Country Stars’ Real Names Revealed: Dierks Bentley, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw & More

Dierks Bentley, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw
Dierks Bentley; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw; Photo by Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Dierks Bentley, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw

Ever wondered how country music artists seem to have the perfect name, that’s catchy and fits their branding so well? Well, that is no accident. In fact, many artists, including those in the country music industry, decide go by a stage name instead of their real name for this very reason.

It’s not uncommon for stars to go by their middle name rather than their their first. Dierks Bentley is an example of an artist who didn’t choose a completely different stage name, he just followed in his family’s footsteps and has always gone by his middle name, Dierks.

“Frederick. It’s Frederick Dierks Bentley, but my whole family goes by their middle name—my sister, my brother,” Dierks told Glamour magazine. “So from day one, I’ve always been called Dierks. My mom was really upset when I named my son properly. I told her that his first name was actually going to be his first name! That’s how normal people do it, so I don’t know why she did it that way! People wonder if Dierks is a stage name.”

Country Now has compiled a list of country music artists who go by a slightly different name than their real one. Some of these may come as a surprise, while others aren’t too far off from what they were called from birth. Check out this list to see how well you know your favorite artists. 

Cole Swindell; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Cole Swindell; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Cole Swindell

Real Name: Colden Rainey Swindell

Carly Pearce; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Carly Pearce; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Carly Pearce

Real Name: Carly Cristyne Slusser

Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Luke Bryan

Real Name: Thomas Luther Bryan

Faith Hill, Tim McGraw; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Faith Hill, Tim McGraw; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Stage Name: Faith Hill

Real Name: Audrey Faith Perry

Stage Name: Tim McGraw

Real Name: Samuel Timothy Smith

Hank Williams Jr.; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Hank Williams Jr.; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Stage Name: Hank Williams Jr. 

Real Name: Hiram King Williams

BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS — Red Carpet — 2020 BBMA at the Dolby Theater, Los Angeles, California — Pictured: In this image released on October 14, honoree Garth Brooks attends the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on October 14, 2020 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. — (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC)

Stage Name: Garth Brooks

Real Name: Troyal Garth Brooks

Jason Aldean; Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Jason Aldean; Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Stage Name: Jason Aldean

Real Name: Jason Aldine Williams

Shania Twain; Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Shania Twain; Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Stage Name: Shania Twain

Real Name: Eileen Regina Edwards

Patsy Cline; Photo GAB Archive/Redferns
Patsy Cline; Photo GAB Archive/Redferns

Stage Name: Patsy Cline

Real Name: Virginia Patterson Hensley

Dierks Bentley; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Dierks Bentley; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Dierks Bentley 

Real Name: Frederick Dierks Bentley

Toby Keith; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA
Toby Keith; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA

Stage Name: Toby Keith

Real Name: Toby Keith Covel

Stage Name: Randy Houser

Real Name: Shawn Randolph Houser

Stage Name: Kid Rock

Real Name: Robert James Richie

RaeLynn; Photo by Hunter Berry/CMA
RaeLynn; Photo by Hunter Berry/CMA

Stage Name: RaeLynn

Real Name: Racheal Lynn Woodward

Randy Travis; Photo by Natasha Moustache/CMA
Randy Travis; Photo by Natasha Moustache/CMA

Stage Name: Randy Travis

Real Name: Randy Bruce Traywick

Wynonna
Wynonna

Stage Name: Wynonna Judd

Real Name: Christina Claire Ciminella

Gary LeVox; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Gary LeVox; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Gary LeVox

Real Name: Gary Wayne Vernon, Jr.

Eric Church; Photo by John Russell/CMA
Eric Church; Photo by John Russell/CMA

Stage Name: Eric Church

Real Name: Kenneth Eric Church

Trace Adkins; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Trace Adkins; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Trace Adkins

Real Name: Tracy Darrell Adkins

Craig Morgan; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Craig Morgan; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Stage Name: Craig Morgan

Real Name: Craig Morgan Greer

Michael Ray; Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images
Michael Ray; Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images

Stage Name: Michael Ray

Real Name: Michael Ray Roach

Colt Ford; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Colt Ford; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Colt Ford

Real Name: Jason Farris Brown

Jake Owen; Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for ACM
Jake Owen; Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for ACM

Stage Name: Jake Owen

Real Name: Joshua Ryan Owen

Lauren Alaina; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Lauren Alaina; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Stage Name: Lauren Alaina

Real Name: Lauren Alaina Suddeth 

Thomas Rhett; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Thomas Rhett; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Stage Name: Thomas Rhett

Real Name: Thomas Rhett Akins Jr. 

Other names that might surprise fans include Gary Allan / Gary Allan Herzberg, Terri Clark / Terri Lynn Sauson, Kix Brooks / Leon Eric Brooks III, Clay Walker / Ernest Clay Walker, Jr., LeAnn Rimes / Margaret LeAnn Rimes and Conway Twitty / Harold Lloyd Jenkins.