Written by Ben Pogany
People tend to look at rock stars as larger than life and cooler than cool. Truth is, a lot of em are just as dorky as you or me. (Well not me of course, but you get the idea.) Sometimes you just gotta fake it if you wanna make it in this world, and for this crew, that was probably the right decision. They say its all in the name. While a great name alone won't make you a star, an awful one could be the dealbreaker. Would we have been able to tolerate a fire-breathing, blood-spitting madman named Chaim? Could we possibly have put up with Xzibit's gangsta swagger if we knew he was really Alvin Joiner IV? Would we think Vanilla Ice was as cool as we do if he went by his real name, Robert Van Winkle? Um, nevermind. Anyways, its time to pull away the curtain and reveal some of the most shocking, embarressing, and downright absurd birth names in the world of music.
Gene Simmons- Chaim Klein Witz....Jewish much?
George Michael-Yorgos Panayiotou....Yorgos? Really?
Elton John- Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Ginuwine- Elgin Lumpkin....sounds like a black hobbit
Elvis Costello- Declan Patrick McManus
Xzibit- Alvin Nathaniel Joiner IV....Alvin IV? How ungangster is that?
Akon- Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam...no joke
Yanni- Yiannis Chrysomallis
Michael Bolton- Michael Bolotin.....Probably for the best. Bolotin kinda sounds like a daily laxative.
Manfred Mann- Manfred Lubowitz
Iggy Pop- James Newell Osterberg, Jr.
John Denver- Henry John Deutschendorf. We've all heard "With a name like Smuckers, its gotta be good." Well, with a name like Duetschendorf, its gotta be, well, have you ever actually listened to John Denver?
Bob Dylan- Robert Alan Zimmerman
Trey Anastasio- Ernest Guiseppe Anastasio III
Stevie Wonder- Steveland Hardaway Judkins
Yngwie Malmsteen- Lars Johann Yngwie Lannerback....what an improvement.
Flea- Michael Peter Balzary
Freddie Mercury- Farrokh Bulsara
T-Pain- Faheem Najm...something tells me this name wouldn't have gone over to well with mainstream America. At least not like the ingenious T-Pain
Snoop Dogg- Cordazer Calvin Broadus Jr.
Lil' Bow Wow- Shad Anthony Moss
Alice Cooper- Vincent Damon Furnier
Vanilla Ice- Robert Van Winkle.....I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried
Lou Reed- Louis Firbank
David Bowie- David Robert Hayward Stenton Jones
Eddie Vedder- Edward Louis Severson III
Kenny G.- Kenneth Gorelick
Peter Tosh- Winston Hubert Macintosh.....How many potheads do you know named Winston Macintosh?
M.I.A.- Mathangi Arulpragasam
Cher- Cherilyn Sarkisian
Redman- Reginald Noble
Master P- Percy Miller
Shaggy- Orville Richard Burrell....Always thought he looked like an Orville
Silkk the Shocker- Vyshonn King Miller
Bono- Paul David Hewson
The Edge- David Howell Evans
Sting- Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner
Les Paul- Lester Polfus
M.C. Hammer- Stanley Kirk Burrel
Alice Cooper- Vincent Damon Furnier
Bon Scott (AC/DC)- Ronald Belford Scott
Marilyn Manson- Brian Hugh Warner
Axl Rose- William Bruce Bailey
Slash- Saul Hudson
Robbie Robertson (The Band)- Jaime Royal Klegerman
Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction)- Perry Bernstein
Mama Cass- Ellen Naomi Cohen
Ozzy Osbourne- John Michael Osbourne...What a nice Christian name. How'd that work out for ya?
Joey Ramone- Jeffrey Ross Hyman
Q-Tip- Kamaal Ibn John Fareed
Nas- Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones
Common- Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.
Ice Cube- O'Shea Jackson
Big Daddy Kane- Antonio Mortimer Hardy
Kool Moe Dee- Mohandas Dewese
Lupe Fiasco- Wasalu Muhammad Jaco
Coolio- Artis Leon Ivey, Jr.
The Game- Jayceon Terrell Taylor...Dude, there is no y or c or e in Jason.
Nelly- Carnell Haynes, Jr.
Sly Stone- Sylvester Stewart
BB King- Riley B. King
Billie Holliday- Eleanora Fagan Gough
Tina Turner- Anna Mae Bullock
Meat Loaf- Marvin Lee Aday
Bo Diddley- Ellas Otha Bates
Fats Domino- Antoine Dominique Domino
Sonny Rollins- Theodore Walter Rollins
Sid Vicious- John Simon Ritchie
Johnny Rotten- John Joseph Lydon
Joe Strummer (The Clash)- John Graham Mellor
Afrika Bambaataa- Kevin Donovan
Pat Benatar- Patricia Andrejewski
Dean Martin- Dino Paul Crocetti
Bjork- Bjork Gudmundsdottir
Jon Bon Jovi- John Francis Bongiovi Jr.
Mos Def- Dante Terrell Smith
Grandmaster Flash- Joseph Saddler
Barry Manilow- Barry Alan Pincus
Hannah Montana- Destiny Hope Cyrus...People who name their kids Destiny Hope suck at life. I'm lookin at you Billie Ray...
Gram Parsons (Byrds)- Cecil Ingram Connor, III
Cat Stevens- Steven Demetre Georgiou (Now Yusuf Islam)