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.
Stage Name: Cole Swindell
Real Name: Colden Rainey Swindell
Stage Name: Carly Pearce
Real Name: Carly Cristyne Slusser
Stage Name: Luke Bryan
Real Name: Thomas Luther Bryan
Stage Name: Faith Hill
Real Name: Audrey Faith Perry
Stage Name: Tim McGraw
Real Name: Samuel Timothy Smith
Stage Name: Hank Williams Jr.
Real Name: Hiram King Williams
Stage Name: Garth Brooks
Real Name: Troyal Garth Brooks
Stage Name: Jason Aldean
Real Name: Jason Aldine Williams
Stage Name: Shania Twain
Real Name: Eileen Regina Edwards
Stage Name: Patsy Cline
Real Name: Virginia Patterson Hensley
Stage Name: Dierks Bentley
Real Name: Frederick Dierks Bentley
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
Stage Name: RaeLynn
Real Name: Racheal Lynn Woodward
Stage Name: Randy Travis
Real Name: Randy Bruce Traywick
Stage Name: Wynonna Judd
Real Name: Christina Claire Ciminella
Stage Name: Gary LeVox
Real Name: Gary Wayne Vernon, Jr.
Stage Name: Eric Church
Real Name: Kenneth Eric Church
Stage Name: Trace Adkins
Real Name: Tracy Darrell Adkins
Stage Name: Craig Morgan
Real Name: Craig Morgan Greer
Stage Name: Michael Ray
Real Name: Michael Ray Roach
Stage Name: Colt Ford
Real Name: Jason Farris Brown
Stage Name: Jake Owen
Real Name: Joshua Ryan Owen
Stage Name: Lauren Alaina
Real Name: Lauren Alaina Suddeth
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.