Stage names are a fairly common thing. Unions won’t allow for repeats, so some people change names for that while others just want something with more *sizzle*.

Here are the real names of¬†13 well-known folks. They¬†might surprise¬†you….

#13. Aubrey Drake Graham

Photo Credit: the FADER

I guess this one isn’t so crazy – the word “Drake” is in there… but so is “Aubrey.”

I kinda wish he’d gone with Aubrey.

Just Aubrey.

Source: Wikipedia

#12. Reginald Kenneth Dwight

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

“Elton John” does have a much better ring to it.

Though if his ability to sell Coke-bottle goggles and 8-inch platforms is any indicator, I believe this dude could have pulled off just about any name.

Source: Wikipedia

#11. Joaquín Rafael Bottom

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Yeah, Juaquin Phoenix’s real last name was “Bottom,” which doesn’t mean too much, until you think about his dearly departed brother, whose name was…

Source: Wikipedia

#10. River Jude Bottom

Photo Credit: Alan Light

Yep. His name was River Bottom.

RIP.

Source: Wikipedia

#9. Louis Székely

Photo Credit: Anders Krusberg

It’s pretty well known that Louis CK changed his name up to make it easier to pronounce, though he didn’t actually change the name.

He’s essentially just spelled it phonetically.

It also looks good on a hat.

Source: Wikipedia

#8. Onika Tanya Maraj

Photo Credit: hnnssy25

I don’t know… maybe it’s just me, but I think “Nicki Mirage” would have been a better choice.

I get why they went with “Minaj”.

Source: Wikipedia

#7. Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr.

Photo Credit: Adam Bielawski

Hey! It’s Nelly! That one makes sense. He just shortened his first name.

Source: Wikipedia

#6. Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

Photo Credit: Liam Mendez

Perhaps she needed to re-brand after ditching the christian pop career she started under her given name and then moving into the breast and blue dye pop that made her famous?

Well, it worked!

Source: Wikipedia

#5. Stevland Hardaway Morris (Judkins)

Photo Credit: Motown Records

Not much of a surprise here, either.

He took his nickname and added “Wonder”, because that will pretty much make any name cooler.

Source: Wikipedia

#4. Destiny Hope Cyrus

Photo Credit: onetwothreefourfive

When your dad is a one-hit wonder based on a country line-dance gimmick, you end up with a name like “Destiny” or “Hope.”

In the case of Billy Ray Cyrus,  he went hardcore and doubled down with both.

Source: Wikipedia