Pseudonyms of Famous Rockstars: How Many Do You Know?

You Might Be Surprised

This isn’t about how some rockstars got their monikers e.g. Slash, The Edge or Marilyn Manson. This is for already-famous rockers having alter egos which even the most ardent fan MAY not know – with emphasis on MAY. We don’t exactly understand why they do it but most likely, it’s because they prefer a little more creative freedom.

It’s not exactly uncommon for someone to go by another name because they can do pretty much whatever they want, they can loosen the chains that bind them to a specific genre etc, and they don’t easily get judged.

U2’s Bono

During the 1992-3 Zoo TV Tour, Bono (who was obviously struggling to find his identity) had three pseudonyms – The Fly, Mirrorball Man and MacPhisto.

David Bowie

Perhaps one of the most well-known alter egos is Ziggy Stardust – the bisexual alien glam rock star. It didn’t end there however because Bowie being Bowie, he had other pseudonyms – Aladdin Sane and The Thin White Duke.

John Lennon

He used the name Dr. Winston O’Boogie when he was a producer for singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson and when he sang as backup singer for Elton John.


This one’s probably the most interesting of the lot. They were an underrated rock group and so taking some of their material, they recorded as a “spin-off” group called The Dukes of Stratosphear. Every member even had their own pseudonym – Sir John Johns, The Red Curtain, Lord Cornelius Plum and E.I.E.I. Owen! They released their album on April Fool’s Day and surprisingly, it sold more than their records when they were XTC.

Courtney Love

She’s always been a bit eccentric so somehow, it wasn’t that surprising when she revealed her alter ego named Cherry Kookoo. Prior to that, she also had another called Cricket Nordstrom.

Hank Williams

In 1950, this country legend recorded songs as Luke the Drifter.

Paul McCartney

Not to be outdone by his fellow Beatle, McCartney released an album by someone named Percy Thrillington. He and Linda invented the fictitious socialite musician, even going so far as printing Thrillington’s activities in newspapers. To make him more realistic, McCartney was tagged as Thrillington’s friend.


Prince always loved experimenting and was never afraid to take risks. One of the proofs is his gender fluid alter ego Camille. He also had other pseudonyms like Tora Tora, Bob George, Alexander Nevermind, Spooky Electric and Jamie Starr.