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Rock And Metal Musicians Who Use Stage Names

Updated September 4, 2020 41.4k views52 items

List RulesHard rock and loud alternative rock (and sometimes punk) singers with stage names are also included here

These metal singers knew that it's tough to break into the music business, but that a good stage name might give you a leg up in a sea of boring Bruces, James, and Roberts.

A number of people on this list changed their names to make them catchier or easier to remember. "John Francis Bongiovi, Jr." or "Ronald James Padavona" both take up a lot more space on an album cover than "Jon Bon Jovi" or "Ronnie James Dio." From black metal and thrash to power metal, these stage names are memorable - and the singers who chose them knew they would be.

This list of famous stage names includes metal singers who go by nicknames and famous people who have changed their names. It does not, however, include singers who use their married surnames professionally, had their names legally changed as children, or celebrities with obviously theatrical stage names. We all can guess King Diamond wasn't born with the first name King.

But not every metal singer chose a stage name that stands out. You may have guessed that Lemmy Kilmister used a stage name, but it's the "Lemmy" part he wasn't born with, not the "Kilmister." Which of these metal singers have the most surprising birth names?

  • Alex Lifeson - born Alexandar Zivojinovich

    Alex Lifeson - born Alexandar Zivojinovich

    Heavy metal, Progressive rock


    Alexandar Zivojinovich, (born 27 August 1953), better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson,...  more

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  • Alice Cooper - born Vincent Damon Furnier

    Alice Cooper - born Vincent Damon Furnier

    Glam metal, Experimental rock

    AlbumsWelcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet, Trash, Constrictor

    Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • Amy Lee - born Amy Lynn Hartzler

    Amy Lee - born Amy Lynn Hartzler

    Alternative rock, Alternative metal


    Amy Lynn Hartzler (née Lee; born December 13, 1981), known professionally as Amy Lee, is an...  more

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  • Axl Rose - born William Bruce Rose, Jr.
    W. Axl Rose (born February 6, 1962) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and...  more

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  • Bret Michaels - born Bret Michael Sychak

    AlbumsSongs of Life, Freedom of Sound, Jammin' with Friends, A Letter From Death Row, Show Me Your Hits! A Salute to Poison

    Bret Michael Sychak (born March 15, 1963), professionally known as Bret Michaels, is an...  more

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  • Bon Scott - born Ronald Belford Scott

    AlbumsThe Early Years 1967-1972, With the Spektors and the Valentines, Round and Round: The Forgotten Years, Round and Round and Round, Seasons of Change Raven/RCA 1971-72 (disc 2)

    Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980) was an Australian singer,...  more

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    #570 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time#180 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • Daisy Berkowitz - born Scott Putesky

    Daisy Berkowitz - born Scott Putesky

    Gothic rock, Industrial metal
    Scott Mitchell Putesky (April 28, 1968 – October 22, 2017), also known as Daisy Berkowitz, was...  more
  • Gene Simmons - born Chaim Klein Witz

    Albums***hole, Gene Simmons, Sex Money Kiss

    Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949), known professionally as Gene Simmons, is an...  more

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  • Joey Belladonna - born Joseph Bellardini

    AlbumsDeadly Night Shade

    Joey Belladonna (born Joseph Bellardini, October 13, 1960) is an American thrash metal...  more
  • Jon Bon Jovi - born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.

    AlbumsBlaze of Glory, Destination Anywhere, The Power Station Years: The Unreleased Recordings, Queen of New Orleans, Janie

    John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (born March 2, 1962), known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an...  more

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  • Steven Tyler - born Steven Tallarico

    Albums(It) Feels So Good

    Steven Tyler (born Steven Victor Tallarico; March 26, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • Peter Criss - born George Peter John Criscuola

    AlbumsOne for All, Peter Criss, Let Me Rock You, Cat #1, Out of Control

    George Peter John Criscuola (born December 20, 1945), better known by his stage name Peter...  more

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    #120 of 154 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time#15 of 50 The Best Singing Drummers

  • Rob Zombie - born Robert Bartleh Cummings

    AlbumsThe Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future, Hellbilly Deluxe, American Made Music to Strip By

    Rob Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings; January 12, 1965) is an American musician and...  more

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  • Henry Rollins - born Henry Lawrence Garfield

    AlbumsTalk Is Cheap, Volume 2, Talk Is Cheap, Volume 1, The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon

    Henry Lawrence Garfield (born February 13, 1961), better known as Henry Rollins, is an...  more

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  • Chris Slade - born Christopher Rees
    Chris Slade (born Christopher Slade Rees; 30 October 1946) is a Welsh rock musician and...  more
  • Chris Cornell - born Christopher John Boyle

    AlbumsCarry On, You Know My Name, Euphoria Morning, Scream, Part of Me

    Christopher John Cornell (né Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician,...  more

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  • Doro - born Dorothee Pesch

    Doro - born Dorothee Pesch

    Doro is the second solo album of the German female hard rock singer Doro Pesch. The album was...  more


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  • C.C. DeVille - born Bruce Anthony Johannesson

    C.C. DeVille - born Bruce Anthony Johannesson

    Glam metal, Hard rock
    C.C. DeVille (born Bruce Anthony Johannesson; May 14, 1962) is the lead guitarist of the...  more
  • Cozy Powell - born Colin Trevor Flooks

    Cozy Powell - born Colin Trevor Flooks

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsDance With the Devil, Tilt, Over the Top, Octopuss, The Best of Cozy Powell

    Cozy Powell (Born Colin Trevor Flooks) (29 December 1947 – 5 April 1998) was an English rock...  more


    #8 of 532 The Best Drummers Of All Time#158 of 178 The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band

  • Dimebag Darrell - born Darrell Lance Abbott
    Darrell Lance Abbott (August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004), best known by his stage name...  more

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  • Geddy Lee - born Gary Lee Weinrib

    Geddy Lee - born Gary Lee Weinrib

    Heavy metal, Progressive rock

    AlbumsMy Favorite Headache

    Geddy Lee Weinrib, (born Gary Lee Weinrib; July 29, 1953), known professionally as Geddy Lee,...  more

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    #1 of 186 The All-Time Best Rock Bassists#1 of 74 The Best Rock Bass Player of the 1970s

  • Geezer Butler - born Terence Michael Joseph Butler
    Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler (born 17 July 1949) is an English musician and...  more
  • Gidget Gein - born Bradley Mark Stewart
    Bradley Mark "Brad" Stewart (September 11, 1969 – October 8, 2008), known by his stage name...  more
  • Hellhammer - born Jan Axel Blomberg

    Hellhammer - born Jan Axel Blomberg

    Progressive metal, Industrial metal
    Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg (born August 2, 1969) is a Norwegian heavy metal drummer. He is...  more
  • Jay Jay French - born John French Segall