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Name origins: Celebrities (22 Photos)
Okay, there are some celebs that you just know are using a “stage name”. That or you’ve asked yourself “Why the hell would his parents name him Sting?” Using a stage name is a common occurrence in the entertainment industry. Here are a bunch of celebrities that decided- for one reason or another- to change their names when they got into the biz.
Her real name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly. As beautiful as it is, she REALLY does not like it. How did she land on “Iggy Azalea”? Well, Iggy was the name of her childhood dog. She then got her last name “Azalea” from the street that she lived growing up. She felt that the name “Azalea” added a much needed feminine touch to the masculine “Iggy”.
The golfing phenom- originally named Eldrick Tont Woods- was apparently given the nickname “Tiger” by his father in honour of his old friend who was nicknamed Tiger in the military.
Lana Del Rey:
Born with the name Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, she decided to adopt a new stage name to help her develop her “Old Timey” persona. She chose Lana Del Rey because it reminded her of the glamour of the seaside, and that it rolled of the tongue beautifully.
The singer/songwriter was originally born Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam. He dropped everything but “Akon” to simplify things for everyone else.
Her real name is Alicia Aguello Cook. She reportedly adopted the stage name Alicia “Keys” upon suggestion from her manager, who had come up with it in a dream.
The singer was born Peter Gene Hernandez. He reportedly got the nickname Bruno from his father, who called him so because of his striking resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
Her real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor. She decided on the stage name “Lorde” as a kid. While being very into royalty and the aristocracy, she felt that “Lord” was really cool, but a bit too masculine, thus her addition of the “E” at the end.
The comedian was born Louis Szekely. He had changed it to “C.K” because Szekely is pronounced “See-Kay”.
This Canadian country star is one of Canada’s most recognized singers. Born as Eilleen Regina Edwards, her parents divorced when she was a kid and her mother married a man by the name of Jerry Twain. Taking his last name, she decided to use the word “Shania” as her first name which means “On my way” in Ojibwa.
Originally born Destiny Hope Cyrus, she adopted the nickname “Smiley” as a kid, eventually shortening it to Miley.
He was born as Abel Tesfaye. When he was just 17 he dropped out of school to cut out his first album “House of Balloons”. He wasn’t a big fan of his given name so he changed it to The Weeknd, dropping the “E” to avoid copyright issues with an existing band “The Weekend”.
The Batman star was actually named Michael Douglas. He wanted to prevent confusion between him and the already famous Michael Douglas, so he decided on the last name “Keaton” after seeing an article on Diane Keaton.
This Hollywood stunner was born Olivia Jane Cockburn. She changed her last name to Wilde as a tribute to Oscar Wilde after playing Gwendolen in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest” in high school.
The Canadian rapper was born Kevin Brereton His stage name is actually an acronym standing for “Knowledge of Self” although he stated that it originally stood for “Kevin’s Original Sound”.
Portia De Rossi:
The Arrested Development star and wife of Ellen Degeneres was born Amanda Lee Rogers. She changed her name to Portia after a Shakespeare character. Her last name was chosen because she liked the Italian sound of it.
This famous designer was born Ralph Lifshitz. He changed it because he used to get made fun of for having the word “Shit” in his name. Fair enough, Ralph.
The “Alien” star was born Susan Alexandra Weaver. She adopted the name Sigourney in 1963 after a character in “The Great Gatsby”.
The American rapper was born Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson. He called himself Tyga because his mother used to call him “Little Tiger Woods”. It is also an acronym for “Thank You God Always.”
This English musician was born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner. He got his nickname “Sting” from his striped sweater, which resembled a bee.
The American comic was born Caryn Elaine Johnson. In true comic fashion, she went with the name Whoopi after a whoopi cushion. She reportedly chose the name Goldberg in order to be taken more seriously.
This iconic American director was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg. He legally changed his name to Heywood Allen when he was 17, and started calling himself “Woody”.
Born Nicolas Coppola, Nicolas changed his name to “Cage” after Marvel superhero Luke Cage. He did so to avoid the appearance of nepotism being the nephew of film director Francis Ford Coppola.