What Are Music’s Best Alter Egos?

There’s been a lot of talk about alter egos in rock recently. We’ve had Lizzie Grant’s glamourous Lana Del Rey, and of course Marina Diamandis’ Electra Heart, a character born out of a post-fame depression and identification with Greek tragedy.

Both are in tune with what makes a great music nom de plume: a sense of mystery, drama and an almost non-earthly presence.

So who are the best rock alter egos? Here’s five we like.

5) Luke The Drifter

Hank Williams navigated across the conservative roads of country music by adopting this persona, a moralistic preacher-type, while he played up to ‘Hank Williams’ character; a bad-ass drinker and womaniser.


4) Housewife

Annie Lennox embodied the spirit of this dowdy, suburban dwelling house wife in battle with her wilder side in the long-form video for The Eurythmics’ ‘Savage’.

3) Slim Shady

Early in his career Marshall Mathers made a career of playing up his ‘Slim Shady’ character – the Hyde to his more serious Jekyll. But the lines became blurred as Marshall’s real life controversies matched anything SS could come up with.

2) Gainsbarre

As Serge Gainsbourg’s life came unstuck in the 80s, he began making more references to ‘Gainsbarre’, a depressed alcoholic. It was truly disturbing because it described exactly what the public figure of Serge had become.


1) The Thin White Duke

More so than Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie’s Thin White Duke was more affecting because it described the sort of private/public melting of personalities that the singer was going through in the coke-ravaged mid-70s.


And the worst…

Hannah Montana
The clue to fooling the entire Cyrus family into believing you are an international popstar: donning a cheap wig and speaking in a marginally less annoying voice than your already really, really annoying voice. (Post-series vouchers to rehab for the cast are available on request from Disney).

Who do you think are the best and worst alter egos in music? Let us know below.