Real Names Of Music Stars

by Kashif Masood | 06:51 in , , |

Real Names Of Music Stars
These performers weren't always known by their stage names.

 Nicki Minaj 
Onika Tanya Maraj is the real name of the rapper, who said she had many alter egos to avoid a chaotic home life. "I would imagine being a new person. 'Cookie' was my first identity -- that stayed with me for a while. I went on to 'Harajuku Barbie,' then Nicki Minaj.' Fantasy was my reality." Minaj performed at last year's halftime show with Madonna. 

Fergie, who performed at the halftime show in 2011, was born Stacy Ann Ferguson.


 Shania Twain 
Shania Twain? Not so much. The 2003 Super Bowl performer was born Eilleen Regina Edwards. She changed her name to “Shania,” rumored to be an Ojibwe word for “on my way.”

 U2 took the halftime stage in 2002. The real name of lead singer Bono is Paul David Hewson.

 Cee Lo Green 
The 2012 performer's real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway. Cee-lo refers to a game played with three dice.

 Chaka Khan 
Chaka Khan’s real name, Yvette Marie Stevens, is a little less fierce. She was given the first name of “Chaka” by an African shaman. She picked up the last name of “Khan” when she married Hassan Khan. Chaka Khan also performed during the Super Bowl halftime show in 1999.

Kid Rock 
Kid Rock, a 2004 Super Bowl performer, was actually named Robert James Ritchie. He regrets changing it to Kid Rock, "the worst name in the world," he said. "Hey, it sounded like a cool rap name when I was 16. But it stuck and now it's me. I'll be an 80-year-old man -- 'call me the Kid.'"

Nelly, who performed at the 2001 Super Bowl, was once known as Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.

Pitbull's real name, Armando Cristian Perez, doesn't have quite the same flair. The Miami native says he chose the breed of dog because "they bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they're outlawed in Dade County. They're basically everything that I am. It's been a constant fight." The rapper will be performing again at this year's Bud Light Hotel Super Bowl party. 

 The English performer's real name is Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam. M.I.A. plays on her name and the abbreviation for "missing in action." M.I.A. performed at last year's Super Bowl (and was reprimanded by Madonna for flipping off cameras during the halftime show).

The full name of 2007 Super Bowl performer, Prince, is Prince Rogers Nelson.

 Queen Latifah 
Queen Latifah performed at the 1998 Super Bowl in San Diego. Her real name is Dana Elaine Owens, but she found "Latifah" (which means "delicate" and "very kind") in an Islamic book of names when she was 8 years old.

The long-haired guitarist accompanied Fergie for the 2011 halftime show. His real name? Saul Hudson. A family friend gave him the nickname "Slash," because he was "always in a hurry, zipping around from one thing to another."

 Stevie Wonder 
The music legend and 1999 Super Bowl performer was born Stevland Hardaway Morris. When he was signed as a young Motown musician, a producer gave him the name “Little Stevie Wonder,” saying: “We can’t keep calling him the eighth wonder of the world.”

Taboo, of the Black Eyed Peas, was born Jaime Luis Gomez. He performed at the Super Bowl in 2011.

The singer, who performed at the 2003 halftime show, was born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner. The nickname came after he wore a black-and-yellow-striped sweater that made him look like a bee, and it stuck. "My children call me Sting, my mother calls me Sting; who is this Gordon character?" he said. "I was never called 'Gordon.' You could shout 'Gordon' in the street, and I would just move out of your way."

The full name of the 2011 Super Bowl performer is Usher Raymond IV.

Smokey Robinson 
The Motown favorite, who performed at the Super Bowl in 1998, picked up the name Smokey Robinson, but his real name was William Robinson, Jr. “Smokey Joe” was a childhood nickname that came from an interest in Wild West movies. 
Black Eyed Peas rapper,, was originally known as William James Adams.