Country stars change their names for a variety of reasons. Some want to protect their privacy, while others like to create a character they can escape into every night onstage. Still others just realize that there is no way a fan is going to remember a last name like Herzberg or Deutschendorf.

Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw are just a few artists active today that use fake names, or variations of their real names. In country music, an artist's moniker needs to at least sound real (a Nashville artist couldn't get away with a name like Lady Gaga) because the stories they're telling are so real.

Scroll through this list of country artists with stage names -- there are sure to be some that will surprise you!