Spotting a mascara box on the floor of the studio, according to Berry’s partner Johnnie Johnson, Chess said, “Well, hell, let’s name the damn thing Maybellene” altering the spelling to avoid a suit by the cosmetic company.
In 1988 "Maybellene" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence as a rock and roll single.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included "Maybellene" in their list of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll list, as well as "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B. Goode". In 1999, National Public Radio included it in the "NPR 100," the one hundred most important American musical works of the 20th century as chosen by NPR music editors.
"Maybellene" is currently ranked as the 81st greatest song of all time, as well as the second best song of 1955, by Acclaimed Music.
Chuck Berry did ask Tom Lyle Williams, for permission to use the Maybelline name. The spelling is often spelled the same as the mascara. Read all about it in my book, The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.