25 Celebrities Who Changed Their Names

1
Katy Perry
Katy Perry
Splash News
Real name: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
Why she changed it: The singer used her mother's maiden name so she wouldn't be mistaken for the actress Kate Hudson.
2
Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde
WENN/Brian To
Real name: Olivia Jane Cockburn
Stage name origins: Took the last name of author Oscar Wilde, after starring in one of his plays in high school.
3
Elton John
Elton John
Getty Images/David Becker
Real name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Reginald is perhaps the most British name to ever exist.
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4
Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
WENN/Brian To
Real name: Joaquin Rafael Bottom
Why he changed it: His parents changed the family's last name to Phoenix to represent a new beginning.
5
John Legend
John Legend
Getty Images/Victor Boyko
Real name: John Roger Stephens
Why he changed it: “John Legend is a nickname that some friends started calling me, and it kind of grew into my stage name. It grew to the point where more people in my circle would know me by that name than by my real name."
6
Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza
Real name: Aaron Paul Sturtevant
Why he changed it: Casting directors couldn't pronounce his last name.
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7
Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars
Splash News
Real name: Peter Gene Hernandez
Why he changed it: So he wouldn't be stereotyped as a Latin singer.
8
Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston
Getty Images/Mike Coppola
Real name: Jennifer Linn Anastassakis
Why she changed it: The actress' father, an actor himself, changed his Greek last name to get more work.
9
Nina Dobrev
Nina Dobrev
WENN
Real name: Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva
The actress' Bulgarian birth name is quite a mouthful.
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10
Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus
WENN
Real name: Destiny Hope Cyrus
Stage name origins: The name "Miley" came from her childhood nickname "Smiley," because she smiled a lot.
11
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
Splash News
Real name: Nicolas Kim Coppola
Why he changed it: To disassociate himself from his uncle, Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola.
12
Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea
Getty Images/Christopher Polk
Real name: Amethyst Amelia Kelly
Stage name origins: She had a dog named Iggy, and her last name comes from the street her family lives on.
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13
Portia De Rossi
Portia De Rossi
WENN
Real name: Amanda Lee Rogers
Stage name origins: She chose "Portia" from a character in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice.
14
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Getty Images/Ben Pruchnie
Real name: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite
Stage name origins: Took his last name from the movie The Caine Mutiny.
15
Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
WENN/Ivan Nikolov
Real name: Alicia Augello Cook
A piano player with the last name "Keys" is a little too good to be true.
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16
Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey
Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris
Real name: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
Why she changed it: "I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue."
17
Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
WENN/Clemens Niehaus
Real name: Eric Marlon Bishop
Why he changed it: When he was starting out in comedy, he noticed that female comics were called first to perform during open mic nights. So he chose a gender neutral name.
18
Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel
Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris
Real name: Mark Sinclair Vincent
Vin Diesel sounds much more intimidating.
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19
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
Getty Images/Amanda Edwards
Real name: Natalie Hershlag
Why she changed it: She used her grandmother's maiden name to separate her public and private life when she started acting as a teenager.
20
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Getty Images/Jon Kopaloff
Real name: William John Neeson
Liam as a nickname for William? That's different.
21
Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj
WENN/Andreas Hübner
Real name: Onika Tanya Maraj
Like her song "Starships" says, "My name is Onika, you can call me Nicki."
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22
Lea Michele
Lea Michele
Splash News
Real name: Lea Michele Sarfati
Why she changed it: “I don’t use {my last name} a lot because I got ‘Lea So-fatty,’ ‘Lea So-farty’ at school.”
23
Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
Getty Images/Francois G. Durand
Real name: Ilyena Lydia Mironoff
Another (really pretty) foreign name changed for the general public.
24
Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
Getty Images/Han Myung-Gu
Real name: William Bradley Pitt
All this time, Brad wasn't really his first name? Mind blown.
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25
Tina Fey
Tina Fey
Getty Images/Michael Kovac
Real name: Elizabeth Stamatina Fey
Yes, her first name is the same as her 30 Rock character, Liz Lemon.

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