Music

The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name  

Adam Tyler
Originally by
68.4k votes 6.3k voters 393.6k views 94 items

List Rules Only 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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list ordered by
1
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Hip hop, Rap, Hardcore hip hop
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known by his stage name Eminem, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter, and actor. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of the group D12, ...more
2
Prince is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave
Prince Roger Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. A major figure in popular music for over three decades, Prince is renowned ...more
3
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Christian music, Pop music, Rock music
Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and ...more
4
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Hip hop music, Synthpunk, Pop punk
Alecia Beth Moore, better known by her stage name P!nk, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Originally a member of the girl group Choice, she rose to fame as an R&B artist with ...more
5
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music
Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She achieved popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery ...more
6
Adele is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, MBE is a British singer and songwriter. Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace in 2006. In 2007, she received ...more
7
Sting is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave
Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE, known on stage as Sting, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. He was principal songwriter, lead ...more
8
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, known by her stage name Rihanna, is a Barbadian singer, actress, and fashion designer. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, her career began upon meeting record producer Evan ...more
9
Cher is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Hip hop music, Rock music, Dance-pop
Cher is an American singer, songwriter, actress, model, fashion designer, television host, comedian, dancer, businesswoman, philanthropist, author, film producer, director, and record producer. ...more
10
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Urban contemporary, Merengue music, Synthpop
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, choreographer, and model. Born and raised in Barranquilla, she began performing in school, ...more
11
Bono is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Rock music, Alternative rock, Post-punk
Paul David Hewson, known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best recognized as the frontman of the ...more
12
Sia Furler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Pop music, Trip hop, Dance-pop
Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, better known mononymously as Sia, is an Australian singer, songwriter and music video director. Musically and artistically precocious from an early age, Sia became ...more
13
Dido is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Pop music, Trip hop, Folk music
Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong, known as Dido, is an English singer and songwriter. Dido attained international success with her debut album No Angel. It sold over 21 ...more
14
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and ...more
15
Fergie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Ranker Books added Hip hop music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music
Stacy Ann "Fergie" Ferguson is an American singer, songwriter, fashion designer, rapper, television host, and actress. She is the female vocalist for the hip hop group The Black Eyed ...more
16
Jewel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Ranker Books added Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Traditional music
Jewel Kilcher, professionally known as Jewel, is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and author/poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2008, has ...more
17
Slash is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal
Saul Hudson, better known by his stage name Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the former lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with ...more
18
Enya is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added New Age music, Folk music of Ireland, World music
Enya is an Irish singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter. Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. She gained wider ...more
19
Seal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, House music
Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, known by the mononym Seal, is a British soul and R&B singer and songwriter. He has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and is known for his numerous ...more
20
Usher is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop
Usher Terry Raymond IV is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. He rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way, which spawned his first U.S. Billboard ...more
21
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Helen Folasade Adu, OBE, known as Sade, is a British Nigerian singer, songwriter, composer, and record producer. Following a brief stint of studying fashion design and modelling Adu began back ...more
22
Björk is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house
Björk Guðmundsdóttir, known mononymously as Björk, is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and occasional actress. She initially became known as ...more
23
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Tom Islava added Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap
Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one ...more
24
Kesha is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
sk8erhorse added Hip hop music, Synthpop, Pop music
Kesha Rose Sebert, simply known as Kesha, is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to producer Dr. Luke's record label, Kemosabe Entertainment, and ...more
25
Liberace is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Władziu Valentino Liberace, mononymously known as Liberace, was an American pianist and entertainer. A child prodigy and the first generation son of working class immigrants, Liberace's career ...more