How 21 Of Your Favorite Bands And Musicians Got Their Names

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1. ‘N Sync

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‘N Sync is an acronym of the last letters of the first names and one nickname of all the band members, Justi(N) Timberlake, Chri(S) Kirkpatrick, Joe(Y) Fatone, Lance “Lanste(N)” Bass and J. (C.) Chasez.

2. Florence + The Machine

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Florence + The Machine originated from front-woman Florence Welch’s teenage collaboration with her current keyboardist and co-writer Isabella “Machine” Summers. They were then known as Florence Robot/Isa Machine which eventually became shortened to the current name.

3. Queen

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The iconic band was originally called “Smile,” but front-man Freddie Mercury changed it to “Queen,” because according to him: “It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations.”

4. Goo Goo Dolls

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Once called “Sex Maggots,” the band renamed themselves after a toy called a Goo Goo Doll.

5. Foo Fighters

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Foo fighters was a term used by World War II pilots to describe UFOs and other strange phenomena they saw in the air that the band adopted for their name.

6. Green Day

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The band was originally called “Sweet Children” before changing their name to “Green Day,” a slang term for spending a day smoking marijuana.

7. Backstreet Boys

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The Backstreet Boys were named Backstreet Market, a flea market in Florida where they used to hang out.

8. Beastie Boys

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According to Michael Diamond, one of the founding band members, Beastie is an acronym for Boys Entering Anarchistic Stages Towards Internal Excellence.

9. ABBA

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“ABBA” is an acronym formed from the initials of the first names of the band members: (A)gnetha Fältskog, (B)jörn Ulvaeus, (B)enny Andersson and (A)nni-Frid Lyngstad

10. Chumbawamba

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One of the many leading theories to the band’s esoteric name is that one of the band members had a dream where men were called “chumbas” and women “wambas.”

11. Coldplay

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The band was originally called “Starfish” before acquiring the name “Coldplay” after an acquaintance, Tim Crompton, no longer wanted the name for his band. Coldplay itself came from a collection of poems by Philip Horky called “Child’s Reflections, Cold Play.”

12. Radiohead

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Known originally as “On a Friday,” they were given two weeks after signing with the label Parlophone to change their name. They settled on their current name after the 1986 Talking Heads song “Radio Head.”

13. Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Lynyrd Skynyrd was named after Leonard Skinner, a gym teacher who notoriously enforced his school’s policy against boys having long hair.

14. Linkin Park

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The band’s name is an homage to Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park.

15. Ramones

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Although called the Ramones, none of the band members were actually named as such. The name stems from Paul Ramon, an alias that Paul McCartney used to use while booking hotel rooms.

16. Skrillex

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Skrillex is Sonny John Moore’s old AOL screen name.

17. Lady Gaga

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The origins of Lady Gaga’s name, much like the artist herself, is shrouded in controversy. The popular belief is that Producer Rob Fusari would sing Queen’s song “Radio Ga Ga” instead of saying hello to the artist, then known as Stefani Germanotta. Once in a correspondence between the two, “Radio Ga Ga,” was autocorrected to Lady Gaga and a star was born. However, an anonymous Gaga “collaborator” once told the NY Post that the name was the result of a corporate marketing meeting.

18. The Rolling Stones

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The band was named after blues artist Muddy Waters’ song “Rollin’ Stone.”

19. Paramore

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“Paramore” is the maiden name of one of the band’s first bass players’ mother, but it is also a homophone of the word “paramour” which means a secret lover.

20. Gotye

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Gotye is a play on Wally De Backer’s Belgian birth name Wouter. Wouter translated to french is “Gaultier” which eventually got jumbled into “Gotye” as his stagename.

21. RJD2

Born Ramble John “RJ” Krohn, RJD2 came about when a friend started referring to him as such in his raps.

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