Jun 242020

This may be one of those highly specific Last Man Standings, with only 5 possible answers. I can only think of a few instances of this happening, but you rarely fail to impress me. And please, read closely to get the rules straight.

We’re looking for artists who, after their professional, credited career started, changed their name on album covers, billboards, recording credits and other documented places. (Get ready for some rules…)

  • Multiple name changes by the same artist DO count separately; please list them one per post, according to our usual “Don’t Bogart that thread” guidelines
  • Newly acquired nicknames do NOT count if the artist still has an underlying name he or she is credited by
  • Attempts to go by a new name – one that was documented on a record credit – that didn’t stick DO count
  • Your knowledge of the artist’s real name or stage name before earning any credits does NOT count – this is about documented changes in how an artist is billed/credited
  • Credits on demo recordings that were not released commercially do NOT count (same goes for credits on bootlegs)
  • Variations in spelling DO count
  • A official return to an earlier variation on an artist’s name (ie, A to B, then back to A) DOES count as separate credit. If you’d like to earn that credit, please post the information in the right order, in a separate post
  • It will be the judges’ discretion whether the addition or dropping of a diminutive or nickname in an artist’s name counts or not
  • This is about artists – human beings, NOT bands (eg, anyone trying to point out that Slade was originally known as Greenslade will be served a yellow card or put in the penalty box)
  • The judges reserve the right to add new rules as discussion ensues.

Let me know if we need a separate thread to debate the rules. Because the field of possible answers is so tight, I won’t prime the pump with an example. As always, DON’T BOGART THIS THREAD. Limit yourself to one entry at a time.


  289 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Artists Whose Professional Name Changed Mid-Career”

  1. Happiness Stan

    Yusuf Islam

  2. cherguevara

    Leslie Philips -> Sam Philips

  3. trigmogigmo

    “This is about artists” — and so you have Prince becoming that symbol. I don’t think “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince” (TAFKAP) was an official name, but the symbol was.


  4. H. Munster

    John Cougar Mellencamp

  5. Jim McGuinn -> Roger McGuinn

  6. Gotta get mine in: Keith Richards to Keith Richard to Keith Richards.

    “After the Rolling Stones signed to Decca Records in 1963, their band manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, dropped the s from Richards’s surname, believing that “Keith Richard”, in his words, “looked more pop”. During the late 1970s, Richards re-established the s in his surname.”

  7. Garth Brooks / Chris Gaines

  8. Townspeople, you have already outpaced my expectations!

    @Oats, did McGuinn appear in credits as Jim? I was wondering if so and figured it might be the case, but that guy annoys me so much I couldn’t be bothered to look him up.

    I can’t believe we were just talking about Cat Stevens and I hadn’t factored his name change in!

  9. John Lennon to Dr. Winston O’Boogie. (credited on Nilsson’s record) Not really a name change as much as a masking pseudonym, but I think it qualifies.

  10. Bobby Darin > Bob Darin

  11. Bob Darin > Bobby Darin

  12. Johnny Rotten to John Lydon

  13. diskojoe

    Ariel Bender from Mott the Hoople ( I forgot what his real name was, but I know that he changed it)

  14. machinery

    I know there are a lot of examples in the Rap arena, mos def and puff daddy’s many incarnations come to mind. I might be tempted to throw out Prince there for a time-being. And I just saw an article the other day through a work thing that Terrence Trent Darby changed his name — who knew? (Who cared?)

  15. machinery

    Does Alice Cooper count for co-opting the band name?

  16. Dr Winston O’Boogie counts as one of those officially credited nicknames.

    The judges have rejected the submission of “Bob Darin,” as did the public and history.

    @diskojoe: Was Bender ever credited by his real name or some other name? If not, we cannot accept this suggestion. Same goes for Alice Cooper. Did he ever appear credited on a commercial release under his real name, Vincent whatever? If not, machinery is partially credited as Last Man Standing (to this point) for Terrence Trent D’Arby’s new and globally ignored name. It sounded like a dish at a Thai restaurant, if memory serves. Full credit can be claimed for LMS to whomever spells it out.

  17. Protest! Bob Darin is rejected because “the public and history” also did (reject it) but Terrence Trent D’Arby’s “new and globally ignored name” which hasn’t even been mentioned is okay?!

