16 Celebrities Who Defined Their Stage Names



Whoopi Goldberg’s actual identify is Caryn Elaine Johnson.

In 2006, she informed the New York Times, “While you’re acting on stage, you by no means actually have time to enter the toilet and shut the door. So, in the event you get just a little gassy, you’ve bought to let it go. So, folks used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s the place the identify got here from.”




Shay Mitchell’s actual identify is Shannon Ashley Garcia Mitchell.


Throughout a 2017 Fb Stay occasion, the actor said, “I like J.Lo, Jennifer Lopez. And after I was in highschool, folks could be like, ‘Shay-Lo,’ after which Shay kinda caught. We dropped Lo, as a result of nobody might be J.Lo.”


Jamie Foxx’s actual identify is Eric Marlon Bishop.

On an episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, the actor mentioned the rationale why he modified his identify was as a result of stand-up comedy. “I seen it could be, like, 1,000 guys present up and solely three ladies, however the three ladies would at all times get a spot, and they’d select from the checklist. So, I went to the checklist and wrote down unisex names. Stacey Inexperienced. Tracey Brown. Jamie Foxx.”


Emma Stone’s actual identify is Emily Jean Stone.

Throughout a 2017 interview with W Magazine, she mentioned, “My actual identify is Emily. Nevertheless it was taken at SAG. … I had the choice of Emily J. Stone, and it is form of like Michael J. Fox, which I like Michael J. Fox, however I do not assume I might pull off the J. … To ask a 16-year-old to select a brand new identify is absolutely an fascinating course of, as a result of I used to be like, ‘I’ll be Riley. My identify goes to be Riley Stone.'”

On an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she revealed that she truly wished to be known as Emma as a child. “Rising up, I used to be tremendous blonde, and my actual identify is Emily, however I wished to be known as Emma due to Child Spice. And guess what? Now, I’m.”


Bruno Mars’ actual identify is Peter Gene Hernandez.

Throughout a 2013 interview with Rap-Up, the singer mentioned, “Bruno is after Bruno Sammartino, who was this large, fats wrestler. I suppose I used to be this chunky little child, so my dad used to name me that as a nickname.”

In 2013, the actor informed GQ that the music business tried to field him in as a result of his final identify. “‘Your final identify’s Hernandez,'” he recalled folks telling him. “‘Possibly it’s best to do that Latin music, this Spanish music. … Enrique’s so scorching proper now.'” He ended up choosing the identify Mars and sidestepped the problem. “Mars simply form of got here [from] joking round as a result of that sounds greater than life. That was it, easy as that,” he told Latina Journal.


Lana Del Rey’s actual identify is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.

Throughout a 2012 interview with MTV, she mentioned, “I knew that I wished a reputation that sounded form of unique and jogged my memory of the seaside on the Floridian coast. ‘Lana Del Rey’ sounded stunning.”


Awkwafina’s actual identify is Nora Lum.

In 2017, the actor informed Galore, “I simply actually thought it was humorous when folks attempt to subtilize merchandise like Neutrogena. As a result of I simply think about somebody sitting there, enthusiastic about all these bizarre names, particularly the water names. However in any case, I simply got here up with it after I was 16 and thought it was actually humorous. After which, I ultimately adopted it.”

“My rap identify was simply Aquafina, however then I feel after we have been placing out the video, the man that made the video…he was like, ‘Nicely, we must always change the spelling so you aren’t getting sued,'” she recalled. “So, he spelled it so further. He spelled it in probably the most further manner ever. So, I used to be like, ‘I really feel like folks aren’t going to know this,’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, however I really feel like it could be distinctive, so then folks [will] look it up.’ However then, nobody is aware of find out how to spell it. So, you realize, it got here again to chew me within the ass.”


KJ Apa’s actual identify is Keneti James Apa.

Final yr, the actor appeared on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! After Jimmy requested what KJ stands for, the actor mentioned, “KJ is brief for Keneti James, which is a Samoan identify. I am named after my father.”


Alicia Keys’ actual identify is Alicia Augello Cook dinner.

