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
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.
#12. Reginald Kenneth Dwight
“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.
#11. Joaquín Rafael Bottom
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…
#10. River Jude Bottom
Yep. His name was River Bottom.
#9. Louis Székely
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.
#8. Onika Tanya Maraj
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”.
#7. Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr.
Hey! It’s Nelly! That one makes sense. He just shortened his first name.
#6. Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
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!
#5. Stevland Hardaway Morris (Judkins)
Not much of a surprise here, either.
He took his nickname and added “Wonder”, because that will pretty much make any name cooler.
#4. Destiny Hope Cyrus
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.
#3. Mark Sinclair
There are some claims out there that he used “Vincent” as a last name for a time.
It is his stepfather’s last name, so it makes sense.
#2. Caryn Elaine Johnson
There probably aren’t many people who can pull off a name like “Whoopi” – few would even try.
There also weren’t a lot of people who would have come out to see “Caryn Johnson”, so a name like “Whoopi” makes everything more exciting.
#1. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor
Of course you didn’t think “Lorde” was her real name (and there’s no way they would have put the above on an album cover).
Besides, maybe she didn’t want people to think she was related to Sinéad O’Connor because nothing compares.
I don’t know that I could blame any of the above for choosing their new monikers – they’re definitely serving them all well enough.
h/t: Viral Thread