  18. King of America was released by Declan MacManus instead of Elvis Costello. Seeing that so many of my Mt Rushmore artists did this trick, I may try on Turkeyfrank for a bit. Other than marriage/divorce adjustments, can we think of no women who did this?

  19. Iggy Stooge –> Iggy Pop

  20. @al: Protest denied. TTD doesn’t carry the shame of Kevin Spacey. How’s that for a reason?

    @The Artist Who May One Day Be Known as Turkeyfrank: That was one of the answers I had in mind up front. We will allow for name changes owing to what some may feel are outmoded cultural name-changing rituals. Now that I think of it, I believe there are at least two woman singers out of the UK folk-rock tradition whose name has appeared in both “maiden” and married formats. I won’t hog LMS status yet. That currently belongs to Oats.

  21. cherguevara

    I named a woman already!

    Davy Jones -> David Bowie


  22. One I thought of not attributed to marriage was Mama Cass dropping the nickname and going with the the more dignified Cass Eliot. She even had a song: Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore.

  23. Oh you’re right, Che! Sorry. I breezed over that thinking it was the other Sam Philips because Leslie is also a man’s name.

  24. diskojoe

    Mr. Mod, I checked out Ariel Bender & his real name is Luther Grosvenor & he was the guitarist for Spooky Tooth under his real name

  25. Excellent, diskojoe! You are currently LMS, thanks to that dedicated verification.

  26. OK, I’m going to take the lead with an unclaimed gimme: John Mellencamp, when the Cougar was taken to the farm.

  27. cherguevara

    Sinead O’Connor changed her name to Shuhada’ Davitt.

  28. This is likely to outrage Al, as it’s a modification that verges on the dropping of a diminutive name that the judges will allow: Little Stevie Wonder to simply Stevie Wonder.

    Last Man Standing…for the good of the game. There are still at least 3 other entries to be served.

  29. Happiness Stan

    John Lewis made some obscure records before turning into Jona Lewie

  30. The Undertones John O’Neill morphed into Sean O’Neill for later releases.

  31. chickenfrank is currently Last Man Standing. I know there are still at least 2 UK woman singers from the folk-blues-rock scene of the late-’60s/early-’70s who were credited by maiden or a stage name before taking the name of their eventual husband. I know there’s one previously mentioned artist who’s employed a third name on releases…

  32. Wikipedia des cribes it better than me but: “Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye underwent body modification to resemble one another, thus coming to identify themselves as a single pandrogynous being named “Breyer P-Orridge””

    Does that count?

  33. Happiness Stan

    Ricky Nelson became Rick Nelson

  34. @Happiness Stan, again, I’m going to piss off our dear friend Al, but the judges accept this dropping of the diminutive. Happiness Stan is LMS.

  35. And yes, cdm, that counted. Hope you enjoyed your brief perch at the top of the heap.

  36. Prince to that love symbol thing!

  37. Already mentioned early on, andyr. Stan happily retains the belt…for the time being.

  38. Sorry – I checked but must have missed it.

    How about Elvis Costello again with Napoleon Dynamite on “Blood & Chocolate”? He is listed that way on the credits

  39. cherguevara

    Will Oldham also releases music as Bonny Prince Billy and also as Palace.


  40. @andyr: Yes, that was a gimme from a previously posted artist I had mentioned! You were LMS!

    @cherguevara: I’m giving you credit for Bonny Prince Billy, but the rules state one entry per post, so I’ll allow your add-on of Palace, but please report to the penalty box for a 2-minute minor.

  41. cherguevara


  42. I have no idea on this, but knowing Mr Mod’s taste as I do: The UK women singers have to be either Sandy Denny or Linda Thompson. Right??

  43. “Woody” Mellor (101’ers) to Joe Strummer (the Clash)

  44. H. Munster

    Billy Lee and the Rivieras recorded some singles that didn’t go anywhere. Then Billy Lee changed his name to Mitch Ryder, and the Rivieras became The Detroit Wheels. (Billy was born William Levise.)

  45. Might as well open this pandora’s box: P. Diddy

  46. @cdm: Hip-hop artists matter. Open it as wide as you like!

