Everyone has a name, but not everyone is pleased with the one they were given. Some popular celebrities don’t want to divulge their name because they don’t think it sounds cool, some feel it’s peculiar, or maybe they simply don’t like it. Names can also be altered if some individuals believe that a different name will bring them luck and success.
In some cases, such as with many celebrities, they don’t even have to change the names officially. These individuals simply create stage names and perform behind them. Here’s a list of seven popular celebrities who go by fake names. Let’s see if you think they made a wise decision or that they should have stayed with the name their parents gave them.
1. Marilyn Monroe grew up as Norma Jeane
You’re probably aware that one of the most popular celebrities of her time, Marilyn Monroe was known as Norma Jeane as a child. The legendary actress was born to the last name Mortenson, baptized as Baker, and later married into Dougherty. But do you know how she got to be known as Marilyn? According to Time, the actress dropped her first husband’s last name because a studio executive at 20th Century Fox believed there would be too many different ways to pronounce it. The studio exec gave her the moniker “Marilyn” because she reminded him of 1920s Broadway superstar Marilyn Miller. Norma Jeane volunteered the last name “Monroe,” which is a name from her mom’s side of the family.
2. Miley Cyrus changed her real name as a child star
Some stars have been known to change their names at an early in life. When you’re a child actor, it’s natural to start your career under a stage name. Miley Cyrus is an example of one of such popular celebrities. She is a one-of-a-kind figure, and many people believe it was destiny that she became as popular as she did. Speaking of which, her actual name is Destiny, by the way. Somewhere along the line, she or her parents decided that changing her stage name to Miley would be a good idea. Honestly, it has turned out to be a great decision because it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of Miley Cyrus today.
3. Gigi Hadid is actually named Jelena
Devout fans are aware that the world-famous supermodel used to go under a different name initially. Hadid was originally Jelena (pronounced Yelena) and was given the nickname Gigi only by her close family. In an interview, Gigi revealed, “My mom was called that as a kid by her mother when she was younger, but only around the house”. When Jelena got complicated in elementary school, Gigi became Gigi full-time. “In first or second grade, there was a girl named Helena and it got confusing with the teacher who had to call out our names, and so the teacher asked my mom, ‘If I needed to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?'” Her mother told the teacher that the family calls her Gigi, and henceforth, the name stuck.
4. Onika Tanya Minaj changed her name to Nicki Minaj
Some may argue that Nicki is a simple name to pronounce and that it resonates with listeners after they hear it. Onika Tanya Minaj, on the other hand, is her real name. And, say anything you want about Onika, but we think it’s an excellent name for an artist. This is the type of name that popular celebrities use that sticks in people’s minds. Actors, musicians, and everyone else in the show business sometimes appear to want to make their names more normal in order to appeal to a bigger audience. Nonetheless, if you have a cool name like this, perhaps staying with it for a while is a better option.
5. Frank Ocean was initially known as Christopher Edwin Breaux
Ocean was originally named Christopher Edwin Breaux, but he didn’t think his given name was interesting enough. In an interview, he stated that on his birthday in 2010, he changed his name. It was perhaps one of the most exciting things he accomplished, he said. He used LegalZoom to change his name because it just sounded cool. “None of us are our names,” the singer of “Novacane” wisely remarked. He recommended people to alter their names if they didn’t like them. “I’m only a few steps into the process, so I probably shouldn’t even be talking about this, but by the beginning of summer, I’ll be straight. I’ll be boarding planes as Christopher Francis Ocean.”
6. Alison Brie does not use her full name
Choosing a stage name might often be the best way to avoid confusion caused by a particularly difficult last name. When you first hear Alison Brie’s name, you might assume that it is her given name. However, it turns out that only part of Alison Brie’s real name is Alison Brie. That’s only her first and middle names together. Her real last name is Schermerhorn. Yeah… we’re also perplexed as to how someone would speak such a word. Some people may find it simple, but consider if English was not your native language and you were an admirer who had just discovered Alison’s actual last name.
7. The Weeknd grew up as Abel Makkonen Tesfaye
It’s pretty obvious that The Weeknd‘s first and last names are not “The” and “Weeknd”. Abel Makkonen Tesfaye is actually the singer’s real name. He dropped out of high school when he was around 17, fled home, and persuaded another member of the squad, Lamar, to do the same. They snatched mattresses from their parents, loaded them into a friend’s vehicle, and drove away one weekend, never to return. He despised his given name at the time, so he used this as a stage name, which he liked. He had to remove the ‘e’ since there was already a Canadian band with the same name, so there would be copyright concerns.