Music

The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name  

Adam Tyler
Originally by
69.5k votes 6.4k voters 401.6k 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!
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
Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, film ...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 Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was ...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 (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th ...more
4
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Pop punk, R&B
Alecia Beth Moore (born September 8, 1979), known professionally as Pink (stylized as P!nk), is an American singer and songwriter. Originally a member of the girl group Choice in 1995, LaFace ...more
5
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Pop, Electronica
Madonna Louise Ciccone (, Italian: [tʃikˈkoːne]; born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, ...more
6
Adele is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Pop, R&B, Soul
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (; born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a recording contract with XL Recordings. In 2007, she ...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 (born 2 October 1951), known as Sting, is an English musician and actor. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band the ...more
8
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added R&B, Pop, Hip hop
Robyn Rihanna Fenty ( ree-AN-ə; born February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, record producer, businesswoman, fashion designer, actress and philanthropist. She is known for ...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 (born Cherilyn Sarkisian; May 20, 1946) is an American singer, actress and television host. Commonly referred to by the media as the Goddess of Pop, she has been described as embodying ...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 (, Spanish: [ʃaˈkiɾa]; born 2 February 1977) is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Born and raised in Barranquilla, her ...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, KBE OL (born 10 May 1960), known by his stage name Bono (), is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best known as ...more
12
Sia Furler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Indie pop, Electronica
Sia Kate Isobelle Furler ( SEE-ə; born 18 December 1975) is an Australian singer, songwriter and music video director. She started her career as a singer in the acid jazz band Crisp in the ...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 (born 25 December 1971), known professionally as Dido (), is an English singer and songwriter. Dido attained international success with her ...more
14
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
R&B, Pop, Hip hop
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter ( bee-YON-say; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various ...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
Fergie Duhamel (; born Stacy Ann Ferguson; March 27, 1975) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and actress. She originally achieved chart success as part of the hip hop group The Black ...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 (born May 23, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, producer, actress, author, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2015, has sold over ...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 (born July 23, 1965), better known by his stage name Slash, is a British–American musician and songwriter. He is the 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
Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin (anglicised as Enya Patricia Brennan (); born 17 May 1961), known professionally as Enya, is an Irish singer, songwriter, record ...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 (born 19 February 1963), known professionally as Seal, is a British musician, singer and songwriter. He has sold over 20 million records worldwide, with his first ...more
20
Usher is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added Contemporary R&B, Hip hop, Pop
Usher Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter and dancer. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee until moving to Atlanta, Georgia. At the ...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, (Yoruba: Fọláṣadé Adú [fɔ̄láʃādé ādú]; born 16 January 1959), known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade ( shah-DAY), is a ...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 ( BYURK, Icelandic: [pjœr̥k ˈkvʏðmʏntsˌtouʰtɪr] (listen); born 21 November 1965) is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and DJ. ...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 ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. He is ...more
24
Kesha is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
sk8erhorse added Pop, Hip hop
Kesha Rose Sebert (; born March 1, 1987), known mononymously as Kesha (formerly stylized Ke$ha), is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and actress. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to ...more
25
Selena is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Scott Zito added Mexican cumbia, Pop music, Latin American music
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (Spanish: [seˈlena kintaˈniʝa ˈpeɾes]; April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. ...more