9 musicians who used pseudonyms, from Prince and Taylor Swift to Harry Styles and Paul McCartney
The secret is out: Taylor Swift is Nils Sjöberg, the mysterious Swede who co-wrote Calvin Harris' global smash "This is What You Came For." While Swift hid behind a pseudonym in penning the insta-catchy dance track featuring vocals from Rihanna, she's certainly not the first mega-musician to hide behind a fake name to anonymously write music with someone else.
In fact, everyone from Sir Paul McCartney to Prince, Harry Styles, Elton John and John Lennon and Bob Dylan have cooked up phony identities while working undercover. Check out some of the most famous pseudo jobs in music history:
Though Swifties suspected it from go, it wasn't until Wednesday (July 13) that the world finally learned that Taylor had indeed co-written ex boyfriend Calvin Harris' "This is What You Came For" under a Swedish pseudonym.
In addition releasing EDM music under the name Fireman, early in his career Sir Paul went undercover as Bernard Webb to write the song "Woman" for the duo Peter and Gordon. He also released Thrillington in 1977, a low-key album credited to fake socialite Percy "Thrills" Thrillington.
During the 1980s, Prince wrote dozens of songs for other artists (Kenny Rogers, Sheena Easton, the Bangles, Cyndi Lauper) under a variety of names, including Joey Coco, Alexander Nevermind and Jamie Starr.
Though definitive proof has not yet been found that former One Direction heartthrob Styles is, in fact, mysterious songwriter Mick Greenberg, MTV did a deep dive last year and found pretty convincing proof that Styles had co-written a song for Alex & Sierra and may have worked on songs for Ariana Grande and Gavin DeGraw.
Mick Jagger/Keith Richards
Though they've written plenty of hits under their own names, the Rolling Stones singer and guitarist have also written and produced a slew of tracks under their nickname "the Glimmer Twins," including 1982's Still Life live album.
The hit-spawning piano man and his longtime writing partner, Bernie Taupin, penned the smash "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" for singer Kiki Dee in 1976 under the names Ann Orson and Carte Blanche.
It's hard to hide when you're a Beatle, but Lennon went undercover in 1975 to help out his old pal Elton by adopting the fakie Dr. Winston O'Boogie on John's cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
In one of the most famous (and only) missteps of his long career, Brooks went undercover (barely) as unknown soul-patch-rocking singer Chris Gaines. It did not end well.
Though their faces appear on the cover, this supergroup is not credited in the liner notes of their 1988 debut album, instead 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).Check out more from Taylor Swift in the gallery below!
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