Fun Fact Friday: Celebrity name changes

As the world eagerly awaits the news of what Beyoncé will call her children and husband Jay Z reverts back to the original styling of his stage name, JAY-Z, having a good celebrity name is crucial.

From stage names to nicknames there are many famous faces out there who have tweaked their birth names to grace the stage or big screen under a different persona. Well as the former Beatle once said: “Richard Starkey wouldn’t have been as famous as Ringo Starr.”

Check out these other famous name changes.

Vincent Damon Furnier

He’s poison and loves to have pythons draping round his neck during live shows – Vincent Damon Furnier is one of the oldest rock stars about. He’s also better known as Alice Cooper.

Emily Jean Stone

Been a while lovelies

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Her parents know her as Emily Jean Stone, we know her as Emma Stone. The actress had to change her name after there was already an Emily Stone in the acting business. Originally the star changed her name to Riley but decided to settle with Emma.

John Roger Stephens

Another incredible night at @chateaustemichelle! Thank you so much!!! #DarknessAndLightTour

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John Roger Stephens changed his name to John Legend after the poet J. Ivy said: “I heard your music and it reminds me of that music from the old school. You sound like one of the legends. As a matter of fact, that’s what I’m going to call you from now on! I’m going to call you John Legend.” The nickname stuck with Kanye West even signing the singer under the same name.

Jelena Noura Hadid

She rocked the runway and got her angle wings from Victoria’s Secret, there’s no denying that Gigi Hadid is one of the most famous models out there. Gigi is actually a nickname; her real name is Jelena Noura Hadid. Talking about the name change to Stylist, she said: “My mom was called that as a kid by her mother when she was younger. But only around the house. 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?’ And my mom was like, ‘I call her Gigi sometimes,’ and the name stuck.”


Rachel Meghan Markle

Prince Harry’s lady actually uses her middle name publicly rather than her birth name, Rachel. The Suits actress has never revealed why she decided to run with Meghan over Rachel – either way it works.

Joaquin Rafael Bottom


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Bottom is a slightly unfortunate surname for the actor who would go on to play Johnny Cash. Joaquin Pheonix’s parents changed their family name to represent a new beginning – and what a change it made.

Irina Valeryevna Shaykhlislamo

Russian model Irina Valeryevna Shaykhlislamov shortened her name to Irina Shaky after becoming famous in Europe and America.

Reginald Kenneth Dwight

Back to work!! @youtube #EJTheCut

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Circle of life, Tiny Dancer, Candle in the Wind – yes Reginald is the world famous, Elton John. We were shocked too. 

Jennifer Linn Anastassakis

In a bid to get more work Jennifer’s actor father changed his Greek last name to Aniston. A friend to all Jennifer Aniston’s real name is in fact, Jennifer Linn Anastassakis.

Eric Marlon Bishop

Starting out as a comic, Eric Marlon Bishop noticed that female comics were called first to perform during open mic nights. Eager to get on stage Eric opted for the gender neutral name of Jamie – we’re not sure where the Foxx came from.

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