Keke Palmer explains how she came up with the names for her two dogs


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When it came time to come up with a name for her 11-month-old teacup Yorkie, Keke Palmer looked to her recent turn starring in Grease: Live for inspiration.

“I just thought, okay, Rydell, like Rydell High,” the star of the upcoming season of Berlin Station, 23, tells PEOPLE exclusively for the 2017 World’s Most Beautiful issue. “Plus, it’s a mature name and for a dog. I always think it’s funny when a puppy dog has an adult person’s name.”

The actress named her 10-month-old teacup Maltipoo Rocky because she felt the name fit her pup’s diva personality.

“Her real name is actually Racquel, we just call her Rocky for short,” says Palmer, who will soon release her new single, “Wind Up.” “She’s just so diva — from the moment I met her she was tootin’ and bootin’ her little butt around!”

Keke Palmer with Rocky (top) and Rydell
| Credit: Eric Ray Davidson

Although her dogs have opposite personalities — Rocky is “a brat” while Rydell is “a Mama’s boy” — they immediately got along with one another.

“I put Rocky next to Rydell to see their chemistry together, and they definitely loved each other,” says Palmer. “She’s definitely a tease towards him, and I thought that was really cute.”


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Bringing home her puppies has helped the Scream Queens star get through a difficult time in her personal life.

“I was actually going through a breakup when I first got Rydell and Rocky,” she says. “I’d come in at night from working or being in the studio, and go to lay on the couch, and they would come right up to me and hug me and cuddle me. It was just really nice.”