16 Celebrities Whose Stage Name Has Nothing to Do With Their Real Name
One of the main characteristics of show business is that many celebrities change their names to something they think will be more popular. We know most of them by their stage name without even realizing so. In fact, some celebrities really went for something completely different from what their birth certificate states, so we’re sure that learning their real names will surprise you.
1. Demi Lovato — Demetria Devonne Lovato
The singer decided to shorten her real name, use a nickname derived from it and keep her last name, so she ended up calling herself Demi Lovato.
2. Carmen Electra — Tara Leigh Patrick
The actress had started her short career in music under her real name; however, she later met singer Prince, and it was he who renamed her Carmen Electra.
3. Jack Black — Thomas Jacob Black
The actor decided to change his name before starting his show business career. According to him, “Jack Black” was more likely to help him rise to fame.
4. Queen Latifah — Dana Elaine Owens
The actress was only eight when she changed her real name completely and considered Latifah a good choice. She thinks it sounds delicate, sensitive, and pleasant, like she is. In addition, she added the word Queen because it gave it an extra oomph.
5. Shania Twain — Eilleen Regina Edwards
The singer took her stepfather’s last name, Twain, when she was very young. Eventually, when she started her music career, she decided to call herself Shania, which means “I’m on my way.” It’s a small tribute to her stepfather’s Ojibwa heritage.
6. Ludacris — Christopher Brian Bridges
The singer felt he needed a stage name to make him more popular, so he chose Ludacris, an alteration of the word “ludicrous.”
7. Mandy Moore — Amanda Leigh Moore
Mandy Moore’s change of name is pretty simple. The actress simply used a common nickname for Amanda as a stage name.
8. Drake — Aubrey Drake Graham
Drake’s case is quite similar to the previous one: when he started his career, he only used his middle name.
9. Marilyn Monroe — Norma Jeane Baker
If we think of Marilyn Monroe, we would never imagine that her real name was Norma. Her name resulted from executive Ben Lyon’s suggestion, who considered using the actress’s mother’s maiden name. Thus, one of the most memorable pop idols in history was born.
10. Jodie Foster — Alicia Christian Foster
After her parents’ divorce, the actress’ mother began a relationship with another woman, Josephine Dominguez. She was called “Jo D” by everyone, and she actually raised the actress. The Foster siblings called her “Jodie,” and that was the name Alicia chose for her Hollywood career.
11. Natalie Portman — Neta-Lee Hershlag
It was in 1994 when a very young Neta-Lee Hershlag auditioned for Leon and landed her first role in a major production. While filming, the actress changed her name to “Natalie” and took her mother’s maiden last name. Apparently, she wanted to maintain her privacy because some scenes in the movie were polemical.
12. Tina Fey — Elizabeth Stamatina Fey
The actress was inspired by her middle name, which has a Greek influence, to come up with a stage name. Somehow, the artist felt more affinity with “Tina” and opted for it.
13. Demi Moore — Demi Gene Guynes
The famous actress chose to keep her first name; however, she changed the last name she got from her stepfather to that of her first husband, Freddy Moore, and, regardless of their divorce, she decided to keep it.
14. Bono — Paul David Hewson
The singer’s stage name comes from the Latin term bona vox, which means “good voice.” He did not like it very much initially, but after learning what it meant, he went along with it. Paul has been known as Bono since he was 14 or 15.
15. Martin Sheen — Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez
The actor, the son of a Spanish father and Irish mother, decided to leave aside his original name to create a whole new alter-ego with a new name. He was convinced that it would allow him to enter the world of entertainment more easily.
16. Tom Hanks — Thomas Jeffrey Hanks
Tom simply took the short version of his official name, Thomas. Indeed, like many people on this list, he thought that a more straightforward name would help him resonate with the audience, which seems to have worked.
What is the funniest name you have ever heard in your life? If you could call yourself anything else, what name would you choose and why?