These Music Superstars Used To Be Less-Famous Artists With Different Names

lady gaga queen

The formula for pop success is a tricky one.

Lana Del Rey showed one way to achieve success, even if you start slow.

It’s equal parts image, music and luck.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you the exact mixture. Instead, you might want to ask these stars, who all made drastic changes to their brands and careers — for the better.

Sorry, Bow Wow.

Stefani Germanotta performed as a pop-punk artist in New York City before becoming Lady Gaga.

Stacy Ann Ferguson was a child star and member of girl-group Wild Orchid before she joined the Black Eyed Peas and became Fergie.

Alanis Morissette had big hair and a dance-music sound before she switched to her gritty form of pop-rock.

Justin Timberlake's career has gone through a few permutations: from Mickey Mouse Club child star to 'N Sync singer to R&B artist to actor.

Gwen Stefani turned her role as lead singer of the grungy No Doubt into a career as a Harajuku-themed pop star.

Wu-Tang producer and rapper the RZA failed as a rapper named Prince Rakeem before taking on his famous persona.

David Bowie started off as Davie Jones and moved through various alter-egos, including Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke.

The undisputed king of the identity refresh: the man now known as Diddy (or Sean Combs) started off as rapper and producer Puff Daddy, then went by P. Diddy.

Folk singer Cat Stevens changed his name to Yusuf Islam to reflect his conversion to Islam.

The rapper Bow Wow dropped the Lil when he turned 15. He's since been signed to Lil Wayne's Cash Money Records.

Katy Hudson was an unsuccessful gospel singer before she became bi-curious pop star Katy Perry.

Here's another star who changed his act

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