Music
7.6k voters

The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name

Updated April 16, 2021 72.5k votes 7.6k voters 496.9k views114 items

List RulesOnly singers and musicians known by one name

Complete list of famous singers & musicians with one name, crowdsourced and ranked by name recognition. No need for a last name! These mononymous singers have so much name-recognition that they are simply addressed by a single name. Singers may choose to go by a single stage name to stand out, sound distinctive, or as a part of their culture. (Bjork, for example, only goes by one name because it is custom in Iceland to address others by one name only.) There are a ton of both male and female singers with one name – so which ones are the best ever?

In the West, mononymity is normally a privilege of famous people, celebrities, writers, artists, entertainers, musicians, pop stars, and athletes. Of all of these types of artists, there are far more musicians that go by one name than others. Some one name stage names are merely the performer's given name (Rihanna, Ke$ha, Cher, Madonna, Beyonce), other mononymous musicians go by their surnames (Liberace, Morrissey), and many are made up words (Xzibit, Ginuwine) or nicknames (Sting, Bono, Moby). 

Use this list to research singers and musicians with one name and vote up your favorite!
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  • 1
    1,704
    1,296

    Prince

    Hip hop music, Synthpop
    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • 2
    1,435
    1,295

    Eminem

    Hip hop
    Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often...  more

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  • 3
    1,243
    1,127

    P!nk

    Pop punk, R&B
    Alecia Beth Moore (born September 8, 1979), known professionally as Pink (stylized as P!nk),...  more

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  • 4
    1,656
    1,050

    Elvis

    Christian music, Pop music
    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was...  more

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    Elvis Presley And Richard Nixon Once Shared The Strangest White House Meeting Of All Time#131 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • 5
    1,011
    955

    Rihanna

    R&B, Pop
    Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, record...  more

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    The Best Rihanna Songs of All Time#5 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • 6
    1,119
    1,077

    Beyoncé

    R&B, Pop
    Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and...  more

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  • 7
    1,079
    1,106

    Cher

    Hip hop music, Rock music
    Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian; May 20, 1946) is an American singer, actress and television...  more

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  • 8
    1,452
    1,086

    Adele

    Pop, R&B
    Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating...  more

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  • 9
    1,283
    1,166

    Madonna

    Pop, Electronica
    Madonna Louise Ciccone (, Italian: [tʃikˈkoːne]; born August 16, 1958) is an American singer,...  more

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    The Best Madonna Albums of All Time#388 of 739 The Best Singers Of All Time

  • 10
    922
    998

    Shakira

    Urban contemporary, Merengue music
    Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (born 2 February 1977) is a Colombian singer, songwriter,...  more

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    The Best Shakira Songs#308 of 362 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time

  • 11
    729
    750
    Helen Folasade Adu, (Yoruba: Fọláṣadé Adú [fɔ̄láʃādé ādú]; born 16 January 1959), known...  more

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    #334 of 359 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#285 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

  • 12
    853
    1,095

    Sting

    Medieval music, Classic rock
    Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE (born 2 October 1951), known as Sting, is an English musician...  more

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    #72 of 216 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time#27 of 186 The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

  • 13
    603
    742

    Usher

    Contemporary R&B, Hip hop
    Usher Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter and dancer. He was...  more

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  • 14
    434
    530

    Selena

    Mexican cumbia, Pop music
    Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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    #53 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#9 of 44 The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30

  • 15
    410
    471

    RuPaul

    Disco, Electro
    RuPaul Andre Charles (born November 17, 1960) is an American drag queen, actor, model, singer,...  more

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  • 16
    634
    869

    Sia

    Pop, Electropop
    Sia Kate Isobelle Furler (born 18 December 1975) is an Australian singer, songwriter, voice...  more

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    The Best Songs Ft. Sia#8 of 132 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

  • 17
    627
    886

    Slash

    Glam metal, Blues-rock
    Saul Hudson (born July 23, 1965), better known by his stage name Slash, is a British–American...  more

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  • 18
    635
    619

    Tupac

    Hip hop music, Political hip hop
    Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September...  more

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  • 19
    407
    615

    Kesha

    Pop, Hip hop
    Kesha Rose Sebert (; born March 1, 1987), known mononymously as Kesha (formerly stylized...  more

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    The Best Songs Feat. Kesha#73 of 94 The Most Influential Women of 2019

  • 20
    188
    236

    Ice-T

    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop
    Tracy Lauren Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an...  more

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  • 21
    320
    448

    Meat Loaf

    Hard rock, rock
    Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947), known professionally as Meat...  more

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    The Best Meat Loaf Albums of All Time#132 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

  • 22
    677
    1,059

    Bono

    Rock music, Alternative rock
    Paul David Hewson, KBE OL (born 10 May 1960), known by his stage name Bono (), is an Irish...  more

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    15 Fascinating Things You Didn't Know About Bono#27 of 227 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • 23
    164
    222

    Nelly

    Hip hop music, Pop music
    Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. (born November 2, 1974), known professionally as Nelly, is an American...  more

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    The Best Nelly Songs of All Time#194 of 272 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 24
    415
    640

    Aaliyah

    Hip hop music, Pop music
    Aaliyah Dana Haughton (; January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001) was an American singer, actress,...  more

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    The Best Songs Feat. Aaliyah#141 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • 25
    383
    584

    Ludacris

    Hip hop music, Atlanta hip hop
    Christopher Brian Bridges (born September 11, 1977), known professionally as Ludacris (), is...  more

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    The Best Songs Feat. Ludacris#64 of 235 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time