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Real Names of Today's Famous Pop Stars

Updated on April 24, 2017

Many pop artists go by stage names rather than their real names. Sometimes this is because their real names are a bit hard to say. Not surprisingly, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is known simply as Lady Gaga and rapper Olubowale Victor Akintimehin is known as Wale. Some singers have names that are distinct enough that they can go by their first name alone. Madonna sounds better than Madonna Ciccone and Cher sounds better than Cherilyn Sarkisian. Some singers have cooler middle names. Robyn Rihanna Fenty not surprisingly goes by just Rihanna. There are singers like Carly Rae Jepsen that go by their real names when they really should have chosen a stage name. Carly Rae perhaps?

Katy Perry's real name is Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. However, she always went by Katy Hudson. She did a gospel album when she was 16 under that name. Due to concerns about her real name sounding too much like that of actress Kate Hudson, she borrowed her mother's last name Perry to create her stage name when she was trying to break into the pop world.

Kesha Sebert could have gone mononymously as just Kesha, since it's distinct enough. However, she put a dollar sign in place of the s as an ironic gesture because she was completely broke while a song she was featured on, Flo Rida's Right Round, was all over the radio and broke a record for the most digital downloads.

These are the real names of some famous and maybe not so famous artists from the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of June 15th, 2013.

Real Names of Current Billboard Hot 100 Singers

Stage Name
Real Name
Justin Timberlake
Justin Randall Timberlake
P!nk featuring Nate Ruess
Alecia Beth Moore, Nathaniel Joseph Ruess
Macklemore
Ben Haggerty
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
Robin Charles Thicke, Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., Pharrell Williams
Selena Gomez
Selena Marie Gomez
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, John Stephen Sudduth
Bruno Mars
Peter Gene Hernandez
Ariana Grande Featuring Mac Miller
Ariana Grande-Butera, Malcolm McCormick
Blake Shelton
Blake Tollison Shelton
Demi Lovato
Demetria Devonne Lovato
2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa
Tauheed Epps, Cameron Jibril Thomaz
Mariah Carey featuring Miguel
Mariah Angela Carey, Miguel Jontel Pimentel
Darius Rucker
Darius Carlos Rucker
The Weeknd
Abel Tesfaye
J Cole
Jermaine Lamar Cole
will.i.am Featuring Justin Bieber
William James Adams, Justin Drew Bieber
Tim McGraw With Taylor Swift
Samuel Timothy McGraw, Taylor Alison Swift
Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera
Armando Christian Pérez, Christina María Aguilera
Drake
Aubrey Drake Graham
Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick
Emeli Sande
Adele Emeli Sandé
Zedd Featuring Foxes
Anton Zaslavski, Louisa Rose Allen
Jason Derulo
Jason Joel Desrouleaux
Luke Bryan
Thomas Luther Bryan
Wale featuring Tiara Thomas
Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, Tiara Nicole Thomas
Jay-Z
Shawn Corey Carter
Avril Lavigne
Avril Ramona Lavigne
Lil Wayne
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.
Rocko
Rodney Ramone Hill, Jr.
Chris Brown
Christopher Maurice Brown
Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding
Adam Richard Wiles, Elena Jane Goulding
Ciara
Ciara Princess Harris
Hunter Hayes
Hunter Easton Hayes
Ace Hood featuring Future & Rick Ross
Antoine McColister, Nayvadius Cash, William Leonard Roberts II
Lana Del Rey
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
Phillip Phillips
Phillip LaDon Phillips, Jr.
Ed Sheeran
Edward Christopher Sheeran
Baauer
Harry Bauer Rodrigues
Jake Owen
Joshua Ryan Owen
PSY
Park Jae-sang
Brad Paisley
Brad Douglas Paisley
Miranda Lambert
Miranda Leigh Lambert
Ke$ha
Kesha Rose Sebert
DJ Khaled
Khaled bin Abdul Khaled
Randy Houser
Shawn Randolph Houser
Eric Church
Kenneth Eric Church
David Guetta featuring Ne-Yo & Akon
Pierre David Guetta, Shaffer Chimere Smith, Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam
B.o.B featuring Juicy J
Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr., Jordan Houston
Kip Moore
Kip Moore
Sean Kingston
Kisean Anderson
Nicki Minaj
Onika Tanya Maraj
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lynn Lopez
Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida
Oliver Stanley Murs, Tramar Lacell Dillard
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Marie Underwood
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Brianne Clarkson
Easton Corbin
Easton Corbin
Brantley Gilbert
Brantley Gilbert
Brett Eldredge
Brett Eldredge
A$AP Rocky featuring Skrillex
Rakim Mayers, Sonny John Moore
Kenny Chesney
Kenneth Arnold Chesney
Tamar Braxton
Tamar Braxton
Danielle Bradbery
Danielle Simone Bradbery
Keith Urban
Keith Lionel Urban
Zach Sobiech
Zachary David Sobiech
Billy Currington
William Matthew Currington
Tyga Featuring Cedric Gervais, Mally Mall
Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson, Cedric Gervais, Jamal Rashid
Tyler Farr
Tyler Farr
Justin Moore
Justin Cole Moore
Kelly Rowland
Kelendria Trene Rowland
Fabolous
John David Jackson
Some pop stars who go by stage names
Some pop stars who go by stage names

