So many celebrities have remarkable names that are impossible to confuse, like Adele, Shakira, or Lady Gaga. While the first two use their real unique names, Gaga of course doesn’t, she is actually named Stefani. There are a lot of famous people who change their names.

Why do they change their name? There could be a lot of reasons, it was too long, too common, it wasn’t catchy or simply they didn’t like it. Many of them like to use a unique stage name that would stand out from the rest and are obvious that they changed it, but others go for something more discrete and won’t make you think about it. Next, there are 10 celebrities’ real names.


10. Olivia Wilde – Olivia Cockburn

It is kind of obvious why Olivia Wilde changed her true last name, maybe it wasn’t the right call for getting into show business. She changed it to Wilde after playing Gwendolen in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Apparently, she is really inspired by the author, so much that she wanted to have the same initials. 


9. Iggy Azalea- Amethyst Amelia Kelly

Iggy Azalea’s name change was a sweet move. She used to have a dog called Iggy that she really loved, but unfortunately, he was bitten by a snake and quickly died. Later she got a nameplate necklace with his name on it and she wore it all the time. People started to think that was her name until she finally went by it. 


8. Natalie Portman – Neta-Lee Hershlag 

Natalie Portman was born in Israel, which explains her real name, a traditional Hebrew one. She and her family moved to the United States when she was three years old and they changed their last name to Portman, in honor of her grandmother, and Neta-Lee eventually evolved to Natalie.


7. Portia De Rossi – Amanda Lee Rogers

Changing her name was Portia de Rossi’s way to find her true self. She legally changed it when she was 15 living in her hometown in Australia, which inspired her to pick such an exotic Italian last name. As for why she picked Portia, it was after a character in Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, which she is a fan of. 


6. Bruno Mars – Peter Gene Hernandez 

Who knows if Bruno Mars’ many hits would have been so popular if he stayed as Peter Gene Hernandez. Still, he has been called Bruno since he was a little kid because he resembled the wrestler Bruno Sammartino. Once he started to get into music, Hernandez wasn’t getting a lot of attention, so he chose Mars because people told him his voice was out of this world. 


5. Katy Perry – Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

The singer adopted her mother’s last name because she didn’t want to be confused with the actress Kate Hudson when she was starting her life as a well-known musician. Once she became Katy Perry, she became another whole new persona that allowed her to be who she really wanted. 


4. Stevie Wonder – Steveland Judkins

Stevie Wonder wasn’t his first choice. When he signed with his first record label, Motown, he actually legally changed Judkins to Morris, the last name of his mother. However, when the record executive of the label, Berry Gordy, listened to his song, he started to call him a wonder. This eventually got caught on and he legally changed it again. 


3. Jamie Foxx – Eric Marlon Bishop 

Jamie Foxx’s reason to change his name was actually very clever. He was starting in the stand-up comedy world, but it wasn’t going that well. He noticed that there were only a few female comedians and they were really popular and always got first on stage, so he looked up unisex names that finally got him a lot of gigs. 


2. Carmen Electra – Tara Patrick

Carmen Electra was born after Tara met Prince, who told her she looked like an Electra. She still needed a first name, and Carmen got in the picture. Even though at first she wasn’t sure about this super heroine-ish name, it really stuck among her social connections and she went officially by it. 


1. Lana Del Rey – Elizabeth Woolridge Grant

For a short period, Lana del Rey went by as Lizzy Grant, until she turned 25 years old and thought it was time for her alter ego to come to life. Her new name helped her create her own sound in music, while it had a glamorous ring to it. The idea came because she spent a lot of time in Miami with her Cuban friends who she talked to in Spanish. 

It is kind of weird knowing that a lot of these people used to be another whole different person before being famous. Maybe if they didn’t make that move they wouldn’t be as relevant as they are today, so if you’re thinking of giving it a try to show business, perhaps it is your name that is holding you back.