Music

The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name 

Adam Tyler
Originally by
73.7k votes 6.6k voters 417.9k 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

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#140 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #229 of 282 The Best (Male) Actors Working Todayfeaturing The Best Eminem Songs of All Time

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

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#19 of 714 The Best Rock Vocalists #20 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Prince Songs of All Time

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

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#363 of 1,148 The Best Actors in Film History #5 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing Elvis Presley And Richard Nixon Once Shared The Strangest White House Meeting Of All Time

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

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#42 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #141 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing P!nk Quotes That Prove She's Even More Amazing Than You Already Knew

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

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#27 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #43 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Madonna Albums of All Time

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

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#11 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #122 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the Worldfeaturing Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Adele

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

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#43 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #245 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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 (born February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, record producer, businesswoman, fashion designer, actress and philanthropist. She is known for embracing various ...more

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#81 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearsfeaturing The Best Rihanna Songs of All Timelisted on Musical Guests of the Jay Leno Show

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

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#77 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #37 of 969 The Best Female Vocalists Everfeaturing The Best Cher Albums of All Time

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 (born 2 February 1977) is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Born and raised in Barranquilla, her first studio albums, Magia ...more

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#10 of 230 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #63 of 969 The Best Female Vocalists Everfeaturing The Best Shakira Songs

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

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#60 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #225 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the Worldfeaturing 15 Fascinating Things You Didn't Know About Bono

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

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#151 of 299 The Greatest Living Rock Songwritersfeaturing The Best Songs Ft. Sialisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

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

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#301 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #111 of 969 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

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 (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and ...more

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#18 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #202 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the Worldfeaturing The Best Songs on Beyoncé's 'The Lion King: The Gift' Soundtrack

15
Stacy Ferguson 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 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 Eyed Peas. Her debut solo ...more

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#654 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #155 of 969 The Best Female Vocalists Everfeaturing The Best Fergie Songs

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

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#133 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #177 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time

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

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#249 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #202 of 411 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

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

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#72 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #44 of 969 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

19
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 19 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

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#75 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #335 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

20
Seal is listed (or ranked) 20 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

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#157 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #518 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed Guitarists

21
Usher is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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#178 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #428 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Songs Ft. Usher

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

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#197 of 714 The Best Rock Vocalists #139 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

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

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#216 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #313 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud

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

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#45 of 230 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #645 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing A Timeline Of Kesha's Fight With Her Record Label

25
Moby is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
ChangesDownClub added
Electronica, Down Tempo, Ambient
Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965), better known as Moby, is an American musician, songwriter, singer, producer, and animal rights activist. He has sold 20 million records ...more

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#385 of 714 The Best Rock Vocalists #357 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Moby Albums of All Time