Real name: Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.
(Did you have a moment when you thought “Who’s that?!” when his name was announced at Oscars? It’s okay to admit it)
Real Name: Onika Tanya Maraj
Beyoncé called Nicki by her government name during the “Flawless” remix.
Real name: Stevland Hardaway Morris
His last name isn’t really “Wonder,” but we still think he’s wonderful!
Real name: Eric Marlon Bishop
Not even close (there’s not even a “J” in his real name).
Real name: Joissa Diop
Pick up her book, “Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” to see the hilarious story behind her pen name.
Real name: Aubrey Graham
You may have caught his real name in the credits on Degrassi.
Real name: Timothy Zachery Mosley
His real name wasn’t bad but he needed a unique name to match his one-of-a-kind beats.
Real name: Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.
Snoop has changed his name from Calvin to Dogg to Lion. What’s next?
Real name: Kelendria Trene Rowland
She’ll always be Kelly to us!
Real name: Erica Abi Wright
First name Erica, Last name… is not Badu.
Real name: Alicia Augello Cook
A piano-playing songstress who’s real last name is “Keys” is just too good to be true.
Real name: Kasseem Dean
Both Swizz and his wife Alicia Keys go by aliases. Is there no one we can trust?!
Real name: Shelton Jackson Lee
Shelton…Spike… eh, close enough.
Real Name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty
The Bad Gal’s government name just doesn’t have the same ring.
Real name: John Stephens
But his voice and piano skills are definitely legendary.
Real name: Elgin Baylor Lumpkin
No, seriously. That’s his real name.
Real Name: Anna Mae Bullock
As heard in the semi-autographical film What’s Love Got to Do With It?
Real Name: Willard Carroll Smith, Jr.
Did you think his first name was William, too?
Real Name: Christopher Brian Bridges
We like the clever word play Luda!
Real Name: Abęl Tesfaye
The Weeknd has a nice ring to it, even though it’s missing a vowel.
Real Name: Jermaine Lamarr Cole
The Grammy-nominated rapper didn’t get very creative with his stage name but it’s ok because he’s skills are dope anyway.
Real Name: Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
We have to admitl, dropping his last name for the stage was a good move.
Real Name: Deja Trimble
Dej Trimble has a nice ring to it though!
Real Name: Christopher Breaux
Frank Ocean/Chris Breaux, we’d buy music from both, honestly.
Real Name: Faheem Rasheed Naim
T-Pain holds it down with some hits.
Real Name: Helen Folasade Adu
The Nigerian singer uses an abbreviation of her middle name on stage.
Real Name: Jason Desrouleaux
The real singer’s last name is a mouthfull!
Real Name: Dante Smith
The artist formally known as Mos Def.
Real Name: Rakim Mayers
Fun fact, Rocky’s real first name is attributed to rapper Rakim (who’s real name is William Michael Griffin Jr.). The rapper’s mother was a big fan of Eric B and Rakim back in the day.
Real Name: Dana Elaine Owens
How dope would it be if this Oscar-nominated, Grammy, Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG winning star’s reall name was actually Queen?!
In a 2015 interview with Tavis Smiley, the singer talked about his album, Black Messiah, black culture, black men, and black women.
Real Name: Clifford Smith
Funny enough, we can’t see this Wu-Tang member with a name like Clifford.
Real Name: Tramar Dillard
Because chances of your real name being the same as the state you’re from are slim to none.
Real Name: William James Adams, Jr.
Even though the Black Eyed Peas singer basically goes by his first name, the creativity is there and we love it.
Real Name: Inga Marchand
We wonder if the rapper’s stage name is a nod to the iconic movie character?
Real Name: Ahmir-Khalib Thompson
The Roots drummer has a cool stage name, we dig it.
Real Name: Kamaal Ibn John Fareed
The DJ and Tribe Called Quest rapper was born Jonathan Davis but changed his legal name after converting to Islam. The more you know.