KNOT FM - America's Rock Station

Best Ten Artists Who Became Famous Using Pseudonyms

Alice Cooper

By Doug Poe

Elvis Costello will release a new album in October, his first with the Imposters since the Momofuko record from back in 2008. Two singles are already streaming from Look Now, one called “Under Lime” and the other dubbed “Unwanted Number.”

Its release will almost coincide with the fortieth anniversary of his very first album, the sensational My Aim Is True. Hits like “Allison” and “Watching the Detectives” helped insure that the man who was born Declan McManus would become a legend almost as big as that of the singer who shares his first name.

Here are ten other recording artists who adopted pseudonyms that they have immortalized.

Fred Bulsara

He became one of the most flamboyant lead singers in rock history, forever known as Freddie Mercury of Queen.

Vincent Furnier

Early on the entire band was referred to as Alice Cooper, but very soon that name was used solely for its lead singer.

Robert Zimmerman

Of course the Hibbing, Minnesota native would take on the name of a poet, for Bob Dylan himself would eventually win the Nobel Prize for Literature on the strength of his remarkable verses set to music.

David Jones

Since the Monkees and their lead singer had been around for several years, this aspiring young folk rock artist would go on to “fame-fame-fame” as David Bowie.

Reginald Dwight

Like his original identity, his new surname was a common first name like John. His adopted first name, Elton, is now the only one he needs.

Gordon Sumner

One can only suppose that his pseudonym did not hurt much, since Sting went on to lead the quite popular rock band called the Police.

Steven Tallorico

He cut the syllables in half while keeping the same initial, making Aerosmith’s lead singer forever known as Steven Tyler.

Richard Starkey

Anyone even faintly aware of rock history knows that this influential drummer became Ringo Starr just before finding immortality with a group known as The Beatles.

William Michael Albert Broad

Four names were shortened to a mere nine letters after he became Billy Idol, who scored huge hits with “White Wedding”, “Dancing with Myself”, “Eyes Without a Face” and a cover version of “Mony Mony” first made famous by Tommy James and the Shondells.

John Richard Baldwin

He can be heard playing organ on “Stairway To Heaven” but he mostly kept the rhythm as bassist John Paul Jones of the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin.

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