Full Names of R&B and Soul Singers

Hidden Last Names: From Aaliyah to Usher


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Have you ever noticed how many R&B singers go by just one name? Sure, singers in other music genres (like Madonna, Sting, Cher, Shakira, Pink, Beck, Slash, Kesha, and Bono of U2) may have caught on to the idea of using mononyms first, but in no other form of music is the practice as widespread as in contemporary R&B. Some singers are so known by just one name that their last name has been forgotten or become irrelevant. For example, a number of people still remember that Beyonce's last name is Knowles and that Fantasia's is Barrino, but how many folks still know -- or ever knew -- what Aaliyah's surname was? Or what Ciara's is? If you don't and are curious, check out this list of the full names of mononymous R&B singers.

Full Names of R&B and Soul Singers

  • Aaliyah - Aaliyah Haughton
  • Adele - Adele Atkins
  • Ameriie (formerly Amerie, with one 'i') - Amerie Rogers
  • Ashanti - Ashanti Douglas
  • Beyonce - Beyonce Knowles
  • Bilal - Bilal Oliver
  • Brandy - Brandy Norwood. She's the daughter of gospel singer Willie Norwood and the sister of R&B singer Ray J.
  • Cassie - Casandra Ventura
  • Cherrelle - Cheryl Norton ('80s R&B singer best known for "Saturday Love")
  • Ciara - Ciara Princess Harris. Her middle name is how she got the nickname "the princess of R&B."
  • Coko (of SWV) - Cheryl Elizabeth Clemons
  • Dwele - Andwele Gardner
  • Estelle - Estelle Swaray (British R&B/hip-hop singer)
  • Fantasia - Fantasia Barrino
  • Fergie (of Black Eyed Peas) - Stacy Ferguson
  • Goapele - Goapele Mohlabane. In the southern Africa language of Tswana, her name means to move forward. 
  • Jaheim - Jaheim Hoagland
  • Jeremih - Jeremih Felton
  • Joe - Joe Thomas
  • Kandi - Kandi Burruss (star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and formerly of the girl group Xscape)
  • Kelis - Kelis Rogers
  • Kem - Kem Owens
  • Mario - Mario Barrett
  • Mashonda - Mashonda Tifrere (Former cast member of Love and Hip-Hop. Previously married to Swizz Beatz who is now the husband of Alicia Keys.)
  • Maxwell - Gerald Maxwell Rivera
  • Monica - Monica Arnold
  • Monifa - Monifa Carter (Former cast member of R&B Divas: Atlanta)
  • Mya - Mya Harrison
  • Olivia - Olivia Longott (Former cast member of Love and Hip-Hop, and former artist on 50 Cent's G-Unit Records label.
  • Omarion - Omari Grandberry
  • Prince - Prince Rogers Nelson. He was named after jazz pianist Prince Rogers of the Prince Rogers Trio.
  • Rihanna - Robyn Rihanna Fenty
  • Sade - Helen Folasade Adu
  • Sammie - Sammie Bush (Top ten R&B hit "I Like It" in 1999)
  • Seal - Seal Henry Samuel
  • Shanice - Shanice Wilson (1993 Grammy nominee for "I Love Your Smile" and star of Flex and Shanice reality show on OWN)
  • Shareefa - Shareefa Cooper (Top ten hit "Need a Boss" featuring Ludacris in 2006)
  • Solange - Solange Knowles
  • Tamia - Tamia Washington
  • Tyrese - Tyrese Gibson
  • Usher - Usher Raymond IV