Music

The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name 

Adam Tyler
Originally by
Updated July 20, 2019 77.3k votes 7k voters 440.6k 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
Prince is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Hip hop music, Synthpop & New Wave; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999, Love Symbol Album, Around the World in a Day, + more

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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The Best Prince Songs of All Time #9 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #22 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

2
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Pop punk and R&B; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: M!ssundaztood, I'm Not Dead, Funhouse, Dear Mr. President, Pink: Live in Europe, + more

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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3
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Christian music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Jailhouse Rock, The Sun Sessions, From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential '60s Masters, Can’t Help Falling in Love / Rock-A-Hula Baby, Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition), + more

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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4
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show, Infinite, Recovery, + more

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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The Best Eminem Songs of All Time #241 of 285 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today #3 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

5
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: R&B, Pop & Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Dangerously in Love, 4, Beautiful Liar, B'Day, Above and Beyoncé: Video Collection & Dance Mixes, + more

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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The Best Songs Ft. Beyonce #26 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #256 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

6
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Pop and Electronica; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music, Ray of Light, Confessions on a Dance Floor, + more

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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The Best Madonna Albums of All Time #106 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #247 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

7
Cher is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Hip hop music, Rock music & Dance-pop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Closer to the Truth, The Ugly Duckling, Heart of Stone, Love Hurts, The Best of Cher, + more

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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The Best Cher Albums of All Time #144 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #44 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

8
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added Genre: R&B, Pop & Hip hop; Nationality: Barbados

Albums: Loud, Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna 3CD Collector's Set, A Girl like Me, Music of the Sun, + more

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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The Best Rihanna Songs of All Time #60 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #8 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

9
Adele is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Pop, R&B & Soul; Nationality: England

Albums: 21, 19, Make You Feel My Love, Adele Live at the Royal Albert Hall, Cold Shoulder, + more

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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Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Adele #8 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #1 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

10
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Urban contemporary, Merengue music & Synthpop; Nationality: Colombia

Albums: Live & Off the Record, Laundry Service, Where Are the Thieves?, Beautiful Liar, La Tortura, + more

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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The Best Songs Feat. Shakira #74 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #13 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

11
Sting is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Medieval music, Classic rock & New Wave; Nationality: England

Albums: ...Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling, The Soul Cages, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, + more

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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#166 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #37 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #168 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

12
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 12 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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#161 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #21 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #378 of 418 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

13
Usher is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Coolza added Genre: Contemporary R&B, Hip hop & Pop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Confessions, Rhythm City, Volume 1: Caught Up (bonus disc), My Way, Usher, + more

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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14
Selena is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Scott Zito added Genre: Mexican cumbia, Pop music & Latin American music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Dreaming of You, Amor Prohibido, The New Girl in Town, Preciosa, Momentos intimos, + more

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her ...more

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#66 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #370 of 418 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #431 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

15
Sia Furler is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Indie pop and Electronica; Nationality: Australia

Albums: Some People Have Real Problems, Don't Bring Me Down E.P, OnlySee, Colour the Small One, We Are Born, + more

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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16
RuPaul is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
bluecandyboy added Genre: Disco, Electro & Electro house; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Ho Ho Ho, Foxy Lady, Red Hot, Glamazon, + more

RuPaul Andre Charles (born November 17, 1960) is an American drag queen, actor, model, singer, songwriter, and television personality. Since 2009, he has produced and hosted the reality ...more

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17
Slash is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Glam metal, Blues-rock & Heavy metal; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Slash, Apocalyptic Love, Made in Stoke 24/7/11, Live in Manchester, Sahara, + more

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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18
Bono is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Rock music, Alternative rock & Post-punk; Nationality: Republic of Ireland

Albums: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, In the Name of the Father, The Complete Solo Projects, Volume 4, The Complete Solo Projects, + more

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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19
Meat Loaf is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
JulieGoodwin added Genre: Wagnerian rock, Rock opera & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II (bonus disc), Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose, I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That), Dead Ringer, + more

Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947), known professionally as Meat Loaf, is an American singer and actor. He is noted for his powerful wide-ranging operatic voice and ...more

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The Best Meat Loaf Albums of All Time #52 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #29 of 418 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

20
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Tom Islava added Genre: Hip hop music, Political hip hop & Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Still I Rise, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z..., + more

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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21
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Aaliyah, One in a Million, I Care 4 U, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, Back & Forth, + more

Aaliyah Dana Haughton (; January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001) was an American singer, actress, and model. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Detroit, Michigan, she first gained recognition ...more

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The Best Songs Feat. Aaliyah #99 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #401 of 418 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

22
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
Rosshossofcl added Genre: Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion, Seventh Deadly Sin, Rhyme Pays, + more

Tracy Lauren Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an American musician, rapper, songwriter, actor, record producer, and author. He began his career as an ...more

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The Best Ice T Songs #53 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #640 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History

23
Kesha is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
sk8erhorse added Genre: Pop and Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Animal, Cannibal, TiK ToK, Warrior, Animal + Cannibal, + more

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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A Timeline Of Kesha's Fight With Her Record Label #385 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #48 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

24
Lorde is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
looksharp added Genre: Indie pop and Electronica; Nationality: New Zealand

Albums: Pure Heroine, The Love Club EP, Royals / White Noise: Live from the BRITs, Tennis Court EP, Tennis Court, + more

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor (born November 7, 1996), known professionally as Lorde, is a New Zealand singer, songwriter, and record producer. Taking inspiration from aristocracy for her ...more

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#166 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #34 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #13 of 61 The Best New Female Artists

25
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name
ChangesDownClub added Genre: Hip hop music, Atlanta hip hop & Hardcore hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time, The Red Light District, Rest of My Life, + more

Christopher Brian Bridges (born September 11, 1977), known professionally as Ludacris (), is an American rapper and actor. Ludacris is the founder of Disturbing tha Peace. Ludacris has won ...more

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