These 10 Celebrity “Real” Names Are Very Different Than Their “Stage” Names

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Many celebrities take on stage names to either protect their identity, or to reinvent themselves into someone else. Here are 10 celebrities' stage names vs. their real names.

10. Olivia Wilde-Olivia Jane Cockburn

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Olivia's mom suggested she come up with a stage name so that she could have a unique identity, so she decided to name herself after Oscar Wilde.

9. Zayn-Zain Javadd Malik

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Zayn changed the spelling of his first name before his X Factor audition because he thought it would look cooler with a “y.”

8. Brie Larson-Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers

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Brie chose Larson as her last name because it was the last name of her favorite American Girl doll growing up, Kirsten Larson.

7. Emma Stone-Emily Jean Stone

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Emma chose her name because there was already an actor going by Emily Stone in the Screen Actor's Guild. She chose “Riley” at first, but after struggling to respond to that name on set, she chose something closer to her real name.

6. Nicki Minaj-Onika Tanya Maraj

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Nicki was convinced to change her last name to Minaj by a man she signed one of her early production deals with.

5. Reese Witherspoon-Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon

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Even though “Reese” was her mother's maiden name, she decided to change that to her first name early in her career.

4. Drake-Aubrey Drake Graham

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Drake decided to go by his middle name because it was given to him by his father.

3. Nina Dobrev-Nikolina Kamenova Dobreva

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Her name reflects her Bulgarian roots, but she shortened it when her acting career began.

2. Jamie Foxx-Eric Marlon Bishop

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When he was starting off as a comedian, he went by Eric Bishop. However, jealous competitors who controlled the lists on open mic night prevented him from performing, so he started choosing androgynous names to go by, and Jamie Foxx stuck.

1. Katy Perry-Katheryn Elizabeth Husdon

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Although she recorded two gospel albums under her real name, she decided to take on her mom's maiden name when she signed with Capitol Records in 2017.

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Claire started Femme on FIRE after struggling with the debt cycle and realizing that she had to create better habits to get out of it. She became inspired along this journey and now strives to help others achieve financial freedom as well. When she isn’t working on her blog, you can find her on the couch with a good book, cooking up recipes in the kitchen, or playing outside with her ducks.