Popular Artist Stage Names You Didn’t Know

by Dayton Zimlinghaus

So I recently found out that Bruno Mars’ name isn’t actually Bruno Mars. It turns out that when his mother would call him down for dinner she’d actually say “Peter Gene Hernandez.” That just feels wrong, and it doesn’t stop there. Drake’s first name is actually Aubrey, Katy Perry’s last name isn’t Perry (it’s Hudson), Billy Joel’s first name is William, and David Bowie’s last name is actually Jones, to name a few.

Despite the great deal of angst this new found knowledge of stage names has caused me, I have also learned their importance. A stage name is often used for one of two reasons, either to create an on-stage persona, or separate a performer’s personal and work life. Beyond the music industry, stage names are also used in cinema and by authors. The most notable non-musician stage name I came across was Marilyn Monroe, who’s real name is Norma. You have to be kidding me. I’ve listed some more names I found interesting, but I encourage you to do some searching yourself, you may be surprised by who you uncover.


1. Bruno Mars- Peter Gene Hernandez

2. Katy Perry – Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

3. Drake – Aubrey Drake Graham

4. Billy Joel – William Martin Joel

5. Snoop Dogg – Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.

6. Eminem – Marshall Bruce Mathers III

7. David Bowie – David Robert Jones

8. Rihanna – Robyn Rihanna Fenty

9. Sean Kingston – Kisean Paul Anderson

10. Mac Miller – Malcolm James McCormick

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