22 Celebrities Who Changed Their Real Names

In the world of entertainment and showbiz, a title is everything. Therefore for these celebrities who changed their names, choosing the right moniker to go by is as important as talent itself.

Brad Pitt. . .Real name: William Bradley Pitt

All this time, Brad wasn't really his first name? Mind-blowing.

Katy Perry. . .Real name: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

The singer used her mother's maiden name so she wouldn't be mistaken for the actress Kate Hudson.

Tina Fey. . .Real name: Elizabeth Stamatina Fey

Her first name is the same as her 30 Rock character, Liz Lemon.

Helen Mirren. . .Real name: Ilyena Lydia Mironoff

Another foreign name changed for the general public.

Lea Michele. . .Real name: Lea Michele Sarfati

According to Lea, “I don’t use {my the last name} a lot because I got ‘Lea So-fatty,’ ‘Lea So-farty’ at school.”

Nicki Minaj. . .Real name: Onika Tanya Maraj

Like her song "Starships" says, "My name is Onika, you can call me Nicki."

Liam Neeson. . .Real name: William John Neeson

Liam as a nickname for William? That's a little strange.

Natalie Portman. . .Real name: Natalie Hershlag

 She used her grandmother's maiden name to separate her public and private life when she started acting as a teenager.

Vin Diesel. . .Real name: Mark Sinclair Vincent

Vin Diesel sounds much more intimidating.

Jamie Foxx. . .Real name: Eric Marlon Bishop

Why he changed:

When he was starting out in comedy, he noticed those females comics were called first to perform during open mic nights. So, he chose a gender-neutral name.

Lana Del Rey. . .Real name: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant

 According to Lana, "I wanted a name I could shape the music towards.

Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue."

Alicia Keys. . .

A piano player with the last name "Keys".  It's too good to be true.

Michael Caine. . .Real name: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite

Stage name origins

He also took his last name from the movie "The Caine Mutiny".

Iggy Azalea. . .Real name: Amethyst Amelia Kelly

Iggy Azalea had a dog named Iggy, and her last name comes from the street her family lives on. Quite strange.

Portia De Rossi. . .Real name: Amanda Lee Rogers

Actually, Portia De Rossi chose "Portia" from a character in Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice".

Nicolas Cage. . .Real name: Nicolas Kim Coppola

Nicolas changed his last name to disassociate himself from his uncle who was also his Godfather, director "Francis Ford Coppola".

Miley Cyrus. . .Real name: Destiny Hope Cyrus

The name "Miley" came from her childhood nickname "Smiley," because she smiled a lot. 

Nina Dobrev. . .Real name: Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva

Actually, the actress' Bulgarian birth name was quite a mouthful, so she skips some alphabets.

Jennifer Aniston. . .Real name: Jennifer Linn Anastassakis

The actress' father (John Aniston), an actor himself, changed his Greek last name to get more work and fame.

Bruno Mars. . .Real name: Peter Gene Hernandez

If he hasn't changed his name, he wouldn't be stereotyped as a Latin singer.

Olivia Wilde. . .Real name: Olivia Jane Cockburn

Olivia took the last name of author Oscar Wilde, after starring in one of his plays in high school.

Joaquin Phoenix. . .Real name: Joaquin Rafael Bottom

Joaquin's parents changed their family's last name to Phoenix to represent a new beginning.

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