11 Well-known Folks Who Took A Stage Title, And 11 Who Completely Refused To

11 Famous People Who Took A Stage Name, And 11 Who Absolutely Refused To

11 Celebs Who Took A Stage Title, And 11 Who Refused

The singer advised Cosmopolitan, “I think I had the foresight to know that being me wasn’t enough. I had to become somebody completely different. At the time, I felt that Ashley didn’t deserve to be famous and successful because she wasn’t that special, but if I made Halsey, maybe she could be. [Changing my name] gave me the opportunity to create a new persona that wasn’t bound by the expectations I had for myself or the limitations that others placed on me because of my upbringing or my socioeconomic situation.”

In 2019, the comic went viral for correcting Ellen DeGeneres’s pronunciation of his title throughout her present. He later defined on The Patriot Act that individuals pressured him to vary his title when he first acquired into comedy. So, he spent two months introducing himself at open mics as Sean.

However he shortly realized that did not align together with his ideas — although many Asian of us are equally pressured to vary their names. “You’ll have people who are like, ‘This is my Chinese name, this is my American name.’ But I’m like, ‘Dude, fuck that.’ Your name’s your name.”

On an episode of the Late Present with David Letterman, the actor stated the rationale why he modified his title was because of stand-up comedy. “I noticed it would be, like, 1,000 guys show up and only three girls, but the three girls would always get a spot, and they would choose from the list. So, I went to the list and wrote down unisex names. Stacey Green. Tracey Brown. Jamie Foxx.”

“I would never change my name,” she stated on an episode of the Awards Chatter podcast. “When I was a child and nobody else was called Saoirse — for the record, it’s ‘Sir-shuh’ like inertia, although people in Ireland actually pronounce it ‘Seer-shuh,’ so take your pick — I thought, ‘Oh, I’d like a normal name,’ just because I was a kid. But the older I got, I decided I was never gonna change anything for anyone.”

In 2020, she advised NHPR that she shortened her title when she acquired into comedy as a result of nobody might pronounce it — some folks even made jokes about it. “It’s a South Indian name, and it’s a long name. As a performer, these comedians would just butcher it, and then be like, ‘I don’t know what it is! Just this girl, Mindy.'”

“When you do comedy…these are all comedians who changed their names, and I felt it was the easiest thing for me to do, and ultimately, it was really beneficial to do it. It was something that I had a lot of mixed feelings about. But my parents didn’t mind. I talked to them about it. And then, I ended up shortening it. It’s bittersweet, but I have to say, it was such a help to my career to have a name that people could pronounce.”

On the Smartless podcast, he recalled being advised his title was “too ethnic” when he first acquired to Hollywood. Although he was aggravated about it, he got here up with a couple of totally different choices that his agent did not approve: Chuck Spadina and Templeton Web page-Taylor. They agreed to check out Casey Reeves, however Keanu could not do it. “Eventually, I went back to my agents, and I was like, ‘I can’t change my name.'”


Modified their title: Whoopi Goldberg

In 2006, she advised the New York Instances, “When you’re performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door. So, if you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So, people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from.”

She advised Leisure Weekly that her former administration discouraged her from utilizing her actual title. “My manager at the time was a former singer and a ballroom performer, and she did change her name as well, when she was a teenager back in the ’60s, I believe. And she said it’s what everybody does… That was her doing the best that she wanted for me, but I still knew that I liked my name.”


Modified their title: Nicolas Cage

Throughout a Wired interview, the actor stated he modified his title because of his connection to his uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola. “I changed my name because I was doing a little movie called Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and I was still Nicolas Coppola. People would not stop saying things like, ‘I love the smell of Nicolas in the morning’ because of Apocalypse Now, Robert Duvall saying, ‘I love the smell of napalm in the morning.’ And it made it hard to work. I decided I don’t need this, so I changed it to Cage.”

After successful an Oscar for Every part All over the place All at As soon as, he advised reporters that he began out in Hollywood utilizing his actual title. “When it got really tough, my manager told me that ‘maybe, you know, it would be easier if you were to have an American sounding name,’ and I was so desperate for a job that I would do anything,” he recalled. However after utilizing the title Jonathan and taking a protracted break from appearing, “The very first thing that I wanted to do was to go back to my birth given name.”


