This Was Patsy Cline's Real Name

In two of the most popular genres of music –- pop/rock and rap/hip-hop –- it's not uncommon for artists to adopt stage names. This is particularly true in rap, where performers evoke personas, according to Medium, to distance their performance from their personal life. In pop, sometimes the performers aren't happy with their names, or their record companies want something more marketable, as was the case with John Bongiovi, who became Jon Bon Jovi, as Noise Addicts notes.

In country music, performers generally tend to stick to their birth names, although as Wide Open Country notes, it's not unheard of for a country musician to use a stage name. Most such name changes are minor, like using a middle name instead of the first name on the performer's birth certificate, or making minor spelling changes.

One country performer who made somewhat major changes from her birth name to her stage name was Patsy Cline, who was born Virginia Patterson Hensley.

Ginny Hensley became Patsy Cline

Virginia Patterson Hensley was born on September 8, 1932, according to Britannica, and was known to her family by the name "Ginny." As a teenager, she performed here and there on the radio, TV, in local clubs, and other venues. By the early 1950s, she'd started getting noticed by the country music industry. It was at this time, according to Taste of Country, that her manager, Bill Peer, decided that "Patsy" worked better as a first name than Virginia or Ginny — "Patsy" coming from her middle name, Patterson, which was her mother's maiden name. As for her new last name, it wasn't made up out of whole cloth, but rather arose organically. At the time, she was married to Gerald Cline (per Wide Open Country), and though they would later divorce she continued to use his last name throughout the remainder of her career.

Cline died in a plane crash on March 5, 1963 at the age of 30, according to All That's Interesting.