To Top

When some celebrities make it to Hollywood, they are sometimes told their given names are too ordinary or unfit for the limelight. Stars choose to adopt “stage names” which they find more catchy or appealing to their fans. Some celebs make minor changes to their real names when creating a stage name, while others make up a new name altogether. You’ll be surprised to find out what names some stars were actually born with. Take a look at our list of 10 celebrities real names below.

1. Lorde

The pop star said that when she was trying to come up with a stage name she wanted something that related to royals or aristocracy because she’s always been interested in that. She thought of Lord, but said it sounded too masculine so she added an ‘e’ to the end. Her real name is Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor. Lorde’s a little catchier than that, don’t you think?


2. Whoopi Goldberg

The actress/comedian/host’s stage name stems from a whoopee cushion. Whoopi said, “If you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.'” The first name stuck. As for Goldberg, Whoopi’s mother thought that she needed Jewish sounding name to make it in showbiz. Whoopi was actually born Caryn Elaine Johnson.

Whoopi Goldberg
Featureflash -

3. Bruno Mars

The swooning pop star has an interesting background. Bruno is a mix of Filipino, Spanish, Puerto Rican, Hungarian and Ukrainian heritages, he’s part Jewish and was born in Hawaii. His parents named him Peter Gene Hernandez. His Dad used to call him Bruno as a kid because of his resemblance to professional wrestler, Bruno Sammartino.

Bruno Mars
s_buckley -

4. Miley Cyrus

Did you know that Miley is actually a stage name for the iconic star? Miley Cyrus was born Destiny Hope Cyrus, but as an infant she was nicknamed “Smiley” and it later became shortened to Miley.

Miley Cyrus

5. Tiger Woods

The legendary golfer was actually not named after a jungle cat. Tiger was born Eldrick Tont Woods, but his Father nicknamed him after a military friend who passed away, known as “Tiger.” It’s got a memorable ring to it.

celebrity scandals
Tony Bowler /

6. Akon

The R&B recording artist was born in St. Louis, but actually spent most of his childhood growing up in the West African country of Senegal. Akon’s full name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam. We can understand why he’d want to shorten it.

Akon at the Billboard Music Awards - s_buckley

7. Nelly

St. Louis born rapper, Nelly, actually adopted his stage name back in 1993 when he was a member of the St. Lunatics. Nelly was born Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. Nelly’s a nickname that stems from his first given name, Cornell.

s_buckley - Shutterstock

8. Katy Perry

This “California Girl” was actually born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Katy released her debut gospel album in 2001 entitled “Katy Hudson.” But, when the pop star signed with Capitol Records in 2007, she was advised to create a new name to escape confusion with the actress, Kate Hudson. Katy decided to adopt her mother’s maiden name, Perry.

celebs who dont drink
Helga Esteb -

9. Queen Latifah

The hip-hop pioneer feminist has smoothly transitioned into acting, modelling and producing. She wasn’t really born a “queen.” When the rapper was younger she was flipping through an Arabic book and found “Latifah”, which means delicate and very kind, and she adopted the name. Queen Latifah was born Dana Elaine Owens.

Queen Latifah
Jaguar PS -

10. Iggy Azalea

The Australian born rapper exploded onto the scene in 2013. But what is the 24-year old’s real name? Iggy was actually named Amethyst Amelia Kelly when she was born in Sydney, Australia. The young star created her stage name from her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she grew up on, Azalea.

Iggy Azaela
Kobby Dagan -

More in Celebrity