Instagram | @lanadelrey

10+ Celebs Who Use Stage Names

Celebs change their names for all different reasons: they need to shorten it, a childhood name stuck, they're hiding from the law.

Whatever the case, here are 10+ celebs who use stage names. Most of these will surprise you!

Katy Perry - Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

Instagram | @katyperry

An identify crisis inspired the singer's name change.

“I created this wonderful character called Katy Perry that I very much am, and can step into all the time, but I created that character out of protection,” she told The Guardian.

With her own little one on the way, we can't wait to see what she names him or her!

Nicki Minaj - Onika Tanya Maraj

The rapper didn't have much choice in her name change.

During a 2012 interview with The Guardian, she revealed that somebody changed her name.

“One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted my name to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I’ve always hated it.”

Miley Ray Cyrus — Destiny Hope Cyrus

Instagram | @mileycyrus

Thanks to Miley being so smiley as a kid, people started calling her Miley.

As for "Ray," the name is after her grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus.

Lady Gaga - Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta

With such a long name, no wonder she shortened it!

She got the inspiration for it from listening to the 1984 Queen song "Radio Ga Ga."

The Weeknd - Abel Makkonen Tesfaye

Instagram | @theweeknd

During a Reddit Ask Me Anything, the singer revealed that he changed his name after leaving home at 17.

"We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friends [sic][expletive] van and left one weekend and never came back home. I hated my name at the time though so I tried it as a stage name. It sounded cool. I took out the "e" because there was already a Canadian band named the weekend (copyright issues)."

Rihanna - Robyn Rihanna Fenty

If you wondered where RiRi got the name for her makeup and fashion line, she didn't have to look far. Her last name is Fenty!

As for Robyn, only her close friends and family call her that.

"I get kind of numb to hearing Rihanna, Rihanna, Rihanna,” she told Rolling Stone. “When I hear Robyn, I pay attention.”

Lana Del Ray - Elizabeth Woolridge Grant

Instagram | @lanadelray

The singer went through several options, including Sparkle Jump Rope Queen and May Jailer, before settling on Lana Del Rey.

You can thank a trip to Miami with her sister for that.

There, she realized she “wanted a name that sounded sort of exotic and reminded me of like the seaside on the Floridian coast.”

Meghan Markle - Rachel Meghan Markle

Instagram | @sussexroyal

The Duchess has a lot more in common with her Suits character than you'd think.

They share the same first name!

Gigi Hadid - Jelena Noura Hadid

Instagram | @gigihadid

As adorable a name as Gigi is, she wasn't born with it.

"In first or second grade, there was a girl named Helena and it got confusing with the teacher who had to call out our names, and so the teacher asked my mom, 'If I needed to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?' And my mom was like, 'I call her Gigi sometimes,' and the name stuck," the model explained.

Cardi B - Belcalis Almanzar

The rapper's stage name was inspired by Bacardi rum.

"My sister's name is Hennessy," Cardi B explained to Jimmy Fallon. "So everybody used to call me Bacardi, so I used to call myself Bacardi [and eventually] I just shortened it to Cardi B."

Emma Stone - Emily Jean Stone

The La La Land actress rebranded herself so that she'd be the only Emma Stone in Hollywood.

"I changed it to Emma because you know it's closer to Emily, but most people call me 'M,' that know me well," the actress explained to W magazine.

Nicholas Cage - Nicholas Kim Coppola

“Nicolas Coppola was a very scared little boy, and I had to sort of re-invent who I was going to be to make my dreams come true,” Cage told 680 News.

Vin Diesel - Mark Sinclair

Instagram | @vindiesel

Not only did Vin (sorry, Mark) change his name, but he apparently also changed his whole persona.

Mark used to be a bouncer at clubs, but he transformed into Vin when he shaved his head. The rest, as we know it, is history.

Alicia Keys - Alicia Augello-Cook

Instagram | @aliciakeys

She chose Keys due to her piano background, but Alicia originally wanted her last name to be Wild.

However, her mom intervened. "She said, 'It sounds like you're a stripper,"' said Keys.

Kit Harington - Christopher Catesby Harington

YouTube | The List Show TV

Get this: the Game of Thrones alum's parents didn't tell him his real name was Christopher until he was 11 years old.

