When Grammy nominee Rihanna sings "Oh na na, what's my name?", do you know the answer? Okay, yes,"Rihanna" is correct... sort of. It's her middle name. If this was a Jeopardy! question and I was Alex Trebek, I'd tell you that I'm only able to accept "What is [first, middle, and last name]" as an answer. Sorry to be a stickler, but Jeopardy! rules are Jeopardy! rules.
Sure, Rihanna seems like she could be a superhero or a deity who appeared out of thin air with only a mononym, but that isn't the case. The pop superstar has a first name and last name. Like a normal, everyday person! (However, I'm pretty sure having a first and last name is the only way she's, like, a normal, everyday person. Otherwise, she's more or less a deity.)
Stage names are not a new phenomenon, but that doesn't make them any less fun. Maybe it's just me, but every time I read a musician's actual/full name, I feel like I know them a little bit better. Like I know the "real" them. Like we're friends who get brunch on the weekends and can depend on one another for rides to the airport and text each other furiously about Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Yep, reading a musician's real name makes me feel like he/she is my BFF. That's normal, right?
If you take a peek at the 2014 Grammy nominees' names, you'll find that Rihanna isn't the only artist with a stage moniker on that list. You know what that means? More musicians' names for me to learn/MORE MUSICIANS FOR ME TO IMAGINE AS MY BESTIES. Sounds good to me. So! Let us go through the real names of Grammy nominees and try to pick out their corresponding stage names (and be best friends all of them in our minds. Because that's normal, RIGHT?). LET'S DO THIS.
Who is Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor?
Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor is...
Lorde. ”When I was trying to come up with a stage name, I thought ‘Lord’ was super rad, but really masculine,” the singer told Interview magazine. “Ever since I was a little kid, I have been really into royals and aristocracy. So to make Lord more feminine, I just put an ‘e’ on the end! Some people think it’s religious, but it’s not.”
Who is Marshall Mathers?
Marshall Mathers is...
Eminem. Nope, Eminem’s real name isn’t actually Slim Shady.
Who is Shawn Carter?
Shawn Carter is...
Jay Z, aka Mr. Mrs. Carter.
Who is Peter Gene Hernandez?
Peter Gene Hernandez is...
Bruno Mars. Bruno is a reference to wrestler Bruno Sammartino, and Mars is a reference to the planet, because ”a lot of girls say [he’s] out of this world.”
Who is Ben Haggerty?
Ben Haggerty is...
Macklemore. The rapper says that as a teen he was given the nickname “Professor Macklemore,” but later, “realized [he] wasn’t a professor of anything but the name Macklemore followed [him].”
Who is Alecia Moore?
Alecia Moore is...
P!nk. And Pink.
Who is Katheryn Hudson?
Katheryn Hudson is...
Katy Perry. Her birth name is a tad close to that of actress Kate Hudson’s, so she changed her stage last name to her mom’s maiden name.
Who is Robyn Fenty?
Robyn Fenty is...
Rihanna. Her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Who is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant?
Who is John Roger Stephens?
John Roger Stephens is...
John Legend. It was a nickname that turned into a stage name. “’Legend’ is something that I never would have chosen for myself originally. It grew to the point where more people in my circle would know me by that name than by my real name,” he told MTV News. “I had to make a decision. I was just like, ‘You know what? Let’s just go for it. People are going to pay attention and I’m going to either live up to my name or I’m not. My bet was on me trying to live up to the name.”
Who is David Robert Jones?
David Robert Jones is...
David Bowie. Wait. That means David Robert Jones is Ziggy Stardust. Or is Ziggy Stardust David Robert Jones? Ziggy Stardust is David Bowie is David Robert Jones. Per the transitive property, Ziggy Stardust is David Robert Jones. I think. I don’t know anything about alter ego math.
Who is Alicia Augello Cook?
Alicia Augello Cook is...
Alicia Keys. She doesn’t cook, she plays the keys. I dig it, I dig it.
Who is John Anthony Gillis?
John Anthony Gillis is...
Jack White. The rocker took now ex-wife Meg White’s last name when they were married in 1996.
Who is Cameron Jibril Thomaz?
Cameron Jibril Thomaz is...
Wiz Khalifa. Early on in his rap career, his uncle dubbed him “Khalifa” (the Arabic word for “successor”). For a while, he went by Wisdom Khalifa, and later abbreviated “Wisdom” to “Wiz.”
Who is Aubrey Graham?
Aubrey Graham is...
Drake. His full name is Aubrey Drake Graham. But he will forever be Wheelchair Jimmy to me.