Getty Images | Jon Kopaloff

13+ Celebs Who Look Completely Unrecognizable Off Stage

Part of being a performer means rocking tons of makeup, unique costumes, and generally looking unlike your day-to-day self. We barely recognize these celebs outside of their stage look!

Lady Gaga

Instagram | @ladygaga

Of course we've seen all sides of Gaga, but that doesn't make the difference between her on-stage persona and her everyday look any less shocking.

Remember her Bad Romance era outfits? Those were iconic.

Slipknot's Alessandro Venturella

Instagram | @vmanshreds

My new favorite thing about writing about Slipknot is discovering that the men behind the terrifying masks are pretty normal dudes.

How hard do you think it is to have a full beard under that mask? Sweat central.

Joel Thomas Zimmerman/ deadmau5

Instagram | @deadmau5

Neon Mickey — sorry, deadmau5, is just a regular guy under his giant mouse head.

Joel Thomas Zimmerman came up with the name "deadmau5" after finding a dead mouse in his computer. Yup, it really was that simple.

Gwen Stefani

Instagram | @gwenstefani

Is she still Gwen Stefani if she isn't rocking a bold red lip?

Without the intricate outfits, winged eyeliner, and ruby red lips, Gwen is just a regular pop star. Gotta keep rocking those necklaces, though!

Nicki Minaj

Instagram | @nickiminaj

Nicki's on stage look (and persona) is always over the top, always designer, and almost always involves a wig.

In reality, Nicki is much softer. Makeup-free, hair down, and clothing that is a _little_looser.

Boy George

Instagram | @boygeorgeofficial

Seeing Boy George without a hat and makeup is an odd sight indeed.

Sans the borderline drag he performs in, Boy George is closer to a chic restauranteur than a rocker.

Alice Cooper

Instagram | @alicecooper

Who is Alice Cooper without his heavy black eyeliner and dripping mouth?

Well, still Alice Cooper, but far more low-key.

Fun fact, Alice Cooper is still apparently performing live. What a badass.

Gene Simmons

Instagram | @genesimmons

There was a point in Kiss' career when they would not go in public without makeup. The clothes could change — costumes swapped for jeans and t-shirts — but the makeup remained.

They've obviously lightened up over the years, huh?

Katy Perry

Instagram | @katyperry

I mean, what look hasn't Katy Perry had?

Her on-stage costumes are always incredibly elaborate. She wore a burger costume in Taylor Swift's "You Need To Calm Down" video, after all.

Paul Stanley

Instagram | @paulstanleylive

Can you imagine walking around Home Depot, having no clue that a member of Kiss was right near you?

The makeup the members of Kiss wear affords them some anonymity...but just a little.

Slipknot's Corey Taylor

Instagram | @slipknot, @coreytaylor

I fully had no idea Slipknot wore masks. When I pictured them, it was just a bunch of normal guys.

Turns out, that's only when they're offstage. On stage, they're masked up and pretty hardcore.


Instagram | @madonna

Madonna is the queen of chameleons. Her look and music style is the key to her success, and has clearly influenced artists like Lady Gaga.

Madonna is ever-changing, but still very much a normal woman underneath it all.

Marilyn Manson

Getty Images | Jon Kopaloff, Instagram

I mean, what else is there to say about Marilyn Manson that these pictures don't say for themselves?

When he's not done up in true Marilyn Manson fashion, he's a painfully ordinary looking dude.

Tommy Thayer

Instagram | @tommy_thayer_official

When Tommy Thayer isn't busy being Kiss' lead guitarist, he's hanging out in Oregon.

He and the rest of the band are in the middle of a farewell tour for Kiss, called the "End of the Road" tour.

Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk

Daft Punk Fandom Wikia

I know, seeing the face under the robot head is kind of weird, right?

Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo started Daft Punk in Paris in 1993. It's hard to catch them without their signature looks — but not impossible.


Getty Images | Ben Arnold, Instagram

Oh, Cher. Without the looks, hair, and makeup, she's...still Cher. But it's toned down, and it's sort of odd to see!

We're so used to thinking of Cher as larger than life. It's odd to see her as a very real person.

Slipknot's Shawn Crahan

Instagram | @mshawncrahan

Under a shiny silver mask with a blood red nose is Shawn Crahan, a relatively unassuming man who just celebrated his 50th birthday.

He goes by "The Clown," which has to have Pennywise quaking.

Miranda Sings

Instagram | @mirandasings, @colleen

This difference is shocking.

For the longest time, I had no idea what Miranda Sings looked like when she wasn't in character. Turns out, her creator, Colleen Ballinger, is a stunning performer who has lost a lot of hair to Miranda's harsh barrettes.

Trixie Mattel

Instagram | @trixiemattel

Yup, the mystery behind the pop fantasy makeup, Dolly Parton wigs, and pink cowboy boots is just a bald man named Brian.

Trixie's alternative blues music is a big hit in and outside of the drag community, and has turned Trixie into a very recognizable figure.


Instagram | @rupaulofficial

The older mama Ru gets, the odder it is to see him in drag, instead of out of drag.

Either way, Ru totally disappears inside his drag persona. Drag Race fans call suit-wearing Ru "Werkroom Ru." (It's me, I'm the Drag Race fans.)

Cardi B

Instagram | @iamcardib

If you're like, "But Cardi is Cardi 24/7," then you're right! However! Even though her personality is always dialled up to 100, her look changes constantly.

Could you spot Cardi B sans makeup, wig, and wild outfits?

Limp Bizkit's Wes Borland

Instagram | @thewesborland

I mean, considering we were just discussing Ru, I guess I have an easy way to describe some of Wes Borland's looks: full drag, and fantastic.

He shed those looks when he branched out on his own.

Slipknot's Mick Thomson

Instagram | @7mick7

By far, Mick Thomson is one of the hardest members of the masked band to uncover.

He almost never goes unmasked on social media, and appears infrequently in interviews. Now that's a man of mystery.