When Lakers forward Ron Artest announced last week that he is legally changing his name to Metta World Peace, the Internet exploded with bafflement and criticism.
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Obviously, this is coming from sports fans. We in the music world are accustomed to odd stage names. Dallas' own Erykah Badu was born Erica Wright, which is much less exciting than her more well-known nom de stage. Meanwhile, no one batted an eyelash when former Polyphonic Spree member Annie Clark began recording under the charmingly quirky name St. Vincent. Let's face it: The music scene has seen far weirder.
And now that the Mavs have won the championship, we can start sympathizing with Artest. So, to that end, we've collected a list of some of the strangest music stage names to prove, once and for all, that Artest -- er, World Peace -- is not only in good company, but that he's actually got one of the more normal names out there. Check our list out after the jump.
Then be thankful that at least Artest isn't trying to call himself something silly like Diddy or Meat Loaf.
- Dinah Cancer (singer, 45 Grave), born Mary Simms
- Jello Biafra (singer, Dead Kennedys), born Eric Boucher
- Ol' Dirty Bastard (rapper, Wu Tang Clan), born Russell Jones
- Sickie Wifebeater (guitarist, the Mentors), born Eric Carlson
- Disease Factory (singer, Velvet Acid Christ), born Bryan Erickson
- Sharon Needles (guitarist, Betty Blowtorch), real name unknown
- Rat Scabies (drummer, the Damned), born Christopher Millar
- Synyster Gates (guitarist, Avenged Sevenfold), born Brian Haner Jr.
- Buckethead (guitarist, ex-Guns 'n' Roses), born Brian Carroll
- Meat Loaf, born Marvin Aday
- Girl Talk (mashup artist), born Gregg Gillis
- Diddy, born Sean Combs
- Lux Interior (singer, the Cramps), born Erick Purkhiser
- Jackie Kickassis (drummer, the Upper Crust), born Jim Janota
- Captain Beefheart (avant garde musician), born Don Van Vliet
- Bubba Sparxxx (rapper), born Warren Mathis
- Paddy Boom (drummer, Scissor Sisters), born Patrick Seacor
- Face Hoover (DJ/producer), born John Dussek
- Crocus Behemoth (singer, Rocket From the Tombs, later of Pere Ubu), born David Thomas
- Englebert Humperdinck, born Arnold Dorsey
- Yngwie Malmsteen, born Lars Lannerback
- Noodles (guitarist, the Offspring), born Kevin Wasserman
- Fee Waybill (singer, the Tubes), born John Waybill
- Zigaboo Modeliste (drummer, the Meters), born Joseph Modeliste
- Rikki Rockett (drummer, Poison), born Richard Ream
- Peaches Christ (drag queen/singer), born Joshua Grannell
- Unknown Hinson (king of country-western troubadours), born Stuart Baker
- Demonaz Doom Occulta (guitarist, Immortal), born Harald Naevdal
- Madonna Wayne Gacy (keyboardist, Marilyn Manson), born Stephen Bier Jr.
- ?uestlove (drummer, the Roots), born Ahmir Thompson
- Yma Sumac (soprano), born Zoila Castillo
- Sir Mix-a-Lot, born Anthony Ray
- Snoop Doggy Dogg, born Calvin Broadus
- Pat Smear (guitarist, the Germs and Foo Fighters), born Georg Ruthenberg
- That symbol Prince used to go by
- Necrobutcher (bassist, Mayhem), born Jorn Stubberud
- Slymenstra Hymen (singer, GWAR), born Danielle Stampe
- Pat Thetic (drummer, Anti-Flag), real name unknown
- Shifty Shellshock (singer, Crazy Town), born Seth Binzer
Lady Gaga, born
this wayStefani Germanotta