Category: musician names
Performers often adopt a stage name – something that is memorable and conveys a particular image, their public persona. This seems to be particularly noticeable with music artists. Actors can hide behind the characters they portray, but a music artist is much more exposed. They are their music, and their public persona can help sell their music and sell tickets to concerts and gigs. And the name they choose to go by can be an important tool to build this persona.
But how do music artists choose a stage name? Here are five examples of current music artists who have used different methods to choose their stage names.
There’s something undeniably cool and, well, jazzy, about many of the distinctive names of jazz musicians. Take the ultimate example, the personification of cool —Miles Davis— who imparted an eternally silky, seductive veneer to his name, as did Quincy Jones.
The inimitable Ella Fitzgerald gave her name a jazzy edge long before Ella was anywhere near the top of the pop lists. Names like Ray and Roy, Cecil and Percy and Dexter all take on an appealing funkiness and rise to another level when looked at in the context of jazz.
The surnames of jazz immortals can be considered as well, just as they have by a few celebs—model Helena Christensen’s Mingus, and Woody Allen’s Bechet, for example. The middle name of Wynton Marsalis’s son Jasper is Armstrong; Cynthia Nixon’s boy Max has Ellington as a middle.
There’s something undeniably cool and, well, jazzy, about the names of jazz musicians. Take the ultimate example, the personification of cool —Miles Davis— who imparted a silky, seductive veneer to his name, as Quincy Jones did to his.
The inimitable Ella Fitzgerald gave hers a jazzy edge long before Ella was anywhere near the pop lists. Names like Ray and Roy, Cecil and Percy and Dexter all take on an appealing funkiness and rise to another level when looked at in the context of jazz.
Jazz immortals’ surnames are another possiblity,as chosen by a few celebs—model Helena Christensen called her son Mingus, and Woody Allen used Bechet, the name of one of his musical heroes, Sidney Bechet.
Here, some of the jazziest choices:
- ABBEY Lincoln
- ALBERTA Hunter
- ANITA O’Day
- BESSIE Smith
- BLOSSOM Dearie
- CARMEN McRae
- CASSANDRA Wilson
- CLEA Bradford
- CLEO Laine
- DAKOTA Staton
- DELLA Reese
- DINAH Washington
Rock musicians have gotten the rap of being the most extreme baby namers, which certainly is true for some but by no means all. This led me to wonder if their choices bore any relationship to the kind of music they played: would the Dixie Chicks, for example, pick names with a countryish flavor, Atomic Kitten more edgy?
And how about within the groups– were their choices in sync? Since they functioned basically as families on the road, how did their kids’ names work as sibsets? In the examples listed below, you can see certain similarities—such as a Beatles theme running through the Oasis offspring, and several other musical references, including Jagger, Les Paul, Elvis, Madonna, Bebop and even Rock .
We’ve always loved the O names and have taken an ever-expanding view of the category since publishing our first name book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, in which we (shockingly, at the time) declared names that end in O such as Theo and Milo to be “So Far Out They’re In.”
Bardo is also a Buddhist concept meaning “intermediate state” – significant, many say, because of Bullock’s marital woes and decision to divorce, announced at the same time as her baby’s adoption.
Wikipedia lists the Six Bardos for those who want more illumination on Bardo, as well as other people and places that have a relationship to the name. In a more earthly realm, David Boreanz named his infant daughter Bardot, as in the surname of French star Brigitte.
Other obscure O names with celebrity connections (how’s that for a nameberry-only subgroup?) include: