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10 Musician and Band Names You've Probably Been Mispronouncing All Along

Jake Rossen
'It's 'Boh-wee,' you idiot!'
'It's 'Boh-wee,' you idiot!' / Patrick Riviere/GettyImages
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Billie Eilish may have sold millions of records before she turned 21, but that hasn’t stopped a number of news outlets from butchering her last name. (It’s “EYE-lish,” not “EE-lish” or “EL-ish.”) Indeed, if you know your favorite musical act only by what comes up on their Spotify tracks, you may be surprised to find you’ve been mispronouncing their name all along.

1. Rihanna

Rihanna is pictured
Rihanna. / Mike Coppola/GettyImages

If you’ve been saying the “Umbrella” singer’s name as “Ree-ah-na,” you’re all wet. Her name is pronounced “Ree-anna.” Writing a song titled “What’s My Name” was probably not a coincidence.

2. Haim

Este Haim, Alana Haim, and Danielle Haim are pictured
Haim. / Emma McIntyre/GettyImages

The trio of sisters get “Haim” as in Corey Haim, but it’s actually pronounced “Hy-uhm.”

3. Sade

Sade is pictured
Sade. / Srdjan Stevanovic/GettyImages

Born Helen Adu, the graceful singer can often be labeled “Sadie” or even “Shar-day.” It’s actually “Sha-day.” That’s also the name of her band, but most people consider Sade a solo act.

4. Björk

Bjork is pictured
Bjork. / Santiago Felipe/GettyImages

The Icelandic singer has likely given up correcting people who say “Bee-york” a long time ago, but you probably stand a better chance of an autograph if you say it properly: “Be-yerk.”

5. Hozier

Hozier is pictured
Hozier. / Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

Irish singer Hozier has heard it all, from “Hose-ee-air” to “Hozzer.” According to the musician himself, it rhymes with “cozier” or “noisier.”

6. David Bowie

David Bowie is pictured
David Bowie. / Dave Benett/GettyImages

Proving you can be as famous as any person who has ever lived and people will still mess up your name, rocker David Bowie isn’t “Bow-ee” where the “bow” rhymes with “bow” as in “take a bow.” It’s “Boh-wee,” like “doughy.”

7. Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch is pictured
Adam Yauch. / Lynn Goldsmith/GettyImages

The Beastie Boys co-founder might have gotten “Yuck” or “Yowck,” but it’s “Yowk.”

8. Ric Ocasek

Ric Ocasek is pictured
Ric Ocasek. / Frazer Harrison/GettyImages

The Cars member is “Oh-cass-ick,” not “Oh-case-ick.”

9. Ray Davies

Ray Davies is pictured
Ray Davies. / David M. Benett/GettyImages

The lead singer of The Kinks didn’t pronounce it “Day-vies” but "Day-viz."

10. Macklemore

Macklemore is pictured
Macklemore. / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” singer gets “Mackle-more” a lot, but it’s actually “Mack-la-more.”

[h/t Grunge]

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