Celebs' Real Names And Stories Behind Their Stage Names
It's common that celebrities change their real names when they enter the entertainment business. From Tiger Woods to Emma Stone, here are 15 A-list stars who had different names growing up.
1. Tiger Woods - Eldrick Tont Woods
Tiger Woods has been known as "Tiger" for so long, but that is not his real name. It's a nickname. The name on his birth certificate is Eldrick Tont Woods. His father called his son Tiger in honor of his best friend, Col. Vuong Dang Phong, whose nickname was Tiger.
2. Kit Harington - Christopher Catesby Harington
Kit Harington is famous for his role as Jon Snow in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. He was born Christopher Catesby Harington. Funnily enough, this actor didn't know his full name until he was 11 years old. The short name, Kit, is a traditional abbreviation of Christopher.
3. Cote De Pablo
When Cote was ten years old, she and her family moved from Chile to Miami, Florida. Many of her classmates couldn't pronounce her real name, which is María José de Pablo. To make things easier, she changed her name to "Cote De Pablo."
4. Lady Gaga - Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Obviously, this singer's real name isn't Lady Gaga. It's actually Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her music producer and then-boyfriend, Rob Fusari, started calling her "GaGa" because her voice reminded him of the Queen song, "Radio GaGa." She came up with the rest of the name herself.
5. Snoop Dogg - Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.
This iconic rapper was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., but his parents nicknamed him "Snoopy" due to his striking resemblance to the famous cartoon beagle. When he made his rapping debut, he took the stage name "Snoop Doggy Dogg," and later shortened it to Snoop Dogg.
6. Cher - Cherilyn Sarkisian
Cher has been the iconic singer's stage name since she hit the big time in the 1960s. Her birth name is actually Cherilyn Sarkisian. At the start of her career, she recorded songs under the names Bonnie Jo Mason and Cherilyn. When she teamed up with Sonny Bono, she began calling herself Cher.
7. Cardi B - Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar
Fans love this musician and her rather unusual name. Cardi B was actually named Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, which is a bit of a mouthful. However, she grew up being called Bacardi instead of Belcalis, which was eventually shortened to Cardi B.
8. Jamie Foxx - Eric Marlon Bishop
Jamie Foxx's real name is Eric Marlon Bishop. He changed his name for an interesting reason. When he first started doing standup comedy, he noticed that female comedians were always being called up to the stage first. So, he chose a name that was gender ambiguous to avoid any bias.
9. Emma Stone - Emily Jean Stone
When she started her music career, she found that her real name, Emily Stone, had already been taken by a Hollywood actress. She then tried out the name Riley, but later decided it didn't feel right. Eventually, she chose the name Emma, because it was closer to Emily.
10. Bruno Mars - Peter Gene Hernandez
Although he was born Bruno Peter Gene Hernandez, his father called him Bruno because as a toddler, he looked like the famous wrestler Bruno Sammartino. As he started his funk music career, he realized the name Bruno Hernandez hinted towards a Latino sound. So, he changed his surname to Mars.
11. Albert Brooks - Albert Einstein
Yes, this comedy legend shares the same birth name with one of the greatest scientists of all time. As he was making his start in the comedy world, he decided to change his name so as not to be overshadowed by the coincidence.
12. Brad Pitt - William Bradley Pitt
Today, Brad Pitt's name is synonymous with Hollywood and fame, but when he was young, he was still William Bradley Pitt. He made his name simpler when he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.
13. Jay-Z - Shawn Corey Carter
The real name of Jay-Z is Shawn Corey Carter. When he was a kid, his parents nicknamed him "Jazzy." He was also mentored by the famous rapper, Jaz-O, so he merged these two names to create his now-famous stage name.
14. Mila Kunis - Milena Markovna Kunis
Born in Soviet Ukraine, Mila's parents named their daughter Milena Markovna Kunis, a traditional Ukrainian name. Her name has been shortened by her friends and family since she was a child.
15. Katy Perry - Kathryn Elizabeth Hudson
Katy Perry is known for her catchy voice, over-the-top fashion, and quirky stage props. As she tried to make a name in the world of music, she didn't want to be confused with actress Kate Hudson. So she changed her last name to her mom's maiden name, Perry.
16. Demi Moore - Demi Gene Guynes
Hollywood actress Demi Moore was actually born Demi Gene Harmon, but later took the name of Demi Gene Guynes, after her step-father. She used the name Demi as a shortened version of her first name, and her last name was picked up from her first husband.
17. Miley Cyrus - Destiny Hope Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus and Tish Cyrus named their first child Destiny Hope Cyrus because they believed she would accomplish great things. Her parents nicknamed her "Smiley," which they later shortened to "Miley," due to her constant smiling as an infant.
18. Alicia Keys - Alicia Augello Cook
Alicia Keys' real name is Alicia Augello Cook. As a teenager, she wanted to create a stage name to help her stand out. She originally considered the title "Alicia Wild", but her mom said that name made her sound like a stripper. In the end, she took a more musical moniker, Keys.