Some musicians are just born with a really cool name like Madonna, Johnny Cash, or Trent Reznor. Others aren’t so lucky. Some are born with name like Ella Maria Lani Yelch-O’Connor that’s just too much of a mouthful to use as a stage name. Yet others change their name just for the hell of it, really. Either way, whatever their reasons are, we’re here to list down 10 musicians who changed their name, starting with...
1. Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez -> Bruno Mars
We all know that Bruno Mars has some Filipino blood, but he actually has Puerto Rican, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Spanish blood as well! He was nicknamed “Bruno” by his father when he was two years old because of his resemblance to wrestler Bruno Sammartino. As for “Mars,” he said, “The Mars came up just because I felt like I didn’t have no pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I’m from Mars.”
2. Stefani Joanna Angelina Germanotta -> Lady Gaga
Before “Lady Gaga” was the Stefani Germanotta Band. As the band became popular in New York, however, she got introduced to music producer Rob Fusari who sang Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” whenever she visited the studio. After a text glitch that corrected “radio” to “lady,” she declared: “That’s it. Don’t ever call me Stefani again.”
3. Tim Bergling -> Avicii
It isn’t uncommon for DJ’s to pick a cool stage name that’s easily remembered. In Tim Bergling’s case, “avicii” means “the lowest level of hell” in Buddhism. He decided on it while creating his MySpace page because everything, even his real name, was taken at the time.
4. Amethyst Amelia Kelly -> Iggy Azalea
Interestingly enough, Iggy’s first name comes from her favorite pet. When the dog died, she got a necklace made in his honor, and people started to think that was her nickname ever since. As for “Azalea,” Iggy’s grandfather didn’t approve of having only one word stage name so she added the name of the street she grew up on.
5. Armando Christian Perez -> Pitbull
Yes, he picked his name after the dog breed. In his biography, he states, “(Pitbulls) bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they're outlawed in Dade County (Florida). They're basically everything that I am. It's been a constant fight."
6. Onika Tanya Maraj – Nicki Minaj
This name change wasn’t really Nicki’s choice. In an interview with The Guardian, she said, “Somebody changed my name. One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted my name to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I've always hated it."
7. Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. -> Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg’s rap name came from none other than lovable cartoon Snoopy! He says he used to love Peanuts so much as a kid that his mother said he started to look like Snoopy himself.
8. Reginald Kenneth Dwight -> Elton John
Known as “Reggie” when he started playing in bars, Elton John picked his stage name as a homage to some legendary blues musicians: saxophonist Elton Dean and singer John William Baldry.
9. Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Mally Armstrong -> Dido
It seems the “Thank You” singer has a bone to pick with her parents. She says that she was called Dido at a young age even if it wasn’t on her birth certificate, and that is “one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me.” Either way, the name “Dido” was derived from the historical Queen of Carthage.
10. Ella Maria Lani Yelch-O’Connor -> Lorde
Looking through aristocratic titles was how Lorde got her stage name. She liked the look and sound of “Lord,” even, she admits, if it seems a little arrogant. As the word was a bit too masculine, she added the extra “e” at the end to make it more feminine!
Were you surprised by these musicians’ real names? Which did you like best? Leave a comment below!