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Hollywood stars who have made history and only go by one name
November 05 2023, 08:00

Across the vast landscape of the entertainment industry, there is a select group of individuals whose presence is so iconic that they need only one name to capture the attention of fans. Most of these Hollywood stars have created symbols of their artistic mastery and creative identity and are remembered by one their one stage name.

The journey to adopting a single name is often designed to simplify their moniker for instantaneous recognition. It's a choice that not only reflects their distinct identity but also resonates powerfully with their audience, etching their names into pop culture.

Here are celebrities who are so iconic, they go by just their first names or a single name chosen long ago.

The legendary singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian chose "Cher" early in her career. She began her musical journey alongside her former husband Sonny Bono in the 1960s. 

The name choice was inspired by the French word "cher," which translates to "dear" or "beloved." This name perfectly encapsulated the profound and affectionate bond she shared with her fans, making it a fitting symbol of their enduring connection.

Madonna Louise Ciccone, known worldwide as "Madonna," embraced her first name as her professional identity around the late 1970s and early 1980s. This single name became synonymous with her music and brand, and she is now widely recognized by it worldwide. 

Madonna's fame is a result of her numerous chart-topping hits, constant reinvention, and her ability to provoke thought and conversation, making her an everlasting figure in the entertainment industry.

The artist formerly known as "Prince," born Prince Rogers Nelson, made headlines when he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in the '90s. 

The name "Prince" combined the male and female gender symbols, which was both artistic and contractual. The reason behind his name change was to gain more control and protest against his recording contract with Warner Bros., which he believed restricted his creative freedom.


Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter dropped her last name early for her professional career, keeping it as a cherished part of her personal life. She is an immensely famous for multiple reasons, primarily her extraordinary talent and captivating stage presence as a singer, songwriter and performer. 

She began her career in the late 1990s as part of Destiny's Child, a highly successful girl group, and later transitioned into a remarkable solo career. Where she achieved numerous chart-topping hits and multiple Grammy Awards.

With a voice that touches the soul, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins goes simply by "Adele." She rose to fame in the 2000s and quickly gained recognition for her powerful, soulful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and emotional connection she creates with her audience.

Adele did not change her name for her career; instead, she embraced her first name as her professional identity, becoming one of the most recognized and celebrated artists in the world.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty, the Barbadian singer and actress, is known by her middle name. Rihanna first gained recognition in the 2000s with her debut single "Pon de Replay" and subsequent albums. She's also a savvy entrepreneur who used her last name, Fenty, to create her brand empire.

The name "Fenty" became synonymous with her venture into the world of fashion, makeup and lingerie. Her decision to incorporate her last name into the brand not only showcased her commitment to inclusivity but also created a sense of personal connection between her and her fans. 

Born Gordon Sumner, the lead vocalist of The Police, adopted the name "Sting" in the 1970s based on a black and yellow striped sweater that resembled a bee and earned him the nickname "Sting." 

He adopted this nickname as his stage name when he pursued his music career, which was a distinctive choice suited his musical journey.

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, the Colombian singer and dancer, professionally goes by her first name – a choice that not only simplified her name for international audiences but also helped her create a memorable and distinct brand.

Shakira's incredible fame, combined with her choice to use her first name as her professional identity, has left an indelible mark on the music industry. She remains an icon and continues to inspire aspiring artists worldwide.