11 Celebrities Who Made Surprising Stuff Under a Pen Name

These celebrities didn't want us to know about their strange little thoughts.
11 Celebrities Who Made Surprising Stuff Under a Pen Name

From what we gathered, it seems like celebrity pseudonyms are used for one of three reasons. The first being a shady, secretive burn that could land someone in court if the true writer is exposed. The second was to see if their work could be successful without the attachment of their already popular name. This is pretty commendable. It begs the question, “Do you like this because it happens to be a good song, or do all you bandwagoners just like it because I’m famous?” And thirdly, some artists are just bursting with ideas, and those ideas don’t all fit into their “brand.” 

Makes total sense. It’d be weird if J.K Rowling all of a sudden dropped an ex-military mystery novel. We’d all be reading along, wondering where the brooms and nerds with lightning bolt scars are. While we’re at it, a Kenny Rogers-esque love song by Prince would also be pretty weird. But who are we to judge? Express love any way you want, while using any name (or symbol) you want! We’re all about the weird, so we’re more than thrilled that we stumbled upon these 11 weird projects secretly written by celebrities.

Win Ben Stein’s money… In court!

CRACKED BEN STEIN USED A PEN NAME TO ROAST JOAN RIVERS. In 1987, Ben Stein penned a hit piece about Joan Rivers in Gentlemen's Quarterly magazine under the pen name Bert Hacker. She sued the mag and Hacker for $50 million, but dropped the suit and had Stein donate to the charities of her choosing.

LA Times / YAF 

There were no broomsticks or potions to be found.

CRACKED J.K. ROWLING WROTE AN EX-MILITARY MYSTERY NOVEL AS A MAN. She wrote the critically and commercially successful novel The Cuckoo's Calling as Robert Galbraith, and her lawyer was fined for spilling the beans. She chose Robert because of her hero, Robert F. Kennedy.

Amazon / Them 

Man, we’re all glad the Stones didn’t go with this name long term.

CRACKED THE ROLLING STONES CREDIT NANKER PHELGE. Under this strange name, they wrote 16 songs on the 1963 B-side Stoned, and others like Play With Fire and The Spider and The Fly. Phelge was Brian Jones' roommate's last name, and Nanker was their name for a weird face that Jones would make.

EW / RollingStone 

John Hughes had screenplays just oozing out of him.

CRACKED JOHN HUGHES WROTE SCREENPLAYS AS EDMOND DANTES. Known for '80s teen hits like The Breakfast Club and 16 Candles, he also wrote Maid in Manhattan starring J-Lo, and all of the Beethoven movies. Edmond Dante is the main character in Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.

Bustle / IMDB 

Do they only like my music because of that whole Beatles thing?

CRACKED PAUL MCCARTNEY WROTE PEN-NAME HITS. YY ION LIC MV To see if he could write hits without the McCartney name, he wrote songs for Peter and Gordon as Bernard Webb, and their song Woman charted #14 in the US. Не appears as Clint Harrington in the liner notes for the Wings hit, Live and Let Die.

Cheatsheet / People 

What do Ann Orson, Lord Choc Ice, William A. Bong, Reggae Dwight, and Frank N. Stein have in common?

CRACKED ELTON JOHN USED AT LEAST 5 PEN NAMES. Elton John loved using fake names. Не wrote the reggae inspired song Jamaica Jerk-Off as Reggae Dwight, and Ann Orson is credited for writing Don't Go Breaking My Heart.

Hello Giggles / Billboard 

See, it wasn’t always about who she was dating.

CRACKED TAYLOR SWIFT LET THE SONG SPEAK FOR ITSELF. So that their relationship didn't overshadow the song, she used the name Nils Sjöberg to secretly co-write Calvin Harris' hit single, This is What You Came For. Her voice is subtly featured in it, alongside Rhianna's.

EW / RollingStone 

The symbol was just one of many pseudonyms.

CRACKED PRINCE WAS A CREATIVE FORCE. In 1984, he penned Sugar Walls for Sheena Easton as Alexander Nevermind, and as simply, Christopher, he wrote the Bangles hit, Manic Monday. Не even wrote the Kenny Rogers song, You're My Love, as Joey Coco.


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