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Musicians' Real Names


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Real Name: Paul David Hewson

Supposedly named after a Dublin hearing-aid shop called Bono Vox -- Latin for "good voice." His U2 bandmate the Edge got his own nickname from either his sharp facial features or his fearlessness of heights, depending on which version you believe.

Snoop Dogg

Real Name: Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr.

Snoop Dogg was nicknamed "Snoopy" by his mom for his love of the 'Peanuts' comic strip. If the original Snoopy was, in fact, a little bit gangsta, 'Doggystyle,' we presume, was not quite what Charles Schulz had in mind.

Marilyn Manson

Real name: Brian Hugh Warner

Marilyn Manson combined Marilyn Monroe with Charles Manson, of course. His bandmate Twiggy Ramirez (Jeordie White) combined the names of the slender '60s fashion icon and the serial killer Richard Ramirez. Most of the various band members have taken similarly titillating monikers – Daisy Berkowitz, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Gidget Gein...

Tina Turner

Real name: Annie Mae Bullock

Tina Turner got the last name, of course, by marrying her bandleader, Ike Turner. But he also changed the soul queen's given name as well, appropriately yet obliquely inspired by his fandom of comic-book wildwoman Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

Billy Idol

Real name: William Michael Albert Broad

A teacher once marked a report card for young Bill with the comment, "William is idle." After his career went multiplatinum in the 1980s, this textbook bad boy fell off the map, going 12 album-less years before a 2005 comeback. Once again, Billy was, in fact, idle.

Elton John

Real name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight

Sir Reg's early band was Bluesology, featuring saxophonist Elton Dean and frontman Long John Baldry. In 1972, he legally changed his name to Elton Hercules John, despite never having shared a band with any Hercules.


Real name: Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner

Playing in a jazz band, the young Gordo once wore a black-and-yellow striped shirt that made him look like a bumblebee. "My children call me Sting, my mother calls me Sting," he once joked, after being addressed by his given name. "Who is this Gordon character?"


Real name: Richard Melville Hall

Childhood nickname bestowed by his parents; Richie's great-great grand-uncle was 'Moby-Dick' author Herman Melville. Sadly, this connection to the great whale tale had nothing to do with Moby's brief stint in the band Flipper.

Iggy Pop

Real name: James Newell Osterberg Jr.

His first high school band was called the Iguanas, earning Iggy Pop another colorful nickname – the Rock Iguana. Unhappily credited as Iggy Stooge on the Stooges' first few records.

Freddie Mercury

Real name: Farrokh Bulsara

Born in Zanzibar to a Zoroastrian family of Indian descent, the man who would be Queen began calling himself Freddie while at boarding school near Bombay, where he started a band called the Hectics.

Johnny Rotten

Real name: John Joseph Lydon

The head Sex Pistol is said to have earned his nickname through the dubious distinction of his prematurely decaying teeth. Rotten's nickname for his pal John Simon Ritchie was dentally inspired, too -- "Sid Vicious" was borrowed from a particularly nippy pet hamster.


Real name: Christa Paffgen

When she was a teenage model in Europe, the German-born singer was redubbed by fashion photographer Herbert Tobias. He must have been quite taken by her beauty, as he was inspired to give her the name of his friend (and rumored ex-lover), filmmaker Nico Papatakis.


Real name: Michael Peter Balzary

Like Sting, another product of the Flying Pest school of rock nicknames. The Red Hot Chili Pepper's stage name was bestowed for his high-strung nature by high school buddy Anthony Kiedis on a ski trip.

Sun Ra

Real name: Herman Poole Blount

The eccentric jazzman, who claimed he was from Saturn, named himself after the ancient Egyptian sun god. Also answered, somewhat less exotically, to the childhood nickname Sonny.

Elvis Costello

Real name: Declan Patrick McManus

Originally performed as D.P. Costello, using his great-grandmother's surname (not inspired by the American comedian Lou Costello). Costello later took his manager's advice and adopted the first name Elvis. Further confusing the matter, he legally added Aloysius to his given name in the '80s

Cat Power

Real Name: Charlyn Marie Marshall

Chan Marshall didn't adopt her Cat Power alter ego in solidarity with feline empowerment. The indie vocalist once spotted the phrase "Cat Diesel Power" on a trucker hat advertising Caterpillar heavy machinery.

Alice Cooper

Real name: Vincent Furnier

Original band the Spiders switched their name to Alice Cooper, conjured, according to the record company, through a Ouija board encounter with a medieval witch of the same name. In 1974, Furnier legally adopted the name, keeping it for his solo career.

Engelbert Humperdinck

Real name: Arnold George Dorsey

The crooner of 'Release Me' and 'After the Lovin'' swiped his stage name from the 19th-century German composer of the opera 'Hansel and Gretel,' which was described by the original Engelbert as "a fairy opera."