"I think they could see that I wanted to be Kit, but Christopher was a bit of a tradition," Harington said.

Brad Pitt - William Bradley Pitt

Despite being named after his father, the A-lister decided to go by a shortened version of his middle name in Hollywood.

Mindy Kaling - Vera Mindy Chokalingam

Instagram | @mindykaling

Vera is an "incarnation of a Hindu goddess", the actress explained.

While this is an honor, she always preferred her middle name. Additionally, when she started out in Hollywood, she shortened her last name to Kaling.

Halsey - Ashley Frangipane

The story behind the singer's name change is actually really sweet.

When talking to Vevo, she revealed that a friend lived on Halsey Street in Brooklyn and she spent a lot of time there making music. Plus, it's a different way of spelling "Ashley".

Bruno Mars - Peter Gene Hernandez

Instagram | @brunomars

Ever since he was born, the singer's name has gone through several changes, he explained in a 2013 interview with GQ.

He was nicknamed Bruno as a toddler since he looked like the famous wrestler Bruno Sammartino, but he then changed his last name from Hernandez to Mars to better fit with the music industry.

Calvin Harris - Adam Richard Wiles

Instagram | @calvinharris

The world might not have known his real name had it not been for Taylor Swift. She called him "Adam" when receiving an award at the iHeart Radio Music Awards.

He later shared that he changed his name to be more "racially ambiguous."

Dove Cameron - Chloe Celeste Hosterman

The Disney star's stage name is a sweet tribute to her late father.

“My father always called me Dove,” she explained in 2017.

“He passed away when I was 15, and I decided to legally change it. So it’s on my passport – everything legal is Dove.”

Winona Ryder - Winona Laura Horowitz

The Stranger Things actress stumbled upon her name at the right place, right time.

When someone asked how she would like her name to appear in movie credits, Mitch Ryder’s album was playing in the background at the same time.

Whoopi Goldberg Born - Caryn Johnson

Instagram | @whoopigoldberg

If Whoopi's name had you thinking of a whoopee cushion, that's no coincidence...

"No one christened me that. I am Karen [sic], but I was a bit of a farter," she joked on The Graham Norton Show.

"The theatres I was performing in were very small so if you were gassy you had to walk away farting and people would say I was like a Whoopee cushion. I was sometimes quite noisy, never offensive."

Demi Moore - Demi Gene Guynes

Demi Moore was just 18 when she married singer Freddy Moore.

While their marriage only lasted a few years, she did keep his last name.

John Legend - John Roger Stephens

Instagram | @johnlegend

When John's friends nicknamed him "Legend," he had no choice but to live up to the name.

"I was just like, 'You know what? Let's just go for it. People are going to pay attention and I'm going to either live up to my name or I'm not,'" he told MTV News. "My bet was on me trying to live up to the name."

Ashton Kutcher - Christopher Ashton Kutcher

Instagram | @aplusk

When The Ranch actor was 19 and first starting out in Hollywood, he decided to start going by his middle name.

It definitely helps him stand out more.

Tom Cruise — Thomas Cruise Mapother IV

He's one of the many Thomas Cruise's in his family, but the actor changed his name to make it easier to say in Hollywood.

Olivia Wilde - Olivia Cockburn

Instagram | @oliviawilde

Her stage name bears resemblance to Oscar Wilde for a reason.

According to People, she changed her last name to Wilde after playing Gwendolen in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest in high school.

Jamie Foxx - Eric Marlon Bishop

Instagram | @iamjamiefoxx

The actor revealed in a 2015 interview with David Letterman that he changed his name to get ahead in his stand-up comedy career.

"I noticed that like 1,000 guys showed up and only three girls, but the three girls would always get a [stand-up] spot, so I went to the list and wrote down a unisex name [...] Jamie Foxx."

Jennifer Aniston - Jennifer Linn Anastassakis

Her birth certificate says Jennifer Aniston, but only because her father John changed their last name right before she was born.

He did so because Anastassakis was too hard for people to pronounce.

Drake - Aubrey Drake Graham

Instagram | @champagnepapi

Before he was Drake the rapper, the Canadian celeb was Aubrey Graham, the actor who played Jimmy on Degrassi: The Next Generation.

When he pursued rap, he began going by only Drake.