It’s no secret that some of our favorite stars were not born with the perfectly constructed names we see in the media every day. Let’s be honest, Audrey Hepburn is just a ridiculously perfect name for someone so beautiful and famous. Little do we know, Miss Hepburn is not the only shining star who changed her name for the fame. In case you were curious, many of our favorite artists have done a switch in the name game as well.
Drake: Aubrey Drake Graham
Drake definitely suits him better than Aubrey. You don’t hear of many famous rappers named Aubrey.
Bruno Mars: Peter Gene Hernandez
Bruno was Peter’s nickname as a child. He changed his last name to Mars in an effort to “avoid being stereotyped.” He worried that if he kept his Spanish roots in his name, people would expect him to play Latin or Spanish music.
Nicki Minaj: Onika Tanya Maraj
“My name is Onika, you can call me Nicki!”
Rihanna: Robyn Rihanna Fenty
She’s definitely iconic enough to just have a first name.
Audrey Hepburn: Edda Kathleen van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston
Clearly she was sick of her teachers taking 5 minutes during roll call to make sure she was here.
Shania Twain: Eileen Regina Edwards
She changed her name to Twain after being adopted by her stepfather.
Marilyn Monroe: Norma Jean Mortensen
Let’s be honest, Norma isn’t the sexiest name for the sexiest woman in history.
Reese Witherspoon: Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
Seems like she was sick of having three first names and just decided to pick one.
Vin Diesel: Mark Sinclair Vincent
Mark is clearly too basic for such a hunky fellow.
Cee Lo Green: Thomas DeCarlo Callaway
Definitely a better stage name than “Thomas.”
Lady Gaga: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Back in 2010, Lady Gaga revealed in an interview why she had changed her name to Lady Gaga. Her boyfriend at the time called her Gaga because her voice reminded him of the song “Radio Gaga.” And the rest is history.
Calvin Harris: Adam Richard Wiles
In an interview with ShortList, Harris explained why he chose his stage name.
He said, “My first single was more of a soul track, and I thought Calvin Harris sounded a bit more racially ambiguous. I thought people might not know if I was black or not. After that, I was stuck with it.”
The Weeknd: Abel Tesfaye
“I left home when I was about 17, dropped out of high school and convinced Lamar [XO crew member] to do the same. We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friends van and left one weekend and never came back home. I hated my name at the time though so I tried it as a stage name. It sounded cool. I took out the “e” because there was already a canadian band named The Weekend.”
So, there you have it. If you find yourself on the rise to fame, VALLEY would agree that it’s socially acceptable to take on a brand new name.