Within the music industry, it is not an uncommon phenomenon that artists adopt stage names or performance personas.
The reasoning behind this can be varied; some artists wish to create a bit of anonymity, others to create a name that will make them stand out from the crowd, and others, well, you don't hear of many rappers called Aubrey, do you?
We take a look at 10 of our favourite name transformations and the stories behind them.
10 Musicians & Their Stage Names
1. Bruno Mars – Peter Gene Hernandez
Bruno - or should we say Peter - as one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 130 million records worldwide seems as good a place as any to start playing the name game.
The stage name Bruno, supposedly originated from a childhood nickname he adopted due to his father saying he resembled the pro wrestler Bruno Sammartino...look him up.
2. Eminem – Marshall Mathers 3
We won't even bother spelling out the logic behind Em-in-em's stage name.
3. Lady Gaga - Stefani Joanne Germanotta
Lady Gaga is undoudtedly at the forefront of the stage persona game.
The inspiration behind Stefani's stage persona is said to have come from the song 'Radio Ga-Ga' by Queen. The name was actually first introduced by her manager at the time - who was also her boyfriend - Rob Fusari, however it was Stefani who later added her own touch to the stage name by adding the 'Lady'.
According to Flybe magazine, Fusari actually sued Gaga for using this stage name after they no longer continued to work together. Sounds like they might have had a bad break up too.
4. Drake — Aubrey Drake Graham
'Aubrey' doesn't exactly give off the best rap vibes.
5. Snoop Dogg — Calvin Broadus Jr.
Not only did Snoop decide 'Calvin' wasn't quite right for a stage name, back in 2012, the 'dogg' evolved into a lion for the release of his debut reggae album.
6. Frank Ocean - Christopher Edwin Breaux
Frank Ocean has always been a fairly elusive character on the music scene. So it's not too surprising that Frank - or Christopher - decided to adopt a stage persona.
However, after a large segment of his career dedicated to staying in the shadows while writing for other artists, his emergence into the public spotlight could hardly be deflected with the rapid success of his first album 'Channel Orange' which soon made it to Billboard's Number 1 spot.
The origins of Ocean's name were reportedly taken from Frank's love of the 2001 film 'Ocean's Eleven'.
7. Gene Simmons - Chaim Witz
Chaim is a traditiional Hebrew name that Gene decided to shed shortly after moving to the States from Israel, as he and his mother thought Gene would be easier to pronounce.
8. Shania Twain – Eileen Regina Edwards
Country Queen Shania Twain holds the legacy of being the best-selling female artist of all time in country music. However, many of her fans are unaware that her real name is actually Eileen.
Popular belief around the origins of Shania's name are that the name comes from the Ojibwe or Cree word for 'on my way'. However, as her biographer Robin Eggar has exasperatedly repeated, there is no such Obijwe or Cree word that takes that meaning.
9. Elton John - Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Reportedly, Elton John chose his stage name by combining the names of saxophonist Elton Dean and LongJohn Baldry.
10. Stormzy – Michael Omari
Stormzy's rapid rise to fame through YouTube was one that will surely go down in rap history when his freestyle 'Shut Up' attracted 17 million views in 2015, nudging him to realease the track offically.
Stormzy is not the only stage name Michael has adopted either, he has also been known to go by Wicked Skengman, Big Mike, Stiff Chocolate and The Problem.
Stage Name Generator
Want to have your own stage name? Check out our stage name generator below and see what you end up with!
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