music stars real names

10 Music Stars Who Don’t Go By Their Real Name


January 22, 2019

Are you guilty of indulging in hip hop and rap name generators? We sure are! It got us thinking of all the stars who’ve taken on stage names or shortened their real names OR taken on truly whacky ones (we’re looking at you Lady Gaga!). It seems like it’s a popular trend with the stars to take on monikers!

Seriously, there’s no way that Jay Z is the name on his actual birth certificate! We’re wondering whether a name change is the golden ticket to a brighter future?

Well, it sure worked for these guys.

Alicia Keys- Alicia Augello-Cook

The singer changed her last name to a more melodic sounding name which was inspired by piano keys (duh!). She even considered “Alicia Wild”. Keys suits her better. For sure.

Bruno Mars- Peter Gene Hernandez

Bruno is actually his childhood nickname because he looked like famous wrestler Bruno Sammartino! When he entered the music industry, he dropped the Hernandez to break away from being compartmentalized as a Latin singer. Hernandez or Mars, we like you Just The Way You Are.

Calvin Harris- Adam Richard Wiles

He apparently took on this name to sound more “racially ambiguous”. However, off stage he prefers to be called Adam. We’re still not feeling the Adam though.

Cardi B- Belcalis Almanzar

Her sister’s name is Hennessey and when she was younger, she was often called Bacardi. She gave it a mix and shortened it to Cardi B! Sounds neat and strong, right?

Drake- Aubrey Drake Graham

When the actor-turned-singer started making music, he dropped his first and last name, and went by Drake. Just Drake.

John Legend- John Roger Stephens

“John Legend” is actually a nickname his friends used to call him and he decided to go by the moniker. Good move, ’cause he’s sure living up to his “legendary” name.

Lady Gaga- Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta

The leading pop star’s name change was inspired by the 1984 Queen hit song “Radio Ga Ga”. Fun fact: When Roger Taylor originally wrote the song, the lyrics were actually “Radio Ca Ca”!

Lorde- Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Conor

Oh lord! Talk about shortening a name! The singer wanted a powerful and grand name that would be perfect for the stage. However, she still goes by Ella off stage.

Miley Cyrus- Destiny Hope Cyrus

Apparently little Destiny was a happy child and was always smiling, which got her the nickname Smiley. Smiley went on to become Miley, which she legally took on in 2008.

Jay Z- Shawn Corey Carter

When he was younger, he was nicknamed “Jazzy” and later changed his name to Jay Z to salute his mentor and producer, Jaz-O.  Sweet.

Which star-name-change shocked you the most? And if you had to take on a stage name, what would it be?



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