11 Musicians Who Have Used Pseudonyms, From Prince and Taylor Swift to Harry Styles and Coldplay


By now, most individuals know that Taylor Swift is Nils Sjöberg, the mysterious Swede who co-wrote Calvin Harris' world smash "This is What You Came For." Swift hid behind a pseudonym in penning the insta-catchy dance observe that includes vocals from Rihanna, and she or he's definitely not the primary mega-musician to cover behind a faux identify to anonymously write music with another person.   

In truth, everybody from Sir Paul McCartney to Prince, Green Day, Coldplay, Harry Styles, Elton John and John Lennon and Bob Dylan have cooked up phony identities whereas working undercover. Check out among the most well-known pseudo jobs in music historical past:


Though their label wouldn't affirm it to Billboard, there was little doubt that the band branded as "Los Unidades" on the Global Citizen profit due out in late November 2018, Global Citizen EP 1, was, in reality, Coldplay. The collaboration with Pharrell on "E-Lo" that includes Jozzy, made excellent sense since Coldplay's Chris Martin is the curator of Global Citizens' annual music competition geared toward eradicating world poverty by 2030. Parlophone Records appeared to spill the beans with a social media submit the day earlier than the music dropped, posting a fuzzy image of a band whose silhouette seems loads like Coldplay, and asserting a "new signing" in a pic with the message "Yo2LPAC81ODL," an obvious anagram for "Coldplay 2018."

 Taylor Swift

Though Swifties suspected it from go, it wasn't till Wednesday (July 13) that the world lastly realized that Taylor had certainly co-written ex boyfriend Calvin Harris' "This is What You Came For" underneath a Swedish pseudonym.

Paul McCartney

In addition to releasing EDM music underneath the identify The Fireman, early in his profession Sir Paul went undercover as Bernard Webb to jot down the music "Woman" for the duo Peter and Gordon. He additionally launched Thrillington in 1977, a low-key album credited to faux socialite Percy "Thrills" Thrillington.

Green Day

The punk icons have gone undercover various instances throughout their profession, as the brand new wave six-piece The Network in 2003, then as The Coverups in March 2018, an all-covers band comprised of singer Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt, together with touring guitarist Jason White, audio engineer Chris Dugan on drums and tour supervisor Bill Schneider on bass. Several months later, Armstrong was at it once more with a thriller facet undertaking known as The Longshot, who shock dropped their 11-song debut in April 2018. According to reviews -- once more, the band's folks wouldn't affirm something about Longshot to Billboard -- it featured Armstrong, guitarist Kevin Preston, drummer David S. Field and Green Day touring guitarist Jeff Matika. 


During the 1980s, Prince wrote dozens of songs for different artists (Kenny Rogers, Sheena Easton, the Bangles, Cyndi Lauper) underneath quite a lot of names, together with Joey Coco, Alexander Nevermind and Jamie Starr.

Harry Styles

Though definitive proof has not but been discovered that former One Direction heartthrob Styles is, in reality, mysterious songwriter Mick Greenberg, MTV did a deep dive final yr and located fairly convincing proof that Styles had co-written a music for Alex & Sierra and will have labored on songs for Ariana Grande and Gavin DeGraw.

Mick Jagger/Keith Richards

Though they've written loads of hits underneath their very own names, the Rolling Stones singer and guitarist have additionally written and produced a slew of tracks underneath their nickname "the Glimmer Twins," together with 1982's Still Life reside album.

Elton John

The hit-spawning piano man and his longtime writing associate, Bernie Taupin, penned the smash "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" for singer Kiki Dee in 1976 underneath the names Ann Orson and Carte Blanche.

John Lennon

It's exhausting to cover while you're a Beatle, however Lennon went undercover in 1975 to assist out his previous pal Elton by adopting the fakie Dr. Winston O'Boogie on John's cowl of "Lucy within the Sky with Diamonds."

Garth Brooks

In one of many most well-known (and solely) missteps of his lengthy profession, Brooks went undercover (barely) as unknown soul-patch-rocking singer Chris Gaines. It didn't finish effectively.

Traveling Wilburys

Though their faces seem on the quilt, this supergroup shouldn't be credited within the liner notes of their 1988 debut album, as an alternative going by the jokey made-up monikers Nelson Wilbury (George Harrison), Otis Wilbury (Jeff Lynne), Charlie T. Wilbury (Tom Petty), Lefty Wilbury (Roy Orbison) and Lucky Wilbury (Bob Dylan).