The 10 Weirdest Music Alter Egos
Music icon David Bowie has several different personas, but Ziggy Stardust may just be the weirdest. It also happens to be his most well-known. Bowie, as Ziggy Stardust, performed with his band, Spiders From Mars. Bowie's acting talents allowed him to immerse himself in well-developed characters that led to a cult-like following for both Bowie and his outrageous spaceman persona.
Singer Lady Gaga considers herself a champion of the gay community, which made her male persona Jo Calderone, even more unusual. While some considered it just another form of creative expression, others thought she took it too far. At the VMA awards in 2011, Gaga remained in character throughout the evening, which included using the men's restroom and making vulgar statements and obscene gestures.
Superstar Beyonce's alter ego, Sasha Fierce, isn't all that weird but the idea that she would want to be someone else is odd. She explained the character was an exploration of her creativity, a statement about who she was. This exploration was immortalized in the album "I Am...Sasha Fierce," released in 2008. It incorporated many genres, which Beyonce hoped would attract a wider audience.
Although Hannah Montana was an alter ego for the fictional character of Miley Stewart, actress/singer Miley Cyrus just couldn't shake her. In fact, once "Hannah Montana" the show ended, Cyrus seemed to go through a very public transformation in an attempt to shed the good girl image she earned as Hannah. Miley's bad girl antics included her infamous performance at the VMAs.
"Real devils don't wear horns." This was author Salman Rushdie's response to Mister MacPhisto, the diabolical aristocrat played by U2 vocalist, Bono. Bono developed the alter ego as part of the Irish rock band's Zoo TV Tour in the early 1990s. With a white face and red horns, MacPhisto had a penchant for prank calling famous people during shows, including Rushdie.
Rap artist Eminem created his famous Slim Shady character as a means to express his darker side. As the Slim Shady character, Eminem disses other celebrities including Will Smith and Britney Spears. While writing and performing as Slim Shady allowed Eminem to vent his frustrations and explore serious topics such as drug addiction, it also allowed him to separate his work from his personal life.
Once an artist reaches a certain level of fame, it's harder to branch out into other genres. Gaines was the complete opposite of Brooks. Gaines was a longhaired Australian rock singer with black eyeliner and a soul patch. Brooks was a clean-shaven American country singer in a cowboy hat. As Gaines, Brooks released one album, "In the Life of Chris Gaines."
While Mimi was more of a chapter in the real life of Mariah Carey than a separate persona, it's still worth mentioning. The songstress has said that Mimi is a nickname that she had growing up, one that's only used by her family and close friends. When Carey released "The Emancipation of Mimi" in 2005, she explained that it was her way of sharing her true self with her fans.
Lounge singer Buster Poindexter had a chart-topping hit in 1987 with his remake of the song "Hot, Hot, Hot." What many listeners of the song didn't know was that Buster Poindexter was the tuxedo-wearing alter ego of David Johansen, vocalist for the punk band, New York Dolls. Poindexter's musical style was a mixture of jazz and calypso music, a complete opposite from the hardcore punk scene.
When it comes to alter egos, there's weird and then there's offensive. Joni Mitchell may have crossed that line when she appeared in blackface as a character named Art Nouveau. Nouveau is featured on the cover of the album "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" as part of a collage that also includes Mitchell as herself. She described Art Nouveau as a "black hipster."