This Is Jon Bon Jovi's Real Name

Throughout the history of popular music, multiple entertainers have performed using stage names. For example, with few exceptions, rap and hip-hop artists have been performing under stage names since the artform emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as Medium explains. In rock and pop, it's more common for performers to use their real names, but sometimes a musician will still choose a stage name. For example, it's easier to sell records as Lady Gaga than it is as Stefani Angelina Germanotta (per Vogue); and Freddie Mercury has a lot more punch, as a rock musician's name, than Faroukh Bulsara (per BBC News).

You would be forgiven for concluding that Jon Bon Jovi, the frontman of the band that shares his name, performs under the name on his birth certificate, but you'd also be wrong. The New Jersey-born rocker didn't change his birth name too much, he just cut a syllable and moved a few letters around.

John Bongiovi became Jon Bon Jovi

Back in the mid-1970s, John Francis Bongiovi Jr. was in his teens, and he idolized another New Jersey rocker, Bruce Springsteen, according to Biography. By the age of 16 he'd formed a band (Atlantic City Expressway) and even performed with them a few times. He also performed with other bands, including John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones (note that he used his birth name).

However, by the time he signed with a record company, studio executives had done the same thing they did with Richard Steven Valenzuela (Ritchie Valens) and made him change his name to something  more marketable. As Noise Addicts reports, a letter and a syllable were excised, a space was added, and Bon Jovi (the name of the band and its frontman) was born. The other guys in the band seemed to be okay with being in a band that bore the name of its lead singer, and the rest, as they say, is history.