    @chickenfrank: Sandy Denny was NOT one of the women I had in mind (the other one is not in a band I am greatly attached to, but she is my favorite member of said band), but Linda Thompson WAS. She sings backgrounds on the first Richard Thompson solo album, Henry the Human Fly, with her maiden name intact. I can’t speak for her maidenhood. I forget what her original name is, but I’m pretty sure my memory on this is correct. If not, I’ll send myself to the penalty box.

    cdm is currently LMS.

  47. cherguevara

    Gene Ween reverted to his birth name, Aaron Freeman.

  48. trigmogigmo

    Easy followup: the Love Symbol artist eventually changed his professional name back to Prince after some time.

  49. Mod, I wasn’t referring to hip hop artists in general. Sean Combs’ names specifically are going to keep me on the top of the heap for awhile.

  50. Linda Peters > Linda Thompson

  51. And fie on your hair-splitting, Mr. Mod, fie I say.

    I don’t use harsher words because of my great love for Ricky/Rick Nelson. Anything that gives Rick a mention, never mind has him as LMS, however briefly, is fine with me.

  52. cherguevara

    Beyonce -> Sasha Fierce

  53. @trigmogigmo: Way to grab that Prince rebound!

    @cdm: Sorry if I misunderstood the can of Combs you were unleashing. I do think the non-traditional rock world that usually doesn’t come into play here has additional examples that are welcome. Such entries will be welcome.

    @al: Linda Peters to Linda Thompson was one of those UK transitions I was seeking. There’s still one out there from a much more popular band that people will be slapping their foreheads over.

    cherguevara is currently LMS!

  54. Puff Daddy

  55. Hari Georgeson (on some Dark Horse artist) = George Harrison

  56. @ Mr Mod. Someone from the Pogues?

  57. I hate this. It pains me to type it. Dee Dee Ramone to Dee Dee King.

  58. @chick: Let your time atop the heap make up for the pain that entry caused you.

    I’m not sure about any members of The Pogues, such as Cait O’Riordan, taking a new name. Could be out there for the taking. The other change to a married name couldn’t be more obvious, once someone thinks of it.

  59. George Harrysong from Son of Schmeilson

  60. Chickenfrank, have you no shame, sir? At long last have you no shame?

  61. diskojoe

    Mr. Mod, are you thinking of Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack who became Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac?

  62. diskojoe has read my mind and claimed the top spot! Well done.

  63. @ Mr Mod. Ha! That means your favorite member of Fleetwood Mac is Christine McVie?! New Thread.

  64. George Harrison = Jai Raj Harrison

  65. And Chicken – She is my favorite in Fleetwood Mac. One of my fav female singers!

  66. Happiness Stan

    The other David Jones, who swung the other way and became diminutive Davy after his first (not very good, but mercifully short if I recall it with any accuracy from when I owned a copy) album.

  67. cherguevara

    Looking for judgement on Tommy Ramone, moving into record production using his real least name, Erdelyi,

  68. Nick Lowe = Terry Modern of “The Tartan Horde who recorded “Bay City Rollers We Love You”

  69. @cher: That counted! Good one. And what a steal by andyr. Speaking of andyr and your fellow love for Christine McVie… How have known each other for nearly 50 years and not known that we shared that view? Want to jam some day?

  70. Happiness Stan

    And Mike Nesmith became Michael post Monkees

  71. Mr Mod – I think we have discussed this before. Now how many decades ago, that I don’t recall.

    John *Ono* Lennon – on Instant Karma single. I am LMS (@ 3:45pm)

  72. Diddy. Just plain old Diddy.

  73. mockcarr

    Gonna open up some options – Colin Moulding = The Red Curtain

  74. You woo me until the sun comes up and you saaaay-ay that you love me.

  75. In the inexplicable McGuinn style, Jaime Robbie Robertson became Robbie Robertson.

    Give me a moment to savor being King Turd of Shit Mountain!

  76. cherguevara

    Oh, Colin Moulding also recorded as “the Colonel” releasing “i need protection” and “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

    Clang clang clang goes the trolley!

