The funny thing about names is that they stick with us throughout our whole lives, yet we don’t get to pick them. And sometimes, that name just doesn’t fit. That’s one of the reasons stage names were so popular in Hollywood. Well, that and because stars wanted to be able to have a separate life outside of their stardom.
With Hollywood being as big as it is now, the idea of having a relatively normal, separate life outside of stardom is long gone. But some celebrities are still using stage names.
Of course, some of these stage names are obvious. For example, the singer Pink wasn’t actually named Pink when she was born. And Eminem is obviously not the famous rapper’s real name. But other celebrities have been flying under our stage name detectors with ease.
1. Katy Perry
Katy Perry seems like a relatively normal name compared to Pink and Eminem. But it’s not actually the pop star’s real name. Katy Perry’s real last name is actually Hudson. However, Katy Hudson sounded too much like the famous actress Kate Hudson’s name. So, Katy Hudson took her mother’s maiden name and became Katy Perry.
2. Bruno Mars
So, Bruno Mars’s name might sound obviously fake to some people, but it’s not entirely unbelievable. Regardless, it is, in fact, a stage name. The singer’s real name is actually Peter Hernandez.
The pop star’s dad used to call him Bruno because he thought his son looked a bit like pro wrestler Bruno Sammartino. The last name “Mars” was adopted because the celeb says that he’s “out of this world,” according to his female fans.
3. Emma Stone
Now, here’s a girl who seems to have a perfectly normal name. Most people probably don’t realize that it’s a stage name. However, the actress didn’t need to make any drastic changes to it. Her real name is Emily Jean Stone.
It turns out that there was already an Emily Stone in the show business world. So, in order to avoid confusion, the La La Land actress took on the name Emma Stone.
4. Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is a man of many talents. So, it’s not surprising that a man who made it big as a comedian, actor, singer, songwriter, and producer would also have a clever story behind his stage name.
Jamie Foxx’s real name is actually Eric Marlon Bishop. Apparently, when the man first started doing comedy, female comedians would get called onto the stage first. So, when picking a stage name, the comedian decided on one with a little bit of gender ambiguity so that he might get called to the stage sooner.
5. Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris’s real name is Adam Wiles. He shared that he wanted a stage name from the beginning. However, in an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Calvin Harris admitted that he feels he screwed up when choosing a name. Instead of choosing a cool pseudonym like fellow DJs Avicii and Tiësto, Calvin Harris chose an actual name.
6. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj has told us quite a few times in her raps that her real name is actually Onika. However, most people don’t know that her last name, Minaj, is fake as well. The celebrity’s real name is actually Onika Tanya Maraj.
The singer shares that, while she fought him hard, one of the managers convinced her to change her last name to Minaj during her first deal signings.
7. Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey’s given name is actually Elizabeth Grant. The sultry singer apparently has had a few stage names during her career, including May Jailer and Sparkle Jump Rope Queen. She settled on her current name, Lana Del Rey, while visiting Miami, Florida with her sister.
She shared that she “wanted a name that sounded sort of exotic and reminded me of like the seaside on the Floridian coast.”
8. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman was actually born Natalie Hershlag. The actress decided early in her career that she would take on her grandmother’s maiden name, Portman, in order to protect her family’s privacy.
However, I think it’s safe to say that any of Natalie Portman’s family members would definitely want to be associated with the popular actress’s success today.
9. Vin Diesel
It’s a little disappointing to find out that Vin Diesel’s real name isn’t actually Vin Diesel. The tough-guy name totally fits the actor’s image. But, alas, Vin Diesel’s real name is Mark Sinclair. He changed it to Vin Diesel when he worked as a bouncer in New York.
10. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus’s parents named her Destiny Hope Cyrus when she was born because they felt their baby girl was destined to do great things. It turns out that they weren’t wrong. Miley Cyrus is now one of the biggest names out there.
Rather than calling her Destiny, the singer’s parents nicknamed the girl “Smiley” because she was always smiling as a baby. As she got older, Smiley was shortened to Miley, which is the name she still goes by today.