13 Celebrities Who Changed Their Real Names Before Becoming Famous

year ago

Sometimes we are given names that are either too hard to pronounce or too long to keep in their entirety. And if you are someone with a normal 9-5 job, that is completely fine. But, if you are someone in the entertainment industry who wants your name to be known by everyone, this may not be the best thing. That’s why many people choose to either shorten their full names or completely change them.

1. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus legally changed her name back in 2008 from Destiny Hope Cyrus to Miley Cyrus. The name Miley is a rendition of her childhood nickname “Smiley” in honor of her paternal grandfather.

2. Victoria Beckham

Prior to becoming known as the fashion diva, Victoria Beckham, back in the early days of the iconic group we love, Victoria Adams was the name used for her records. However, when the Spice Girls became rising stars, she changed her name to Posh Spice. Years later, she become the famous Victoria Beckham we know today.

3. Vin Diesel

Jordan Strauss /Invision / AP / East News

At the age of 17, Mark Sinclair was a rather big guy. He even used to work as a bouncer at a nightclub called The Tunnel. Around that time he took the name Vin Diesel and started to shave his head regularly.

4. Rachel Weisz

Early in her career, she changed her name to Rachel Vyce, but when people told her that it was too difficult to pronounce, she changed it to Kenya Campbell. She decided to keep it that way for a while, but she soon realized that it sounded unpleasant. The actress then decided to stay with Rachel Weisz and made a lot of iconic movies.

5. Natalie Portman

Billy Bennight / AdMedia / Sipa USA / East News

It was in 1994 when a very young Neta-Lee Hershlag auditioned for Leon and landed her first role in a major production. While filming, the actress changed her name to “Natalie” and took her mother’s maiden last name. Apparently, she wanted to maintain her privacy because some scenes in the movie were polemical.

6. Alicia Keys

Her real name is Alicia Augello-Cook, but she changed it and decided to have her own different stage name with a special meaning behind it. She explained, “It’s like the piano keys, and it can also open a lot of doors,” and she ended up with the name Alicia Keys and broke multiple records in her career.

7. Jamie Foxx

Eric Marlon Bishop, now known as Jamie Foxx, tried out a couple of different names when he first started doing open mic nights. When he’d sign up to the open mic lists, he used the names Tracy Brown and Stacy Green but eventually landed on Jamie Foxx.

8. Iggy Azalea

Her birth name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly, and she ended up with Iggy Azalea because she has a dog named “Iggy,” and it became her nickname. She came up with the surname Azalea, as she explained, “Because that is a street name that my mom and family live on, and it sounds very feminine, and I thought it would balance out Iggy being so masculine.”

9. Lana Del Rey


The singer’s real name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, but she’s now known as Lana Del Rey. When she began singing, she went by the name, “Lizzy Grant,” and also performed as “Sparkle Rope Jump Queen” until she landed on Lana Del Rey.

10. Tom Hardy

Before becoming Tom Hardy, his birth name was Edward Thomas Hardy, and he only used his first name before deciding to go by his middle name instead. Even though the Internet was aware of his true identity, it was not widely publicized.

11. Blake Lively

Laurent VU/SIPA/Sipa Press Russia/East News

After Blake became an actress she decided to take the surname of her mother, Elaine Lively as her stage name.

12. Aaron Paul

His full name is Aaron Paul Sturtevant, but when he went to auditions, no one could pronounce his surname, “Sturtevant,” so he had to change it so that everyone could say it, and then he shortened it when he entered Hollywood.

13. Lorde

ROBYN BECK / AFP / East News

Lorde changed her original name at the age of 12 when she was signed to a development contract with the Universal Music Group after an agent of theirs saw footage of her singing at a middle school talent show. Her real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor. The royalty hidden in the name Lord encouraged her in changing her original name, but she also added an “e” because she felt that Lord would be too masculine for a girl.

Preview photo credit Laurent VU/SIPA/Sipa Press Russia/East News, mileycyrus / Instagram


Get notifications
Lucky you! This thread is empty,
which means you've got dibs on the first comment.
Go for it!

Related Reads