While selection of a single stage name became popular in the late 70's and 80's, many elderly musical artists are starting to regret their chosen monikers now that retirement is looming.
What was a unique way to draw attention to yourself as an artist, especially if you were breaking ground with a new entertainment style or pushing a political agenda, has become a commonplace event for new musicians. Back in the day, having a name like "Sting" or "Madonna", was edgy and cool. Today it all looks a bit odd as retirement aged performers ask for the senior discount when ordering coffee at McDonalds. Picture a packed emergency room where a young nurse calls the next patient for x-rays on a probable broken hip, "Is there a Mr. Slash here? Mr. Slash?" The aging man in the sleeveless plaid dress shirt and fuzzy top hat replies, "It's just Slash, baby".
Considering the precedent set by their entertainment forefathers, the music industry is now flooded with single name performers, all trying to find a unique and memorable way to label themselves. There are literally thousands of examples today, and when it is no longer unique, it is no longer memorable.
Fitty Cent, Coolio, Babyface, Beck, Shakira, Ice T, and others should make for good comedy in the next 30 years, while still trying to look relevant and hip in black leather pants while presenting their Medicare ID's at the doctor's office. "I'm sorry Mr. Game, is your first name 'The', as in The Game, or Game comma The?. Is that right sir? Just have a seat and Doctor Kickass will be with you in a moment."
Single names were never a requirement for legend status. Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger? Well, you get the idea. At 60 or 70 years old, the names are both memorable and respectable. At 65, especially to the young people of the day, "Usher" will just sound like a job at a movie theater.