We all know of musicians who go by stage names. Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Ringo Starr, and Elton John may come to mind. In many cases, celebrities choose new names before they hit the public view, essentially hiding their birth names. Of course, the Internet doesn’t allow us to hide much if anything, these days. We looked into some well-known musicians and discovered the stories behind the stage names they’re known by. Let’s jump in!
#1 Bono Real Name: Paul David Hewson Why They Changed Their Name: As a kid, Bono’s group of friends gave each other nicknames. The first one they gave him, Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang, surprisingly didn’t stick!
#2 Meat Loaf Real Name: Marvin Lee Aday Why They Changed Their Name: Here’s another example of a stage name received at an early age. In this case, the nickname came from two different times in his life.
#3 Freddie Mercury Real Name: Farrokh Bulsara Why They Changed Their Name: Freddie was born in Zanzibar to Parsi-Indian parents. From 8 to 17, he attended school in India, where he began playing music and formed his first band. It was here that he decided to go by the name Freddie. According to Queen guitarist Brian May, Mercury’s surname came from a reference in their song My Fairy King.
#4 Patsy Cline Real Name: Virginia Patterson Hensley Why They Changed Their Name: In the early 1950s, Hensley sang with Bill Peer’s Melody Boys and Girls. After performing with them a few years, bandleader Peer encouraged his singer to use a better stage name than Virginia. She chose Patsy, short for her middle name Patterson.
#5 Sting Real Name: Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner Why They Changed Their Name: While performing in a jazz band during college, Sting often wore a black and yellow sweater. His bandleader said he looked like a wasp, which led to the nickname Sting.