Interesting Back Stories About Celebrities Who Use Stage Names

Think you know everything about celebs? Think again.

There's a lot of shocking facts — starting with their names. Ever wonder why Lady Gaga calls herself that? Or why Queen Latifa goes by the stage moniker, "Queen"?

Keep reading to learn interesting backstories about celebs who use stage names.

We honestly didn't see these reasons coming.

1. Brie Larson - Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers

The actress's real name is Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers.

Since people kept mispronouncing her French last name, she took the last name of her favorite American Girl doll, Kirsten Larson, when she was only nine years old.

2. Cardi B - Belcalis Almanzar

As you probably expected, the rapper's showbiz moniker comes from the alcohol, Barcardi.

"My sister's name is Hennessy, so everybody used to be like 'Bacardi' to me," she said on The Wendy Williams Show. "Then I shortened it to Cardi B."

3. Katy Perry - Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

The singer recorded two gospel albums under her real name, Katheryn Hudson.

But she took on her mother's maiden name when she signed with Capitol Records, telling the Guardian that Katy Perry was a "wonderful character," she created.

4. John Legend - John Stephens

"John Legend is a nickname that some friends started calling me, and it kind of grew into my stage name," the Grammy award winner told MTV.

He made a bet to himself that he was going to live up to the legendary name.

5. Lil Nas X - Montero Lamar Hill

It's not unusual for rappers to start their stage name with "Lil" (just consider Lil Wayne, Lil John, and so on).

But as for the "Nas" part, the rapper, whose given first name is Montero, explained that to Jimmy Fallon.

"When I started doing music, I was like, 'I want to have fun with this,' " he said.

"And every new rapper's name is Lil, Lil, Lil. 'What if I was Lil Nas? That'd be funny.' So I was like, 'Alright, bet. I'll be Lil Nas.' And I added the X later on."

6. Post Malone - Austin Post

While most of us use name generators for fun, Post used one for his career.

He told Jimmy Fallon that he ran his real name — Austin Post — through a random rap name generator, giving him Post Malone.

7. Lorde - Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor

Dang, the singer's real name is long!

She told ABC News Radio that she didn't think her birth name was "anything special." So she changed it to "Lorde" since she loved the idea of a one-named alias.

8. Zayn - Zain Javadd Malik

"​It just fits me more," the singer told Complex about changing the spelling of his name, Zain Javadd Malik.

"I don't know anybody who goes by the first name and their surname with friends and family." Later, he dropped his last name.

9. Travis Scott - né Jacques Berman Webster II

The rapper, born né Jacques Berman Webster II, told Jimmy Fallon that two people inspired his stage name.

"My uncle is named Travis and Kid Cudi is, like, one of my favorite artists of all time, and his real name is Scott Mescudi.

And my uncle's friends call him Scott too, so it just kinda worked out like that - my two superheroes," he said.

When he had his daughter, Stormi, with Kylie Jenner, Stormi took Travis's original last name, Webster.

10. Queen Latifah - Dana Elaine Owens

Starting out as a rapper meant that the now-actress needed a cool name. She decided on "Queen" because it's bold and "Latifah," which means "delicate and very kind" in Arabic.

Her goal was to describe both the boldness and softness of a woman.

11. Michael Keaton - Michael Douglas

Believe it or not, the actor's real name is actually Michael Douglas.

Since Hollywood union rules prevent two actors from having the same name, he changed it to Keaton once he started acting since Hollywood already had a Michael Douglas.

12. Drake - Aubrey Drake Graham

The rapper, whose first given name is Aubrey, decided to go by his middle name for his career.

"Drake is me in my everyday life. Drake is who I am, and Aubrey is more of a separate, sort of proper individual," he told Hip Hop Canada.

13. Iggy Azalea - Amethyst Amelia Kelly

The rapper's dog, Iggy, inspired her stage name. She had a name-plate necklace made for him that people started to think was her name.

As a result, it became her nickname and she started rapping with it.

14. Gigi Hadid - Jelena Noura Hadid

"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," the model explained.

As a result, the teacher asked her mom for a nickname and Gigi stuck.

15. Emma Stone - Emily Jean Stone

"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.

This ensured that she was the only Emma Stone in Hollywood.

16. Olivia Wilde - Olivia Cockburn

The story behind her name is truly Wilde. Since the actress comes from a famous family of journalists, her mother suggested that she take on a stage name to stand out.

She ended up taking inspiration from Oscar Wilde. "At the time, I was doing The Importance of Being Earnest — I was playing Gwendolyn, and I was so in love with it," she told the New York Observer.

"Oscar Wilde is someone who I respect for so many reasons — a revolutionary, a comedian, and a profound thinker," she continued.

"I had all these reasons — but what I didn’t foresee is that people would think of it as a sexy adjective."