Celebrities who have changed their names

The names we are born with shape our personality and stay with us for life. However, many of us growing up switched to a different name for a variety of reasons. While for some it denotes a new beginning, for others it is an alternative to a name that is difficult to pronounce.

This also applies to celebrities. Among several reasons, they choose a different name for the sake of privacy, uniqueness and something that would resonate with fans while adding a personal touch that reminds them of their past.

In the entertainment industry, stars usually change their names before they step into stardom. However, some, like Kanye West (now known as Ye), went for different names at the peak of their careers.

Whatever the reason, these names continue to represent their true selves and past, at the same time imparting uniqueness. From homage to their favorite superheroes and pets to childhood nicknames, here are 12 celebrities who have changed their names for different reasons.

Kanye west

Image: Courtesy of David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

The most recent to join this movement is rapper, record producer and clothing entrepreneur Kanye West, who legally changed his name to Ye.

On August 24, 2021, the 44-year-old artist filed a petition to change his name to simply “Ye”. Citing “personal reasons” behind his decision, West chose to use his new name without a middle name or last name; it was approved by a Los Angeles judge on October 18.

Taking to Twitter in 2018, he announcement: “to be officially known as Kanye West. I am YES”. It was the same year that he released an album of the same name.

In a radio interview with Big Boy radio host the same year, he said, “I believe ‘you’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means you. So I am you, I am us, this is us.

West added that he “went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just Ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confusion, everything.”

Joaquin phoenix

Joaquin phoenix
Image: Courtesy of Harald Krichel / Wikimedia Commons

Born Joaquin Rafael Bottom – the actor-producer who conquered audiences and critics with his work in Joker (2019) – His parents left the infamous Children of God religious cult, which began in the United States in the late 1960s. After leaving the cult in 1978, the family adopted the surname Phoenix to represent the Renaissance “.

Around this time, when he was about four years old, Phoenix changed his first name to “Leaf” because he wanted it to represent nature, similar to the names of his other siblings, River and Rain. The actor was known as Leaf until he was 16 and also has a few acting credits. At 16, he resumed his original name in 1991.

Diane keaton

Diane Keaton's celebrities who changed their names
Image: Courtesy of es: Ruven Afanador / Wikimedia Commons

The Godfather The actress’ real last name is Hall. In a 2017 interview with Irish Examiner, she shared, “My name is Diane Hall and what happened was I had to change my name when I joined Actors’ Equity, which is our union, because there was a Diane Hall. So I chose my mother’s maiden name, which was Keaton.

Gigi hadid

Gigi hadid
Image: Courtesy of @ gigihadid / Instagram

The 26-year-old model was born Jelena Noura Hadid. In a 2015 interview with Vogue, the star explained that her mother’s nickname Yolanda Hadid was Gigi and how it came to her when she was young.

In the same interview, she said: “In the first or second year there was a girl named Helena and this created confusion with the teacher who had to call our names. So the teacher asked my mother, “If I had to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?” And my mom said to me ‘I sometimes call her Gigi’ and the name stuck. ”

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea Celebrities Who Have Changed Their Names
Image: Courtesy of @ thenewclassic / Instagram

The Australian rapper-singer’s real name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly, but only a handful of people are allowed to call her by that name. In a 2020 Tweeter, she said those who are “allowed” to address her by her real name are “elites.”

Later, a fan asked her if she would name any of her albums after her real name, she tweeted: “No because I think names are very personal and I never wanted strangers to use mine to talk and put weird negative energy on them. I have to protect your vibe.

Her stage name is a combination of her Iggy – the name of her first pet – and the street she grew up on in Australia – Azalea.

Jennifer aniston

Jennifer aniston
Image: Courtesy of @ jenniferaniston / Instagram

Jennifer Aniston is one of the celebrities who changed their names. The star’s real last name is Anastassakis. His Greek father John Aniston, who also made a foray into show business as an actor, changed his name from Yannis Anistasskakis to John Aniston because the former was difficult for some people to pronounce. The adopted surname was also passed on to her daughter.

Nicolas cage

Nicolas Cage's celebrities who have changed their names
Image: courtesy of Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons

Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola and is the nephew of The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola.

To separate his identity from his famous uncle, he started using the surname Cage, which was also an ode to superhero Luke Cage.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman
Image: courtesy of Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons

The original name of the multi-faceted Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman is Neta-Lee Hershlag. She took over her maternal grandmother’s last name when she made her acting debut at the age of 13 with Leon: the professional in 1994, to protect his privacy as a child actor.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry celebrities who changed their names
Image: Courtesy of @ katyperry / Instagram

The singer, songwriter, and TV show judge changed her name from Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson to Katy Perry in the early 2000s.

After his first album Katy hudson was not very successful, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of succeeding in the music industry and adopted her mother’s maiden name to make sure people didn’t confuse her with Bride wars (2009) actress Kate Hudson.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling
Image: Courtesy of @ mindykaling / Instagram

Born Vera Mindy Chokalingam, the actress, comedian and screenwriter has used her middle name Mindy since childhood. She abbreviated her last name to Kaling when she began to establish herself as a comedian. The change came after her last name was mispronounced on several occasions.

John legend

John Legend celebrities who changed their names
Image: Courtesy of @ johnlegend / Instagram

The award-winning singer-songwriter gives his name to J. Ivy and Kanye West.

In a March 2021 episode of Tonight’s Show with Jimmy Fallon, he explained how the nickname ‘Legend’ came to be: “It was a nickname that some friends started calling me in the studio, just guys I worked with. The first guy to call me was that. was J. Ivy, a spoken word artist from Chicago.

He went on to say, “I met him through Kanye (West). We were all in the studio together. He just started calling me ‘The Legend’ because he thought I looked like one of our old school soul legends. And it spread with our little group of friends, and then they were like, “We should call you John Legend.” And it was really in our little circle.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey
Image: Courtesy of Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, the actress-producer-playwright uses an abbreviated version of her middle name as her first name.

Fey borrowed parts of her birth name to create the nickname Betty, which a close friend Amy Poehler uses to address her, and the character of Fey in the TV series 30 Rock (2006-2013), Liz Lemon.

(Main and Featured Image: Angela Weiss / AFP)

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