10+ Musicians Whose Real Names Fans May Not Know

Musicians have been using and adopting stage names for years. For many, it becomes an entirely separate aspect of their personality, allowing them to channel their creative energy.

Most of the time, we don't even know the real names of our favorite artists. So in an effort to help provide artistic transparency, here are 10+ musicians whose real names fans may not know.

Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga came into this world as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. The six-time Grammy winner has explained that 'Ga Ga' was a nickname her producer and friends had for her.

She added the 'Lady' in front and it stuck.

Lil Nas X.

Lil Nas X was the internet alias of Montero Lamar Hill. The breakout star explained that before he became a household name, his name was simply 'Lil Nas.'

Once he began building momentum, he added the 'X' to represent the number of years until he became a legend.

Snoop Dogg.

The 'Doggfather of Rap' once went by Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. The moniker of Snoop Dogg was based on Calvin's love of Peanuts.

He said that as a kid, he used to watch it so much that he started looking like Snoopy!

Frank Ocean.

Christopher Edwin Breaux legally changed his name to Frank Ocean in 2014. Frank has said that the decision was all about self-empowerment, and encouraged fans of his in a similar situation to do the same.

Would you change your name if you could?

Cardi B.

Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, better known to the world as Cardi B, got her name thanks to Bacardi rum.

Cardi B has a sister named Hennesy; as a joke, her friends used to call her 'Bacardi.' The 'B' supposedly stands for 'Beautiful' or 'Bully.'


Slash is actually the childhood nickname of Saul Hudson. The former guitarist of Guns N Roses explains that his best friend's dad always used to call him 'Slash' because he was always in such a hurry and constantly hustling around.


Lizzo's real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson. When she was still a young girl, she formed a band called Cornrow Clique.

Her nickname was going to be Lissa, but Jay-Z had just released "Izzo," so she decided to change it.

Elton John.

Reginald Kenneth Dwight is the birth name of Elton Hercules John. In the early '60s, Reg was playing in a band with two men named Elton Dean and John Landry.

The name Elton John is an homage. Also, Elton has said how much he disliked the nicknamed 'Reg.'


Way before Drake became the most popular artist on the planet, he was known for playing Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi.

His real name is Aubrey Drake Graham. Drizzy has stated that his middle name was given to him by his father and that he's always identified with it.

Bruno Mars.

Peter Gene Hernandez was a portly child. So much so, that his friends and family began calling him 'Bruno' as a joke.

When he began making music, he added the 'Mars' at the end of his name — since girls supposedly found him out of this world.


Alecia Beth Moore was in two different bands before breaking into the music scene as P!nk. The name came from a traumatic childhood incident wherein she was 'pantsed' in front of her entire school.

That, plus Mr. Pink from the movie Reservoir Dogs.

Lana Del Rey.

Elizabeth Woolridge Grant used to go by the name 'Lizzy' before becoming a household name as Lana Del Rey.

Lizzy was looking for a name she could shape her music around and felt that the name sounded beautiful falling off her tongue.


T-Pain grew up as Faheem Rasheed Najm. His stage name T-Pain is short for 'Tallahassee Pain.'

It's meant to be a metaphor for all the hardships the "Rappa Turnt Sanga" experienced as a young man growing up in Florida.

Chance The Rapper.

Chancelor Johnathan Bennett became Chance the Rapper as a way of staying true to his childhood dream.

During an interview with DjBooth.net, Chance said that as a child, whenever anyone would ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would always reply "a rapper."

The Weeknd.

The Weeknd will be just the second Canadian artist in history to perform at the Superbowl Halftime Show. It's an incredible accomplishment, and I'd like to extend my own sincere congratulations.

You certainly have come a long way, Abel Tesfaye.