Musicians with ‘real names’ as aliases (you would not guess their real names)

We see these superstars everytime on our screens, we hear their names, we listen to their songs, but do we really know them? Prepare to be mind blown on the realisation of their actual real names.

Ever heard of a chameleon? Well that creeping reptile has no disguising ability when compared to some of these real musicians whose professional (or stage or artiste) names are really not theirs, that is, they use real human names, feasible names of human beings, some even go far as assuming identify or impersonating their alter-egos in some kind of way or form and trust me when I say, they have perfected their craft using these names, you would not have guessed they were fake or not theirs.

Just bare in mind you will be shocked at the real names of these musicians and the rationale behind their aliases. When they say werey dey disguise, even the werey still dey learn work for where these ones dey. Well that is enough of a long intro, let us get straight to the nitty gritty of today’s topic.

1. Adam Richard Riles as Calvin Harris:

The ace DJ and EDM producer reasoning behind assuming an entirely new identity is explained by him: “My first single was more of a soul track, and I thought Calvin Harris sounded a bit more racially ambiguous. I thought people might not know if I was black or not. After that, I was stuck with it.”

Apart from spinning disks on a turntable, he did take a 360-turn with that name change, who would have thought?

2. Peter Gene Hernandez as Bruno Mars:

The 10-time Grammy winning R&B/Soul and Pop musician have been around for almost two decades and quite frankly his real name not being his professional name might have been overlooked like his height (just a joke, not harm intended). On why Bruno Mars is his professional name, he clarifies — “Bruno” was a nickname he was called as a young child due to his semblance to wrestler – Bruno Sammartino – and also for his brute and strong-willed attributes while growing up.

On the last name – “Mars” – he confidently says he is so “out of this world” he might as well be from Mars (a name he adopted at a later stage in his life) and he further goes on to tell GQ — he chose his name so as to avoid being stereotyped to Latin and Spanish music but with a name as – Bruno Mars – he was going to intrigue people’s attention and sound as though he was from an entirely different plantet – Mars.

3. William Leonard Roberts II as Rick Ross:

Who would have guessed, a boss in person of Rick Ross will profit from using an alter-ego persona? Not me, would you? I guess not.

The originator of the name, as in, the real ‘Rick Ross’ was a druglord in the 1980s, he is born Ricky Donnell Ross with the codename – “Freeway Rick” – hence the name ‘Rick Ross’ (and yes, he is still very much alive).

“Freeway” Rick Ross

In 2010, the rapper who uses Rick Ross as his stage moniker won a 3-year lawsuit filed against him for impersonation and using some parts of Ricky “Freeway Rick” Ross lifestyle and activities in his raps to exaggerate his ganster rap aura and street credibility. The plaintiff was the real Rick Ross himself but lost because the judge deemed the filing an “untimely” one as Ricky “Freeway Rick” Ross had known (or at least heard) of William Roberts II since 2006 (presumably when he got out of jail) but no complaint was filed to the court.

4. Eric Marlon Bishop as Jamie Foxx:

Jamie Foxx? You might ask. How does he qualify to be on this list? You might wonder. Well Jamie Foxx is a 2-time Grammy winning singer amongst other awards he has received in his very decorated career as an actor, a singer and songwriter, a television personality and a host of other things.

But his name says – Jamie Foxx – according to his movies end credits? Well just in case you do not know, actors are allowed to have aliases, alter-egos (or any other term associated with a name and/or identify change) and quite a number of them have used that to their advantage.

Born Eric Marlon Bishop, his alias – Jamie Foxx – started his career off as a standup comedian, revealed he chose ‘Jamie Foxx’ as his stage name because female comedians were given preferential roles at comedy clubs and night clubs; also because he felt the name sounded ambiguous enough to avoid any form of bias, sticking to Foxx as his last name in honour of and tribute to black comedian – Redd Foxx.

5. Elizabeth Woolridge Grant as Lana Del Rey:

The melancholic soulful singer – Lana Del Rey – alias might come as a shock to many, especially the female fans who seem to be very fond of her type of music. You would also be shocked in realisation that she is not by any means Spanish or of Spanish orgins, although she does speak the language fluently.

On why she is known by her stage name, she says: “I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba – Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue.” She draws inspiration for her name from the actress – Lara Turner – and the vehicle – Ford Del Rey – produced in Brazil.

She initially went by the alternative spelling for her moniker – Lana Del Ray – as shown by her self-titled first album but made a slight change in name afterwards.

Notable mentions:
Jacques Berman Webster II as Travis Scott.
Christopher Edwin Breaux as Frank Ocean.
Christopher Brent Wood as Brent Faiyaz.
Ashton D. Simmonds as Daniel Ceasar.
Courtney Shanade Salter as Ari Lennox.

That would be the size of this article, whose name(s) are/were the most eye-opening on the list?


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