Lifestyle The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name  

Adam Tyler
Originally by
63.6k votes 5.8k voters 363.3k views 100 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
1,177 856
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Hip hop music, Horrorcore, 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
1,467 878
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
1,480 701
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
1,269 806
Adele is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
1,177 870
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
771 777
Sting is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
1,066 664
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
619 737
Bono is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
950 781
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
775 659
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
776 574
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
926 720
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
483 464
Sia Furler is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
303 583
Dido is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
481 595
Jewel is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
555 579
Slash is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
479 626
Fergie is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
442 526
Seal is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
158 115
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
JulieGoodwin added Pop music, Rock music, World music
Richard Starkey Jr., MBE, better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. On ...more
20
444 684
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
434 581
Enya is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
493 372
Usher is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
329 589
Björk is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
305 534
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap
Beck Hansen, known by the stage name Beck, is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his lo-fi, sonically experimental style, ...more
25
263 433
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