The Story Behind 5 Albums Named After Real People

Lady Gaga gave her fourth solo album a very personal touch.

If you saw that Lady Gaga’s new album is titled Joanne and thought, “Does Joanne the Scammer have something to do with this?”, you’re not alone, but you’re also completely wrong.

Gaga’s album title has a deeper, more personal meaning, as do a number of albums that were also named after real people.

Before Gaga blesses us with her 11-song LP on October 21, here’s a quick primer on the recent history of the Real Person’s Name As Album Title naming convention.

  • Kanye West, The Life of Pablo

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    When asked about the title of his seventh album on Kocktails with Khloe, Kanye gave this very Kanye answer: “Which Pablo? Pablo Picasso? Pablo Escobar, of course. Apostle Paul [Pablo in Spanish]. He really influenced and was the strongest influencer of Christianity. Pablo Escobar was the biggest mover of product and Pablo Picasso is the biggest mover of art. That mix between message, product, and art is The Life of Pablo.”

  • Chris Brown, Royalty

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    Last year new dad Chris Brown decided to dedicate his seventh album to his daughter Royalty. He announced the news by tweeting: “My new album will be named ’Royalty'”

  • Amy Winehouse, Frank

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    With her debut studio album, Amy Winehouse pays homage to one of her role models Frank Sinatra. The title is also a double entendre for the straightforward subject matter.

  • Robin Thicke, Paula

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    After breaking up with long term sweetheart Paula Patton, Robin Thicke released this album presumably to win back her love. With song titles like “Get Her Back” and “Love Can Grow Back,” the album was a flop.

  • Lady Gaga, Joanne

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    And finally the meaning behind the title of Gaga’s return album. “Joanne” is not only Gaga’s own middle name, but honors her aunt who tragically died of Lupus at 19. Whatever the specific reason may be, albums named after people tend to be intensely personal for the artists who create them.