Below we have the top 15 Singing Name Changes of all time, as well as some "Honorable Mentions." Enjoy
#15 Clayton Holmes Grissom (Clay Aiken) - See, I was thinking he could have gone by Clay Holmes, and then his nickname could have been "Adobe"
#14 Richard Melville Hall (Moby) - I included him only because I think it's cool how he got his stage name (from his Middle Name, in case you're slow)
#13 Christina Ciminella (Wynona Judd) - I think "Ciminella" would make a great name for one of those fruity candles they sell at Bed, Bath and Bitches. Except I've actually smelled Wynona up close, so, you know: not so much
#12 Chaim Witz (Gene Simmons) - If only because that's how he was known to "Loose Lois"
#11 Declan MacManus (Elvis Costello) - I'm not hating on the idea of calling yourself Elvis (there is some precedent and all), but wouldn't Declan MacManus sound pretty cool too?
#10 Cherilyn LaPierre (Cher) - Not really an interesting switch, but I've always wanted to know (By the way, say what you want about her, but in the picture above? She's 73.)
#9 Vincent Furnier (Alice Cooper) - I'm not trying to question "The Coop," but who changes their name to a girls'? Also, if I knew him as a boy, every time Alice Cooper tried to make a joke, I would say, "You just keep gettingfurnier and furnier...."
#8 Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury) - "We Will, We Will.....Farrokh You!"
#7 Patricia Andrejewski (Pat Benatar) - Love may be a battlefield, but so would the fourth grade with that last name. (Not for nothing, but Pat has a smoking hot daughter named Haley who's also a singer.)
#6 Toriano Jackson (Tito Jackson) - Not to be a hater, but again, I just gotta ask: how is "Toriano" not a way cooler name than Tito?
#5 Arnold Dorsey (Englebert Humperdink) - You gotta admire the balls. He takes a perfectly fine singing name and throws caution to the wind, hoping for (I'm guessing) name recognition. There's something sexual about that name too.
#4 Wladziu Valentino (Liberace) - Of all the guys who didn't need to change their names, Liberace has to top the list. Wladziu translates to "Vlad," and you're going to tell me that Vlad Valentino wouldn't set hearts fluttering? Wasn't that what he was going for? Hell; I'm thinking of changing my name to Vlad Valentino!
#3 John Deutschendorf (John Denver) - Okay, here we see real need for a name change, as I don't think the good people who listen to country music would have accepted aDeutschendorf as one of their own. I'm curious, though, why he picked Denver. Being from West Virginia, I would have thought he'd go with Bob Wheeling. It's the sensible choice.
#2 Walden Waldo Robert Cassotto (Bobby Darin) - He's named after half the Transcendentalist movement; kind of ironic how he ended up singing mostly fluff. In UNDER THE SEA I learned that Bobby Darin's mother was really his grandmother, and his sister was really his mother. With all that, what's a little name change?
And the number one Famous Singer's Original Name is.....
#1 Yorgos Panayiotou (George Michael) - I've been trying all morning; I cannot come up with an appropriate gay joke to close our list. So, with that in mind, sing with me, won't you? "....Wake me up, beforeYor-Go-Gos!"
Honorable Mention (not so much because of the bizarre names, as because of the fame of the singers)
Henry Rollins - Henry Garfield
Tina Turner - Anna Mae Bullock
Joni Mitchell - Roberta Anderson
Joey Ramone - Jeffrey Hyman
Axl Rose - William Bailey
Rob Zombie - Robert Cummings
Billy Ocean - Leslie Sebastian Charles
Steven Tyler - Steven Tallarico
Hank Williams - Hiram Williams
Van Morrison - George Morrison
Ja Rule - Jeffrey Atkins
Tommy Ramone - Tom Erderlyi
Iggy Pop - James Osterberg
Pink - Alecia Moore
Lou Reed - Louis Firbank
Sade - Helen Adu
Ice Cube - Oshea Jackson
Nelly - Carnell Haynes
Mama Cass - Ellen Cohen
Fatboy Slim - Quentin Cook
Sir Mix-A-Lot Anthony Ray
Stevie Wonder - Steveland Morris
Conway Twitty - Harold Jenkins
Shania Twain - Eileen Edwards
Bob Dylan - Robert Zimmerman
Barry Manilow - Barry Pincus
Elton John - Reginald Dwight
Nikki Sixx - Franklin Ferrana
Seal - Henry Samuel
Marilyn Manson - Bruce Warner
Vanilla Ice - Robert Van Winkle
Meat Loaf - Marvin Lee Aday