Haley Bonar is now simply Haley

HaleyTwin Cities musician Haley Bonar, whose career took off during her years living in Duluth, announced today she is changing her surname from her paternal birth name, Bonar, to her maternal family name, McCallum. As a performer, however, she’s shortening it up to simply “Haley.”

Below is the statement from Haley’s Facebook page.

Her European tour begins March 25 with a sold out show in Glasgow, Scotland.

I was born in the 1980s and without question, my sisters and I were given my father’s last name — a good, Scottish name that goes back centuries, and existed in the realm of our heritage until right around the time I was born, when the surname became strikingly similar to a slang term for an erection. Humiliation and degradation by cruel people has been a part of my life since childhood because of this (and whatever else about me that didn’t fit the “mold”) which I have fought by learning to tune out the harsh criticism and the art of correcting the mispronunciation. I have been working my whole life at assimilating myself in the world as a woman, constantly questioning the social constructs that create the atmosphere surrounding the meaning of what it is to be female in modern society. One of the greatest lessons that I have learned has been firmly rooted in the relationship to the women in my family — as a mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister and niece. The strong women who have given me life, friendship, guidance, and support to always be myself, no matter what, have shaped who I am at my core, and with that, given me the ability to teach my daughter the same values.

These thoughts have drawn the path toward my decision to change my surname to reflect and honor my maternal family. My mother’s name — McCallum — another name borne of sturdy, Scottish blood — means “a person of peace.” I want to be at peace with myself, as do most of us on a daily basis in life. I want to progress toward what feminism truly means to me by shedding a cultural custom that need not apply anymore. This seems like a positive way to change something about my roots without losing a part of myself or my lineage in the process. With that being said, I understand that changing my name with regard to the work I have have created under my name can be confusing to fans, or people trying to find my music. So, although my legal name will be Haley McCallum, I will be performing etc under HALEY. Thank you for supporting this very personal and joyful decision!

Happy #internationalwomensday ❤️?



about 7 years ago

I feel personally responsible for this, and I would like to publicly apologize. I was out and about several Homegrowns ago, late at night, stumbling along Superior Street near Carmody with a very loud and drunk friend. Somehow we got to talking about the shows we'd seen and skipped that evening, and we got into a giggly stupid loud back and forth, "Bone-ahr, Bone-er, Bone-ahr, Bonn-ahr," trying to drunkenly pronounce her name correctly, and then we SAW HER  in the echoey empty darkness, packing out her gear to her car. I was mortified and my friend was not, because friend never is. I understand her choice, but I still feel like a jerk. It's one of the moments that sometimes keeps me up at night.


about 7 years ago

Funny story.  I can personally attest that this conversation is not exclusive to you & your friend.  I highly doubt it was the first or last time she heard it.  Perhaps her entire life.  It really is a strong Scottish name, but maybe too easily skewed toward crass language.

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