Ever wonder where some of the top celebrities come up with their names – or their one name? Here are a few, with a guess as to how they decided to call themselves by only one name.
1) Cher – This one is an easy one. Cher’s real name is Cherilyn Sarkisian. She was born on May 20, 1946. As the pretty half of Sonny and Cher, she still continues to rock on.
2) Adele - Also easy, as her real name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. If she were a country star, Laurie Blue, might suit her, but that is not her type of music.
3) Bono – Born Paul David Hewson, he was nicknamed by his classmates in Dublin as “Bono Vox.” which means good voice. That slogan was taken from a hearing aid store, Bonavox. Thank goodness he dropped the “Vox” and became just Bono.
4) Charo - As wild and crazy as she is, her name of Charo doesn’t seem so strange when you realize that her given name is Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza. Whew! And believe it or not, Charo is actually a nickname for Rosario.
5) Hammer - He was born Stanley Kirk Burnell. He was first called MC Hammer, but dropped the MC (Master of Ceremonies) a few years ago. This” rapper and former batboy for the Oakland A’s received his nickname from an unlikely source: Pedro Garcia, then of the Milwaukee Brewers, who thought a young Burrell was a dead ringer for Hammerin’ Hank Aaron. (Reggie Jackson has also taken credit for the nickname.)
6) Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow. The name is a tribute to Iceberg Slim, a reformed pimp who later wrote novels. “I’d taken my name as a tribute to Iceberg, and then it hit me one day – dude is a writer. I thought he was fly because he was a pimp, but I realized that I really admired him because he was a writer,” Ice-T said in his autobiography.
7) Pink was born Alecia Beth Moore. She says that it came about as a cruel childhood prank. “It was a mean thing at first; some kids at camp pulled my pants down and I blushed so much, and they were like, ‘Ha ha! Look at her! She’s pink!’ And then the movie Reservoir Dogs came out and Mr. Pink was the one with the smart mouth, so it just happened all over again.”
8) Twiggy was born Lesley Lawson (Hornby). In school the kids called her “Sticks,” because she was so then. Her boyfriend later starting calling her “Twiggy” which stuck after she became a top model. “Twiggy is a stupid name for a woman in her 40s,” she once remarked, “But it would be hard to drop.”
9) Usher – Yes, his real name is Usher – Usher Terry Raymond IV. No mystery about his name.
10) Meat Loaf – It really is two names, but if you say it real fast – oh well. His real name is Marvin Lee Aday. He has many stories as to how he got the nickname Meat Loaf. His coach yelled at him,”Get off my football team, you hunk of meatloaf!” However, according to his autobiography, To Hell and Back, all the stories are true, but his father was the first to call him Meat Loaf.
1) Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972. He uses Eminem as his rap name because it represents his initials “M-and-M.” Also, he sometimes uses the nickname Slim Shady to express his rougher, meaner alter-ego (the other side of his personality).
12) Yanni – The world’s most popular contemporary composer, Yanni, was born Yiannis Chryssomallis. Yiannis is a common name in his home of Greece. Americanized his name is John Yanni Christopher, so he took the name Yanni as his stage name.
By Nancy Morris