6 Bands Named After Their Lead Singer: Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Sade and More
When a musician decides to use their own name for the name of their band, there is usually some attempt to separate their individual identity from the band as a unit: Dave Matthews is the singer of the Dave Matthews Band, Glenn Danzig is the singer of Danzig, and so forth. But here are six singers who blur these lines completely — to the point where many people assume they are solo artists rather than band members.
1. Alice Cooper
The originator of this confusing trend is Alice Cooper, the legendary shock rock band from the late 1960s/early '70s. Whenever anyone thinks about or refers to Alice Cooper, however, they are nearly always referring to the band's lead singer, who was born Vincent Furnier but legally changed his name to Alice Cooper in the '70s when he pursued a solo career. Though 1975's Welcome to My Nightmare was the eighth album released under the name "Alice Cooper," it was actually Cooper's debut solo album.
2. Marilyn Manson
The 1990s/2000s equivalent of Alice Cooper is Florida industrial metal band Marilyn Manson, who took Cooper's shock rock template to its nihilistic extreme. Each member of the band created a stage name by combining the first name of a female sex symbol with the last name of a serial killer — other members included Twiggy Ramirez and Daisy Berkowitz — and though the band's name was originally Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, it was eventually shortened to "Marilyn Manson," the stage name of lead singer Brian Warner. To further blur the lines between Marilyn Manson the singer and Marilyn Manson the band, Manson appears alone on nearly every one of the band's album covers.
It is pretty common for a singer to just go by his or her first name, such as Beck, Björk and Robyn, and at first glance, British singer Sade seems to go along with this trend. But Sade is both the stage name of singer Sade Adu and her band, which also includes Stuart Matthewman, Paul Spencer Denman and Andrew Hale. Just like Marilyn Manson, however, Sade Adu blurs this line by appearing alone of all of the band's album covers.
4. King Diamond
Danish heavy metal singer King Diamond, born Kim Petersen, first rose to fame as the lead vocalist for Mercyful Fate in the early 1980s. After Mercyful Fate split in 1985, however, King Diamond formed his own band, which he chose to name after himself. It might as well be a solo project, however, since Diamond writes most of the songs himself.
5. Lizzy Borden
Though history's most famous Lizzy Borden — who actually spelled her name "Lizzie" — was a woman accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in 1892, her name served as the inspiration for Los Angeles heavy metal band Lizzy Borden, whose lead singer also adopted the name.
6. PJ Harvey
People who know PJ Harvey personally tend to refer to the singer as "Polly" or "Polly Jean" rather than "PJ." This is because the name "PJ Harvey" actually refers to the power trio that Harvey fronted in the early 1990s, with the other two members being drummer Rob Ellis and bassist Ian Oliver. PJ Harvey split in 1993 after recording their second album Rid of Me, though Harvey would continue recording solo albums under the same name.
Who are some other lead singers who share a name with their band? Let us know in the comments section.