In 2007, the singer informed Newsweek, “I bought so determined I went by the dictionary for one thing that catches my eye. I get to the W’s, and I choose Wild. ‘Alicia Wild, how does that sound, Ma?’ She mentioned, ‘It sounds such as you’re a stripper.’ However I favored Keys. It is just like the piano keys. And it could open so many doorways.”


Nicolas Cage’s actual identify is Nicolas Kim Coppola.

Throughout a Wired interview earlier this yr, the actor mentioned he modified his identify as a result of his connection to his uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola. “I modified my identify as a result of I used to be doing just a little film known as Quick Instances at Ridgemont Excessive, and I used to be nonetheless Nicolas Coppola. Individuals wouldn’t cease saying issues like, ‘I like the scent of Nicolas within the morning’ due to Apocalypse Now, Robert Duvall saying, ‘I like the scent of napalm within the morning.’ And it made it onerous to work. I made a decision I do not want this, so I modified it to Cage.”


Sir Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight however legally modified his identify to Elton Hercules John.

Throughout a 1987 interview, he reportedly said, “Once I turned Elton John, it was like a brand new lease on life. I didn’t significantly like being Reg Dwight. It had too many sad recollections.”


John Legend’s actual identify is John Roger Stephens.

In 2008, the singer informed MTV News, “John Legend is a nickname that some mates began calling me, and it form of grew into my stage identify. Legend is one thing that I by no means would have chosen for myself initially. It grew to the purpose the place extra folks in my circle would know me by that identify than by my actual identify. I needed to decide.”


Halsey’s actual identify is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane.

In 2020, the singer informed Cosmopolitan, “I feel I had the foresight to know that being me wasn’t sufficient. I needed to develop into anyone fully completely different. On the time, I felt that Ashley didn’t should be well-known and profitable as a result of she wasn’t that particular, but when I made Halsey, perhaps she may very well be. [Changing my name] gave me the chance to create a brand new persona that wasn’t certain by the expectations I had for myself or the constraints that others positioned on me due to my upbringing or my socioeconomic state of affairs.”


Jo Koy’s actual identify is Joseph Glenn Herbert.

Throughout the Netflix particular In His Components, the comic shared that individuals would snicker at his identify when he did stand-up early in his profession. He was mulling over completely different choices when his aunt known as him over to eat along with her nickname for him: Jo Koy. For over 30 years, he is used that as his stage identify.

“I’m going, ‘Then what do you name me?’ She goes, ‘I name you Jo ko. That’s your nickname. Jo ko.’ And for all of you at house who do not know what meaning: In Tagalog, ko means my. My nickname is my Jo. Jo ko. How fucking candy is that?”


Frank Ocean was born Christopher Edwin Breaux however legally modified his identify to Christopher Francis Ocean.

In 2011, the singer informed Complex, “I modified my identify on my birthday final yr. It was probably the most empowering shit I did in 2010, for positive. I went on LegalZoom and altered my fucking identify. It simply felt cool. None of us are our names. When you don’t like your identify, then change your identify. I’m just a few steps into the method, so I most likely shouldn’t even be speaking about this, however by the start of summer season, I’ll be straight. I’ll be boarding planes as Christopher Francis Ocean.”


And eventually, Mindy Kaling’s actual identify is Vera Mindy Chokalingam.

In 2020, she informed NHPR, “I shortened my identify as a result of emcees for these comedy reveals would have bother announcing it, after which, they’d make a joke about my final identify. My actual identify is Vera Mindy Chokalingam, and it is a South Indian identify, and it is a lengthy identify. As a performer, these comedians would simply butcher it, after which be like, ‘I do not know what it’s! Simply this lady, Mindy.'”

“While you do comedy…these are all comedians who modified their names, and I felt it was the best factor for me to do, and finally, it was actually helpful to do it. It was one thing that I had a variety of blended emotions about. However my mother and father did not thoughts. I talked to them about it. After which, I ended up shortening it. It is bittersweet, however I’ve to say, it was such a assist to my profession to have a reputation that individuals might pronounce.”

Know another well-known individuals who use stage names? LMK within the feedback under!

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