Meat Loaf

Real name: Marvin Lee Aday

The 'Bat Out of Hell' blockbuster's first band was called Meat Loaf Soul; he debuted, oddly, with Motown, as half of a duet called Stoney and Meat Loaf. Recently changed his given first name, which no one knew anyway, to Michael.

Ol' Dirty Bastard

Real name: Russell Tyrone Jones

Wu-Tang Clan founding member nicknamed after a kung-fu film known as 'Ol' Dirty & the Bastard'; Jones's unique flow struck his bandmates as having "no father." And while a few people have one good alter ego, ODB rocked about 15 or so great ones, including Dirt McGirt, Peanut the Kidnapper, Freeloading Rusty and Big Baby Jesus.

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Uhhh....WHAT???? :lol:

I believe Ringo is properly known as Richard Starkey.

I was starting to suspect people weren't paying attention to my posts. Thanks for the validation. Rory Storm and the Hurricanes was the band Ringo was in before joining The Beatles.

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Joey Ramone - Jeffry Ross Hyman

Johnny Ramone - John William Cummings

Dee Dee Ramone - Douglas Glenn Colvin

Tommy Ramone - Tamás Erdélyi

Marky Ramone - Marc Steven Bell

CJ Ramone - Christopher Joseph Ward

Richie Ramone/Beau - Richard Reinhardt

Elvis Ramone / Clem Burke - Clement Bozewski


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Paul McCartney's real first name is James. He always went by Paul though.

Stevie Nicks' real name is Stephanie Lynn Nicks

Peter Green's real last name is Greenbaum

Dusty Hill's real name is Joe Michael Hill

Steve Tyler's real name is Stephen Victor Tallarico

Robert Johnson's birth name was Robert Leroy Dodds

Gene Simmons real name is Chaim Witz

Paul Stanley's real name is Stanley Harvey Eisen

Ace Frehley's real name is Paul Daniel Frehley

Ray Charles' real last name was Robinson.

Stevie Wonder's real name is Steveland Hardaway Judkins

David Bowie's real name is David Robert Jones

I'll have more later.

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Hank Williams' real name is Hiram King Williams

Hank Williams Jrs' real name is Randal Hank Williams

Hank Williams' IIIs real name is Shelton Hank Williams

Patsy Cline is really Virginia Patterson Hensley

Johnny Cash was born J.R. Cash. Parents couldn't decide which should be his first name so he was just JR. He finally picked a first name when he entered the army

Conway Twitty's real name was Harold Lloyd Jenkins. Conway and Twitty are Arkansas and Texas towns. Harold got out a map and the first 2 towns he pointed to he picked as names.

Billie Holiday's real name is Eleanora Fagan

Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix then changed to James Allen Hendrix then changed to James Marshall Hendrix

Syd Barrett's real name is Roger Keith Barrett

Roger Waters real first name is George

BB King's real name is Riley King

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I've got more

Axl Rose=Williams Bruce Rose Jr

Geddy Lee=Gary Lee Weinrib

Alex Lifeson=Alexander Zivojinovich

Van Morrison=George Ivan Morriosn

Joe Perry=Anthony Joseph Perry

Ginger Baker=Peter Edward Baker

Jack Bruce=John Symon Asher Bruce

Manfred Mann=Manfred Sepse Lubowitz

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Some of the names being listed are just the artists' full names, which are their real names to start with, not pseudonyms.

I know but the topic is not about pseudonyms really. It's Musicians real names.

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I know but the topic is not about pseudonyms really. It's Musicians real names.

If you list a musician's full name, it's still their "real" name. I started the topic in reference to musicans who don't go by their real names at all.

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If you list a musician's full name, it's still their "real" name. I started the topic in reference to musicans who don't go by their real names at all.

Most of the ones I put didn't go by their names. I think Paul McCartney and Joe Perry are the only 2 really. I guess Cash would count also. Hank Williams Jr and III also.

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:o :o Is that to say that the Ramone's aren't all related like I had grown up believing? Well that comes as a bit of a shock.

This is an interesting, I had no idea about Steven Tyler or half of KISS.

I grew up believing in that too! :lol:

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Gregg Allman (Allman Brothers Band) - Gregory Lenoir Allman

Joan Baez - Joan Chandos Baez

Jeff Beck - Geoffery Arnold Beck

Joe Cocker - John Robert Cocker

Dick Dale - Richard Monsour

Taj Mahal - Henry St.Clair Fredricks

Gary Numan - Gary Anthony James Webb

Sid Vicious - John Simon Ritchie

T-Bone Walker - Aaron Thibeaux Walker

Muddy Waters - McKinley Morganfield

Fee Waybill (Tubes) - John Waldo

Bob Weir (Greatful Dead) - Robert Hall

Junior Wells (blues artist) - Amos Blakemore

Leslie West (Mountain) - Leslie Westein

Jack White (White Stripes) - John Anthony Gillis

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