  77. Roy Byrd/Professor Longhair

  78. To experience a brief view from the top, here’s another one in that bizarre Keith Richards/Richard category that inspired this thread. In 1971, Dionne Warwick suddenly appeared in print as Dionne Warwicke. I’ve got one of the albums from this time. The reason for the mid-career addition of a silent e can only be explained by Wikipedia:

    “Also in 1971, Warwick had her name changed to “Warwicke” per the advice of Linda Goodman, an astrologer friend, who believed it would bring greater success. A few years later, she reverted to the old spelling after a string of disappointments and an absence from the Billboard top 40.”

    Laste Man Standing!

  79. mockcarr

    Never underestimate the power of the psychic friends network.

    Andy Partridge = Sir John Johns

  80. mockcarr

    That possibly should have been the psychedelic fiends fretwork

  81. Happiness Stan

    And prior to being Mike Nesmith, he was Michael Blessing.

  82. cherguevara

    Father John Misty also releases music using his first initial and last name, J. Tillman.


  83. Happiness Stan

    Kid Strange of Doctors of Madness became Richard Strange when he went solo.

  84. Wasn’t Harry Nilsson credited by both his full name and by just Nilsson?

    And does the time Rodney Anonymous was listed as Rodney Anonymous Mellencamp count?

  85. John Langford became Johnny Minor for So Good It Hurts.

  86. Happiness Stan

    Mary O’Brien recorded with the Lana Sisters before she became Dusty Springfield

  87. trigmogigmo

    Drummer Peter Edward Clarke had a minor discography credit with The Spitfire Boys before he adopted the stage name Budgie.

  88. @Crackblind: Welcome aboard! You had two good entries, but for the future, only one entry one post, please.

  89. In 2013, Snoop Dog released a reggae album as Snoop Lion.

  90. Glad to be here! Sorry bout the double entry, here’s a new single one (& one I’m surprised hasn’t been posted yet):

    Wayne to Jayne County

  91. That’s a great one, Crackblind! You are Last Man Standing…or were.

    Walter to Wendy Carlos.

    I am LMS!

  92. George Harrison appears as L’Angelo Misterioso on the Goodbye Cream album for his bridge contribution to “Badge.”

  93. Bull Moose Jackson released Big Ten Inch Record under the name Moose Jackson.


    On the King Records Box set, there is a recording of label owner Syd Nathan addressing the A&R or Sales staff and letting know about the change but I don’t have time to look for that clip right now

  94. Sally Timms appears as Endora Timms on The Curse of the Mekons.

  95. Happiness Stan

    Shane Fenton, sixties rocker, became Alvin Stardust

  96. Ol’ Dirty Bastard to Big Baby Jesus.

  97. Zoom Horn Rollo morphed back to his birthname, Bill Harkleroad.

  98. That’s one of the best ones, Chickenfrank, so it pains me to knock you off the hill but: Jim James/Yim Yames.

  99. Zoot! Damn autocorrect.

  100. trigmogigmo

    John Bongiovi -> Jon Bon Jovi

    According to Wikipedia, the band Bon Jovi reluctantly took on its name over the original idea of “Johnny Electric”. “Bon Jovi” doesn’t sound so bad now, does it???

  101. Happiness Stan

    Dory Langdon released an album under her maiden name before marrying Andre Previn.

  102. James Chance (and the Contortions) becomes James White (and the Blacks).

  103. Dagnabit Mr. Mod! That was gonna be next one. See what happens when I follow the rules.

  104. Oh, and didn’t Wreckless Eric release at least one record as Eric Goulden?

    (Side question – what’s the take on preforming under one name but taking the songwriting credit under another? Though I’m sure that’s a different Last Man Standing)

  105. Julie Driscoll now singing as Julie Tippetts.

    I am determined to be LMS.

  106. @Crackblind: I think that performer/songwriter disparity has legs. Go for it!

  107. bostonhistorian

    Madness’ member Chas Smash released a 2015 solo album under his given name, Cathal Smyth

  108. bostonhistorian

    I forgot to add that his writing credit on several early Madness songs is C. Smash, by the time he wrote “Our House” his credit changed to Smyth.

  109. Alright, I shall. Besides the aforementioned Mr. Goulden, there is dear old R. Starkey aka Ringo Starr himself.

  110. The Last Roundup’s Amy McMahon becomes the Sham’s Amy McMahon Rigby.


  111. Billy Mumy released several albums on his own as well as a few as Art Barnes (he may have been Artie Barnes, I can never remember which Barnes brother he was).


  112. cherguevara