Unlike a lot of artists, who already have their stage names in place before their careers officially began, “Bob Dylan” actually came about after Robert Zimmerman had begun performing.
After playing coffee houses in the Dinkytown folk music circuit in the late ’50s, the future legend began introducing himself as Bob Dylan.
In his autobiography, the singer says it was the poetry of Dylan Thomas that inspired the name change. In a 2004 interview on ’60 Minutes,’ the singer would explain, “Some people — you’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”
He was the drummer in the biggest band in the world, but there was Richard Starkey long before there was Ringo Starr.
The Beatles skinbeater played in several different bands before eventually being the replacement for Pete Best. It was during this time that he started using the moniker Ringo Starr.
The “Ringo” nickname came about because of the rings that he wore on his fingers. As for “Starr,” that came about as a shortened version of his last name. Also, Starr had begun billing his drum solos as “Starr Time,” and the name stuck. By the time the drummer crossed paths with the Beatles in 1960, he had officially adopted the “Ringo Starr” stage name.
Everybody knows Bono — the U2 singer is one of the most famous people in the world, let alone one of the most famous rock stars — but do you know his real name? No, he wasn’t born with a single moniker for a name (big shocker). Instead, Paul David Hewson is the name on his birth certificate. The nickname Bono supposedly came from a hearing aid shop called Bono Vox in the band’s hometown of Dublin — that’s Latin for “good voice.”
He was born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, but you are better off just calling him Sting. The former bassist-singer of New Wave rockers the Police was given the nickname during his pre-fame days playing in a local jazz outfit called the Phoenix Jazzmen, when for one gig he wore a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes — and the name stuck. ”My children call me Sting, my mother calls me Sting,” he once responded to a journalist who called him by his given name. “Who is this Gordon character?”