35 Celebrity Name Changes And The Reason Behind It

celebrity name changes
We don’t really understand the need for these celebrity name changes. Was it was meant to propel them to fame? Maybe it sounded better than their real names. Or maybe, they do not want to be associated with an already famous relative.

Whatever the reason behind it, these name changes are very important. After all, it is the name that people will associate with their fame.

Here are the 35 celebrity name changes that you probably did not know about.

Lorde: Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor

When asked by Interview magazine about her name, this was what she had to say.

When I was trying to come up with a stage name, I thought ‘Lord’ was super rad but really masculine. Ever since I was a little kid, I have been really into royals and aristocracy, so to make Lord more feminine, I just put an ‘e’ on the end! Some people think it’s religious, but it’s not.

Lorde had a name change

Olivia Wilde: Olivia Jane Cockburn

To be honest, that surname can start all sorts of cock jokes. So she took the last name of Oscar Wilde – the author of a play that she starred in when she was in high school.

Olivia Wilde had a name change

Elton John: Reginald Kenneth Dwight

He didn’t want a British name – which Reginald is.

Elton John had a name change

Fetty Wap: Willie Maxwell

Fetty is actually the slang of money and Wap was inspired by his idol’s nickname Guwop.

Fetty Wap had a name change

Katy Perry: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

Perry is her mother’s maiden name. She didn’t want to be confused with the actress Kate Hudson.

Katy Perry had a name change

Joaquin Phoenix: Joaquin Rafael Bottom

It was his parents who actually changed their names to mark a new beginning in their life.

Joaquin Phoenix had a name change

Tyga: Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson

TYGA actually means Thank You God Always. He also said his nickname is connected to the way his mother called him Tiger Woods. We still don’t get it though.

Tyga had a name change

Elle King: Tanner Elle Schneider

She simply didn’t want her rise to fame to be influenced by famous dad, Rob Schneider.

Elle King had a name change

Julia Roberts: Julie Roberts

It’s just one letter but she had to change her name because there was already an actress registered as Julie Roberts.

Julia Roberts had a name change

Nicolas Cage: Nicolas Kim Coppola

The name Coppola was already known in the industry. He didn’t want any help from his name while he was building his own career.

Nicolas Cage had a name change

John Legend: John Roger Stephens

It was a nickname that some friends called him so he stuck with it.

John Legend had a name change

Aaron Paul: Aaron Paul Sturtevant

Can you pronounce his name? No? Casting Directors couldn’t do it as well.

Aaron Paul had a name change

Bruno Mars: Peter Gene Hernandez

He didn’t want to be a stereotyped Latin singer.

Bruno Mars had a name change

Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lifshitz

He simply didn’t like that his name had “shit” in it.

Ralph Lauren had a name change

Jennifer Aniston: Jennifer Linn Anastassakis

Her father, who was also an actor, changed it to get more work.

Jennifer Aniston had a name change

Jason Derulo: Jason Joel Desrouleaux

Derulo was easier to pronounce.

Jason Derulo had a name change

Nina Dobrev: Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva

Her real Bulgarian name was – well, a mouthful.

Nina Dobrev had a name change

Miley Cyrus: Destiny Hope Cyrus

Miley decided to use her childhood nickname “smiley”. As you may have guessed, she smiled a lot.

Miley Cyrus had a name change

Iggy Azalea: Amethyst Amelia Kelly

Iggy was the name of a dog while Azalea is the street her family lives on.

Iggy Azalea had a name change

Portia De Rossi: Amanda Lee Rogers

She liked the name Portia from Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice.

Portia De Rossi had a name change

Michael Caine: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite

His stage surname came from The Caine Mutiny.

Michael Caine had a name change

Alicia Keys: Alicia Augello Cook

Keys seemed like a better surname for a piano player than Cook.

Alicia Keys had a name change

Lana Del Rey: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant

She wanted a gorgeous name and Lana Del Ray reminded her of the glamorous seaside.

Lana Del Ray had a name change

Oprah Winfrey: Orpah Winfrey

Her name was mispronounced as Oprah anyway so she made it official.

Oprah Winfrey had a name change

Jamie Foxx: Eric Marlon Bishop

He observed that women were called first during open mic nights. That’s why he opted for a gender-neutral name.

Jamie Foxx had a name change

Louis C.K.: Louis Szekely

His real surname is pronounced as See-kay. Genius.

Louis CK had a name change

Vin Diesel: Mark Sinclair Vincent

Vin Diesel = Intimidation. Need we say more?

Vin DIesel had a name change

Natalie Portman: Natalie Hershlag

She wanted to keep her private and public life separate that’s why she used her grandmother’s maiden name.

Natalie Portman had a name change

Liam Neeson: William John Neeson

Wil-LIAM. This is a no brainer.

Liam Neeson had a name change

Queen Latifah: Dana Elaine Owens

Latifah is Arabic for delicate and very kind. She found it in a book when she was 8-years old.

Queen Latifah had a name change

Nicki Minaj: Onika Tanya Maraj

She sang this in “Starships”

My name is Onika, you can call me Nicki.

Nicki Minaj had a name change

Lea Michele: Lea Michele Sarfati

Her surname used to be bullied a lot: ‘Lea So-fatty’ or ‘Lea So-farty.’

Lea Michele had a name change

Helen Mirren: Ilyena Lydia Mironoff

She just had to sacrifice a very beautiful foreign name for her public image.

Helen Mirren had a name change

Brad Pitt: William Bradley Pitt

Hmmm… Not really much of a change but…

Brad Pitt had a name change

Tina Fey: Elizabeth Stamatina Fey

She just removed the first 6 syllables of her name. No big deal.

Tina Fey had a name change

What do you think of these celebrity name changes?

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