In show business, and especially in music, it’s common practice for artists to change their names to a catchier alias. As much as it’s about crafting a marketable image, in some cases, these artists are changing their names to shake the fact that they have an undeniably dorky real name.
Let’s pretend we’re Donald Trump, and demand a glance at the birth certificates of twenty five musicians who have surprisingly nerdy birth names.
Orville Richard Burrell (Shaggy)
Before today, I didn’t realize that Mr. Boombastic and Mr. Redenbacher had anything in common.
Alvin Nathaniel Joyner (Xzibit)
Could there be a better occasion to post a Chipmunk’d version of an Xzibit song?
Reginald Kenneth Dwight (Elton John)
If I had a birth name with three first names in it, I might want to change it too. Especially if my name was Phil Bob Frank or Tim Doug Burt.
Aubrey Graham (Drake)
We call him Aww-brey because he’s sad all the time.
Inga Marchand (Foxy Brown)
I always knew Foxy Brown was a secret Norse goddess.
Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (Ginuwine)
Lord Elgin Baylor Lumpkin is offering free excursions on his diminutive equestrian mammal in Mr. Lumpkin’s pumpkin patch. Do you wish to indulge Mr. Lumpkin?
Radric Davis (Gucci Mane)
Maybe Radric isn’t a dorky name at all. It kind of makes him sound like a character on Game Of Thrones. Now there’s a cameo I’d like to see: Gucci Mane Baratheon.
Tracy Marrow (Ice T)
Maybe Ice T’s aggressive lyrics all stem from having A GIRL’S NAME.
Peter Gene Hernandez (Bruno Mars)
Peter Gene Hernandez will also appear on my upcoming list of “25 musicians who have names that sound like the names of serial killers.”
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr (Lil Wayne)
Lil Dwayne is what I call the little person who works at the roadside fruit stand in my hometown.
Shaffer Smith (Ne-Yo)
Ne-Yo probably changed his name because we’ve already got one Shaffer in music. It’s all Paul.
Thomas Calloway (Cee Lo Green)
Thomas Calloway isn’t an especially nerdy name, but it does make it seem like Cee Lo is the dashing male love interest in a romance novel set in the Victorian era.
Dana Owens (Queen Latifah)
Dana isn’t dorky, but you’ve gotta admit, it’s much less regal than Queen.
Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. (Snoop Lion)
He’s known as Cordozar, from the planet Doobtron. He’s harvesting Earth’s marijuana crops because it’s the primary fuel source on his home planet.
Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. (T.I.)
You mean T.I. WASN’T named after a calculator?
Robert Van Winckle (Vanilla Ice)
And in the winckle of an eye, his career was over.
Saul Hudson (Slash)
Need a ripping guitar solo on your new track? Better call Saul.
Bobby Ray Simmons Jr (B.o.B.)
Something doesn’t add up. If B.o.B.’s dad grew up known as Bobby Ray, why would he subject his first born to the same cruel fate?
Wouter De Backer (Gotye)
It’s a good thing Gotye changed his name, otherwise everyone would be calling him a One Hit Wouter. Ehhn? Ehhn.
Gordon Sumner (Sting)
Who would believe that a guy named Gordon Sumner is a tantric master?
Chaim Witz (Gene Simmons)
If you’re going to change your name, go big or go home. Changing it to something only slightly less nerdy seems like a waste.
James Newell Osterberg Jr. (Iggy Pop)
He had no trouble taking the name Iggy and making it cool, but I’m pretty sure there’s no way even Iggy Pop could have made James Newell Osterberg Jr. seem cool.
Clifford Smith & Reginald Noble (Method Man & Redman)
Doesn’t everyone have two college drinking buddies they call Clifford-Man and Reg-Man?
Algernod Lanier Washington (Plies)
Having a chain made that says Algernod would have been way too expensive.