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Mononymous Artists, Celebrities, and Leaders Throughout History
Many People Consider Shakespeare the Greatest Writer in History
What Does Beyonce' Have in Common With Napoleon?
What could Beyonce' possibly have in common with Napoleon, Cleopatra or Rembrandt? Well, not much...but they are all mononymous and you're probably scratching your head right now, wondering what the heck mononymous means. This word describes a person recognized by a single name (or mononym). In many more contemporary, but not all cases, the name was selected by the person who was originally polyonymous (having multiple names). Madonna and Sting are good examples of contemporary singers who chose to be known by a single, stage name rather than the names with which they were born.
Mononymous ArtistsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sure, You Know Shakespeare's First Name
You may know that Shakespeare's first name was William, but when you think about it, do you know many people who could tell you the complete name of the following people: Cleopatra, Rembrandt, Liberace, Cher, Bono, Sting, or Michelangelo? We've done the research and are prepared to introduce you to the following mononymous people:
- Cleopatra VII Philopator (last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt)
- Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (the most important artist in Dutch art history)
- Władziu Valentino Liberace (flamboyant American pianist, singer, and actor)
- Cherilyn Sarkisian (she started as half of the duo of Sonny & Cher)
- Paul David Hewson (he has been known as Bono since the late 1970's)
- Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (Sting got his nickname because of his habit of wearing a black and yellow sweater that reminded people of a bee)
- Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet)
More listed below.
Male Musical EntertainersClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mozart, Charo, Yanni, Fabio, Eminem, Jewel, Ludacris, Seal
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart). He was one of the most influential classical-era composers. Here are some more people who may only have this one thing in common:
- María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza (cuchi-cuchi Charo) - what else can you say about this comedic singer and actress?
- Yiannis Chryssomallis (Yanni) is a Greek composer, keyboardist, pianist, and music producer.
- Fabio Lanzoni (how many romance novel covers bore the likeness of this hunky Italian-American actor/fashion model)?
- Marshall Bruce Mathers III is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor better known as Eminem.
- Jewel Kilcher is a singer, poet, actress, songwriter.
- The famous rapper Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Illinois.
- Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adelo Samuel is not known for his good looks, but his talent is huge. The scars that cover his face are the result of a type of lupus.
More listed below.
Houdini, Plato, Aristotle, Nefertiti, Napoleon
Erich Weisz was the Austro-Hungarian-born American illusionist better known as Houdini. He was actually called Harry Houdini, but no one has ever needed the first name to recognize this famous performer. Here are some more names for your edification:
- Plato's full name (remember, this philosopher was born before Jesus Christ) was Aristocles, son of Ariston, of the deme Collytus.
- Considered the greatest thinker of all time, Aristotle never had another name (he was also born before Christ). His name means "the best purpose".
- Neferneferuaten Nefertiti was a 14th-century Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh.
- Napoléon Bonaparte was the famous French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. (Recognition of his last name is probably the easiest one so far).
Female Musical Entertainers/ActressesClick thumbnail to view full-size
These People Are Well on Their Way
If we really wanted to name people who were "mononymous-ish" (a word created just now), we could include the following people:
- Oprah (Winfrey)
- Reba (McEntire)
- Ozzy (Osbourne)
- Diana (Princess of Wales)
- Farrah (Fawcett)
- Elvis (Presley)
- Tupak (Shakur)
- Aretha (Franklin)
- Dolly (Parton)
- Shaquille (O'Neal)
- Ellen (DeGeneres)
- Denzel (Washington)
Be truthful now...did you really need to hear their last names to know who they were?
© 2018 Mike and Dorothy McKenney