 1000 names for any year. Go figure.
Numbers are based on the name database of the Social Security Administration which has tracked the top 1,000 most popular names for boys and girls since 1879.