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    • Man of Strength profile image

      Man of Strength 3 years ago from Orlando, Fl

      Very interesting. I admire your effort. Compiling lists such as these can be time consuming. Voted up.

    • JoanCA profile image
      Author

      JoanCA 3 years ago

      Thanks Man of Strength.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I think artists who take out their middle names are doing us a favor. I mean if I was Justin Timberlake or Jennifer Lopez, I wouldn't want someone throwing in my middle name to make it sound like I was either getting yelled at by my mom or filling out a credit application.

      However, people like Bruno Mars I feel have more interesting reasons for changing their names. It's hard to imagine someone saying, "Aw man! That Peter Hernandez song is awesome"-definitely not the same ring as Bruno Mars. And let's not forget Sting- aka Gordon Sumner, definitely a good idea.

      Rappers, however, for some reason have some of the most unfortunate names. I mean if I were T.I., I would do anything to make people forget my mom gave me the same name as the infamous big red dog.

      Fun hub!

    • JoanCA profile image
      Author

      JoanCA 3 years ago

      Alecia Murphy,

      It's so true about rappers. They usually have the most unexpected real names. The name that surprised me the most was Lana Del Rey. I had assumed it was her actual name but I'm not surprised she doesn't use it. But a singer definitely can't go by a simple name like Peter Hernandez nowadays since they wouldn't stand out in Internet and social media searches.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative, and well researched, interesting and useful. Thanks for sharing this information

    • JoanCA profile image
      Author

      JoanCA 3 years ago

      Thanks DDE.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 3 years ago from Philippine

      Gaga's name was the awesome in all since it's out of this world idea on establishing a brand too far from her own name.

    • JoanCA profile image
      Author

      JoanCA 3 years ago

      PaoloJpm,

      I hope it's true that she got her name from Radio Ga Ga by Queen because I love that song. But it is a very interesting stage name.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 3 years ago from Philippine

      yeah, so we all thank's to the great Queen for bringing such wonderful song that give birth to Gaga.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This was a neat hub. It would be interesting to know why some chose to keep their names and others chose to go with stage names. I always thought that Philip Phillips was the waste of a good name repeating it and all (although I like "Philip"). I mean jeepers, did his parents lack creativity or something?

    • JoanCA profile image
      Author

      JoanCA 3 years ago

      Thanks FlourishAnyway. I can see why some people changed their names to something that stands out a bit more. And in hip hop, stage names seem to be the norm. I personally don't think Phillip Phillips is a very showbiz friendly name. I think he should have come up with a stage name.

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