50 Celebrities and Their Surprising Real Names

By: Francisco Guzman  | 

Rihanna, Drake, MTV awards
Drake (real name Aubrey Drake Graham) presents the Video Vanguard to Rihanna (real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty) onstage during the 2016 MTV Music Video Awards at Madison Square Gareden in New York City. John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV.com

With names like Lana Del Rey, Bruno Mars and Frank Ocean, you're destined to be a star in the entertainment business. But these three recording artists weren't always referred to by their cool and catchy names.

It's not uncommon for entertainment stars to change their names before they get famous. In fact, celebrities often change their name because they share a similar one to someone who's already famous, their birth name is too difficult to pronounce or else it's just too ordinary and unmemorable.

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And for their new names, celebrities often choose a shortened version of their real name, use their middle name or come up with something completely original. Have you ever wanted to change your name and start a new identity? Well, here are 50 celebrities who did just that.

50 Celebrities and Their Real Names

The celebrity name is given first, followed by the real name.

  1. Ben Kingsley: Krishna Pandit Bhanji
  2. Bob Dylan: Robert Allen Zimmerman
  3. Bono: Paul Hewson
  4. Bruno Mars: Peter Gene Hernandez
  5. Calvin Harris: Adam Richard Wiles
  6. Cardi B: Belcalis Almanzar
  7. Carmen Electra: Tara Leigh Patrick
  8. Cher: Cherilyn Sarkisian
  9. Drake: Aubrey Drake Graham
  10. Doja Cat: Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini
  11. Elton John: Reginald Dwight
  12. Elvis Costello: Declan MacManus
  13. Eminem: Marshall Mathers III
  14. Frank Ocean: Christopher Edwin Breaux
  15. Freddie Mercury: Farrokh Bulsara
  16. George Michael: Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou
  17. Halsey: Ashley Nicolette Frangipane
  18. Helen Mirren: Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov
  19. Hulk Hogan: Terry Gene Bollea
  20. Iggy Azalea: Amethyst Amelia Kelly
  21. Jamie Foxx: Eric Bishop
  22. Jay-Z: Shawn Carter
  23. John Wayne: Marion Robert Morrison
  24. Judy Garland: Frances Gumm
  25. Kodak Black: Dieuson Octave; changed to Bill K. Kapri
  26. Lady Gaga: Stefani Germanotta
  27. Lana Del Rey: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
  28. Lil Nas X: Montero Lamar Hill
  29. Lil Wayne: Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr
  30. Lil Yachty: Miles Parks McCollum
  31. Logic: Sir Robert Bryson Hall II
  32. Lorde: Ella Yelich-O'Connor
  33. Ludacris: Christopher Bridges
  34. Marilyn Monroe: Norma Jeane Mortensen, later Norma Jeane Baker
  35. Mark Twain: Samuel Langhorne Clemens
  36. MF DOOM: Daniel Dumile
  37. Mindy Kaling: Vera Mindy Chokalingam
  38. Nicki Minaj: Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty
  39. Nipsey Hussle: Ermias Asghedom
  40. Notorious B.I.G: Christopher Wallace
  41. Pink: Alecia Beth Moore
  42. Queen Latifah: Dana Owens
  43. Rihanna: Robyn Rihanna Fenty
  44. Snoop Dogg: Calvin Broadus, Jr.
  45. Stevie Wonder: Stevland Morris
  46. Sting: Gordon Sumner
  47. T-Pain: Faheem Rasheed Najm
  48. The Weeknd: Abel Makkonen Tesfaye
  49. Travis Scott: Jacques Berman Webster II
  50. Whoopi Goldberg: Caryn Johnson

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Originally Published: Sep 12, 2007

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