Have you ever wondered why some of your favorite music artists prefer using stage names rather than their real names? While others have done it to make their name more memorable or that because their name is already known/taken from another artist, the musicians found on this list have done it for unexpected reasons – like avoiding being labeled as a stereotype or getting a lawsuit from a famous candy company.
Check out the list below and see 6 of the most well-known musicians who actually go by pseudonyms, plus the stories behind why they chose to forgo their birth names.
1. Nicki Minaj
Real name: Onika Tanya Maraj
Contrary to the other artist in this list, Nicki didn’t want a stage name, but someone created it for her. In her interview with The Guardian in 2012, she explained:
“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.”
But around close family, she prefers to be called by her given name, Onika. The rapper added:
“My rule is, whatever you were calling me four years ago is what you should be calling me now because I don’t like it when my family or close friends call me Nicki Minaj. To me, I’m not Nicki Minaj when I’m with them.”
2. Bruno Mars
Real name: Peter Gene Hernandez
The multitalented singer revealed that his childhood nickname (Bruno) became his showbiz moniker when he realized the music industry is pigeonholing him for his surname, Hernandez. In a 2013 interview with GQ, the singer said:
“Your last name’s Hernandez, maybe you should do this Latin music, this Spanish music… Enrique’s so hot right now.”
Thus, he adopted the Mars surname to avoid being stereotyped.
3. Cardi B.
Real name: Belcalis Almanzar
Cardi’s stage name has something to do with her sister, whose name was an ode for a liquor we undoubtedly know all too well. On her guest appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the rapper/songwriter-turned TV personality explained:
“My sister’s name is Hennessy, so everybody used to be like ‘Bacardi’ to me. Then I shortened it to Cardi B. The ‘B’ stands for whatever, depending on the day…beautiful or bully.”
The funny thing is, when fans got a hold of her real name, they turned it into memes.
I just learned today that Cardi B's real name is belcalis almanzar. I said that shit out loud and my furniture started floating
— thomaskeamon (@its_keamon) January 10, 2018
last night I went to a bar & was talking to this cute but stupid white boy & we started talking about ourselves & he told me to whisper something in spanish & I said “belcalis almanzar” which I told him meant “it’s such a beautiful night” but it’s really just cardi b’s real name
— miss maxie baby (@macksmorereese) January 8, 2018
Cardi B's real name sounds like an ancient demon that demands fertile crops as tribute pic.twitter.com/ZJGk8HjdWu
— Tacitus Kilgore (@Deano_vW) January 6, 2018
— Nikki Wantz (@allhailmswantz) January 11, 2018
Can’t blame them, though. It does sound like a Harry Potter spell, to be honest.
Real name: Marshall Bruce Mathers III
Thanks to the groundbreaking success of his second album, The Mashall Mathers LP, which has sold 46 million copies worldwide, everyone knows the talented rapper’s real name. His chosen stage name, however, has nothing to do with the candy we all love, even though they have similar initials (M&M for Marshall Mathers). Possibly fearing a lawsuit from the Mars Candy company, he later stretched it out to Eminem.
Real name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty
Musically, the sultry singer has always gone by her middle name, Rihanna. But the artist told Rolling Stone that her friends and family still call her Robyn, especially when they want to get her attention. She told the publication:
“I get kind of numb to hearing Rihanna, Rihanna, Rihanna. When I hear Robyn, I pay attention.”
Real name: Aubrey Drake Graham
The actor-turned-rapper once starred in a Canadian high school drama TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, where he was known as Aubrey Graham. However, when he started pursuing his rap career in 2006, he dropped the Aubrey and started going by Drake. It’s pretty much understandable because, well, Aubrey Graham doesn’t quite sound like a lo-fi rapper.
I’m sure these explanations are quite acceptable why these superstars chose to use these famous monikers. But if given the choice, would you rather have them use their own real names instead? Share your thoughts below.
People Are Calling Netflix’s ‘You’ The ‘Creepiest Show Out There’
The Penn Badgley series has just been confirmed for a second season!
Netflix is currently on a roll with terrifying films like Bird Box and the interactive phenomenon Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. However, people are getting chills down their spines while watching the new series You. In fact, it's being called the "creepiest show ever" to air on the streaming service.
There is little doubt that post-apocalyptic films like Bird Box can make anyone fearful of the future. At the same time, Bandersnatch viewers find themselves going down a rabbit hole with the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure premise. However, You hits the right spots for its simple concept and the eerie feeling that the same thing can happen to you because of what you actually share on social media.
Be careful about what you post on social media!
So how good is You? People have been raving about the series since its premiere on Netflix on December 26. Some netizens were impressed by how the story went and are now calling it the "creepiest show" on the streaming service....
Unseen ‘Bird Box’ Monster Finally Revealed But People Are Not Impressed
It seems the fear of the unknown is much scarier than this.
It was almost impossible to be online the past few weeks without hearing of "Bird Box," the new Netflix film that quickly turned into a viral sensation. But it can be argued that despite its near-instant popularity and reported record-breaking numbers, "Bird Box" left its viewers with a lot more questions than answers.
The smash hit horror, which had 45 million streams in its first week, sees Sandra Bullock and her fellow humans blindfolding themselves to avoid seeing an evil force. Meanwhile, viewers at home also couldn’t see the monsters thanks to a last minute decision to bin them from the movie - but so far, fans couldn't help but wonder how they look like.
While the creature was cut from the final version of "Bird Box," special effects artists actually created a mask for an actor to wear during the filmed sequence. ...
25 of the Most Highly Anticipated Movies of 2019
Grab your popcorns, everyone. 2019 is gonna be WILD!
If you're a movie fan, we bet you know this one thing: 2019 is going to be a wild ride! From sequels of favorite franchises, to live action adaptations and modern updates of animated classics, this year is promising to be a great time to gather in the cinemas with your buddies.
There are so many good ones coming out within the year and we've tried to narrow down our picks to at least 25. Check out our list and tell us which of these films you are eager to see!
#1. Glass (January 18)
The follow up to Unbreakable and Split, director M. Night Shyamalan is back to surprise audiences with Glass. The comic book-inspired flick stars Bruce Willis as an indestructible superhero with Samuel L. Jackson as his easily-hurt nemesis.