The Origin Stories Behind Gaga And Other Musicians’ Names

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Before he was Snoop Dogg, the West Coast rap icon went by his given name: Cordozar Calvin Broadus. He was named after his stepfather.

His stage name was inspired by Snoopy though, a childhood nickname. His parents gave him the pet name because of the way he looked.

She might be known as Iggy Azalea on stage, but this Australian-born rapper’s official name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly. The “Fancy” singer used aspects from her childhood to create her stage name.

Apparently, Iggy was the name of a dog she had as a child. And, Azalea was the street she used to live on. Put two childhood memories together and you get one badass female artist. (Isn’t this how you create your porn star name?)

Gaga is used most frequently to mean “excessively and foolishly enthusiastic.” For example, “Lady Gaga’s fans are gaga over her plastic bubble dress.” And, the English usage is probably derived from the French version of gaga, which means “senile, foolish.” Although the literal meaning is relevant to the dotty performer, this is not why Lady Gaga picked her name.

Early in her career, the singer chose the moniker because of the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga,” which was released in 1984. Queen lead-singer Freddie Mercury is apparently one of Lady Gaga’s heroes.

P!nk (officially Alecia Beth Moore) is a singer/songwriter who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. All her songs offer bold lyrics that make this leading lady fearless in our eyes.

It’s hard to imagine that she got her nickname from being shy, but apparently whenever she was embarrassed as a child her face flushed pink. That’s not the only reason this name stuck. She was also taken by the character Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino’s flick, Reservoir Dogs. So taken, in fact, she used the name as her own.

Bruno Mars started his career by writing songs for other musicians, such as Travie McCoy. It was years after that he swooned audiences with his own voice, starting with “Nothin’ on You.” After that, Mars nabbed plenty of recognition, including a Grammy.

Before all that, the Hawaiian-born singer went by the name Peter Gene Hernandez. He later changed his name to Bruno Mars so he wouldn’t be stereotyped as another Latin singer. Instead, he used his childhood nickname, Bruno, and picked up the last name Mars along the way.

While Drake is a mega rapper in the music business these days, years ago he was best known as a Canadian actor. During that time, he played a young basketball star who was in a wheelchair. He also went by his real name, Aubrey Drake Graham.

He later began his rapping career and changed his name along with it. He decided to cut both his first and last name, going only by one name: Drake, like some of the greats before him.

This young New Zealand singer and record producer was born as Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor. She nixed that name completely, shortening it to Lorde for an interesting reason (other than being easier to pronounce).

Apparently, Lorde has always been interested in “royals and aristocracy” as she previously told Interview Magazine. She also said in the interview that she thought “Lord was super rad, but super masculine.” How did she make it more feminine? By placing the letter e at the end, of course.

Miley Cyrus is no stranger to change. She started her career off as a teen idol playing the lead in Disney’s Hannah Montana and morphed into a highly provocative singer (swinging on a wrecking ball in the nude . . . ).

And, so of course she also changed her legal name (Destiny Hope Cyrus) to Miley. She smiled a lot as a kid and was nicknamed “Smiley.” She later sliced the s from the label and used Miley instead.

Katy Perry might be an ultra glam, alluring pop singer, but before “California Girls” became a hit, this gal was singing quite a different tune under the name she was born with.

Kathryn “Katy” Hudson used to produce Christian music and even had a self-titled gospel album. When she decided to sing pop, she switched her name to Perry (her mother’s maiden name) so as to not be mistaken for the actress Kate Hudson.

Rapper Rick Ross (or should we say, William Leonard Roberts II) used to be a correctional officer before he started releasing albums, such as Deeper Than Rap and Mastermind, Hood Billionaire.

You may have known him when he first started out as Teflon Da Don though. As his career took off, he changed his name, this time to Rick Ross, which came from the ’80s drug kingpin, Freeway Rick Ross, to get some better street cred.

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