As the name implies, this list is about famous rock musicians who changed their last name but kept their first name as part of their stage name. As always, feel free to add more examples; if you do, please tell me what their original last name was and (if possible) some information on where they got the idea to change it.
1 David Bowie
David Robert Jones (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016) was an English singer born in London, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He is credited for his experimental and creative musical discography which has won praise and accolades for many critics and fans. ...read more.
Bowie's birth name was originally David Jones. After calling himself Davey Jones for a couple years, he changed his name to Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from The Monkees. - Gg2000
2 Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and former television music competition judge, best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano and percussion.
Steven Tyler's real name is actually Steven Tallarico; most people don't know this. - Gg2000
3 John Paul Jones
John Baldwin, better known by his stage name John Paul Jones, is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. He is best known as the bassist for the English rock band Led Zeppelin. ...read more.
His original name was John Baldwin. A friend of his, original Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, suggested the new name after seeing a poster for the movie John Paul Jones while he was in France. - Gg2000
4 Michael Anthony
Michael Anthony Sobolewski, known professionally as Michael Anthony, is an American musician who is currently the bass player in the rock supergroup Chickenfoot. Anthony is best known as the former bass player for the hard rock band Van Halen.
His full name is Michael Anthony Sobolewski; he had it legally shortened in 1978 after Van Halen started to take off. - Gg2000
5 Johnny Ramone
John William Cummings, better known by his stage name Johnny Ramone, was an American guitarist and songwriter, best known for being the guitarist for the punk rock band the Ramones.
Everybody knows that the Ramones adopted the same last name as part of their image, but Johnny and Tommy Ramone were the only two original members who kept their first name. His original name was John Cummings. - Gg2000
6 John Lydon
John Joseph Lydon, also known by his former stage name Johnny Rotten, is an English singer, songwriter, and musician.
I think most music fans know by now about "Johnny Rotten" and how John Lydon changed his name back as soon as the Sex Pistols were finished. - Gg2000
7 Chris Cornell
Christopher John "Chris" Cornell was an American rock musician and singer-songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as former lead vocalist and songwriter for the supergroup Audioslave. His vocal range was C2 to A5, while ...read more.
8 Johnny Thunders
John Anthony Genzale Jr. (July 15, 1952 – April 23, 1991), better known by his stage name Johnny Thunders, was an American rock and roll/punk rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. He came to prominence in the early 1970s as a member of the New York Dolls. He later played with The Heartbreakers and ...read more.
His birth name was John Genzale; the other guitarist in the New York Dolls, Sylvain Sylvain, also changed his name (from Sylvain Mizrahi). - Gg2000
9 Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5th September 1946 - 24th November 1991) was a Zanzibari-born British singer of Indian descent, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the British rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave ...read more.
He definitely deserves a higher position on this list. He's accomplished so much!
The whole point of this list is to add musicians who only changed their last name. Freddie and Elton John changed their names completely. - Gg2000
10 Jon Bon Jovi
John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., known as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor, best known as the founder and frontman of rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983. He is famous for his band's hit song “Livin’ On A Prayer“ released in 1986. He ...read more.
Original name : John Francis Bongiovi it’s Italian. - DaringXx
11 Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles.
Richard Starsky - Billyv
12 Lonnie Mack
Lonnie McIntosh, better known by his stage name Lonnie Mack, was an American Texas-blues guitarist who had influenced the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan. He died on April 21, 2016.
Lonnie Mack, one of the original pioneers of blues rock, shortened his name from Lonnie McIntosh. - Gg2000
13 Bill Wyman
William George Wyman, known professionally as Bill Wyman, is an English musician, record producer, songwriter and singer best known as the bassist for the English rock and roll band the Rolling Stones from 1962 until 1993. Since 1997, he has recorded and toured with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm ...read more.
His birth name was William George Perks Jr. He said he took the name Wyman from a friend he met while serving in the Royal Air Force; he first changed it to Lee Wyman, and then changed it again to Bill Wyman. - Gg2000
14 Peter Green
Peter Green is a British blues rock guitarist. As the founder of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Woah I didn't know - Ananya
Peter shortened his name from Peter Greenbaum. - Gg2000
15 Axl Rose
William Bruce Rose Jr., better known as 'Axl Rose', is an American singer born on February 6, 1962, in Lafayette, Indiana. He Is the founder and lead singer of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is a celebrated but controversial figure in the world of rock.
William Bailey was his real name.
16 Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.
17 Grace Slick
Grace Barnett Slick is an American singer-songwriter, musician, artist, and former model, widely known in rock and roll history for her role in San Francisco's burgeoning psychedelic music scene in the mid–1960s.
When I wrote this list, I intended it for people who changed their name as part of their stage persona. Grace got her name changed because she got married; I didn't think that this would be confusing. My bad. - Gg2000
18 Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr is an English musician, songwriter and singer, best known as the guitarist and – with Morrissey – co-songwriter of the Smiths, who were active from 1982 to 1987. Born in Ardwick, Manchester, to Irish parents, Marr formed his first band at the age of 13.
His birth name is John Martin Maher. He started spelling it as Marr at the age of 14 to make it easier to pronounce and to avoid any confusion with Buzzcocks drummer John Maher. - Gg2000