Modified their title: Bruno Mars

Throughout a 2013 interview with Rap-Up, the singer stated, “Bruno is after Bruno Sammartino, who was this big, fat wrestler. I guess I was this chunky little baby, so my dad used to call me that as a nickname.”

In 2013, the actor advised GQ that the music business tried to field him in because of his final title. “‘Your last name’s Hernandez,'” he recalled folks telling him. “‘Maybe you should do this Latin music, this Spanish music. … Enrique’s so hot right now.'” He ended up selecting the title Mars and sidestepped the problem. “Mars just kind of came [from] joking around because that sounds bigger than life. That was it, simple as that,” he advised Latina Journal.

The actor advised the Improper Bostonian, “My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means ‘the road is good.’ Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future.”

She recalled asking her mother in grade faculty if she might change her title to Zoe. “I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent, she said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Nobody can pronounce it.’ Without missing a beat, she said, ‘If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.'”


Modified their title: Lana Del Rey

Throughout a 2012 interview with MTV, she stated, “I knew that I wanted a name that sounded sort of exotic and reminded me of the seaside on the Floridian coast. ‘Lana Del Rey’ sounded beautiful.”


Refused: Francia Raisa

Throughout an interview with Bustle, she revealed that she’s been pressured to mispronounce her title. “There are things that people told me not to do. For example, I was told one time that I should pronounce my name more Americanized. There were things that people told me to do that, for a second, I was like, ‘I’m not comfortable,’ but I went off what they told me. Because I was just so desperate to make it, I was willing to do anything. Then at one point, I said no, I don’t want to do that… I don’t want to pronounce my name this way, because it is pronounced with an accent.”


Modified their title: Awkwafina

In 2017, the actor advised Galore, “I just really thought it was funny when people try to subtilize products like Neutrogena. Because I just imagine someone sitting there, thinking about all these weird names, especially the water names. But anyways, I just came up with it when I was 16 and thought it was really funny. And then, I eventually adopted it.”

“My rap name was just Aquafina, but then I think when we were putting out the video, the guy that made the video…he was like, ‘Well, we should change the spelling so you don’t get sued,'” she recalled. “So, he spelled it so extra. He spelled it in the most extra way ever. So, I was like, ‘I feel like people aren’t going to understand this,’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, but I feel like it would be unique, so then people [will] look it up.’ But then, no one knows how to spell it. So, you know, it came back to bite me in the ass.”


Refused: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

Throughout an interview with Selection, the By no means Have I Ever actor spoke in regards to the significance of respecting names. “Obviously, Tamil names are super long. My entire full name — Maitreyi Ramakrishnan — I have 20 letters… I think one of the greatest disrespects you can do to a person is not put the effort into somebody’s name.”


Modified their title: Alicia Keys

In 2007, the singer advised Newsweek, “I got so desperate I went through the dictionary for something that catches my eye. I get to the W’s, and I pick Wild. ‘Alicia Wild, how does that sound, Ma?’ She said, ‘It sounds like you’re a stripper.’ But I liked Keys. It’s like the piano keys. And it can open so many doors.”


Refused: Harrison Ford

On the Staff Coco podcast, the actor recalled a studio exec urging him to vary his title early in his profession since Harrison Ford was apparently “a pretentious name for a young man.” He got here again with a hilarious suggestion (Kurt Affair), figuring out the studio would not approve.


Modified their title: Jo Koy

Throughout the Netflix particular In His Parts, the comic shared that individuals would chortle at his title when he did stand-up early in his profession. He was mulling over totally different choices when his aunt known as him over to eat together with her nickname for him: Jo Koy. For over 30 years, he is used that as his stage title.

“I go, ‘Then what do you call me?’ She goes, ‘I call you Jo ko. That is your nickname. Jo ko.’ And for all of you at home who don’t know what that means: In Tagalog, ko means my. My nickname is my Jo. Jo ko. How fucking sweet is that?”


Refused: Michael Peña

The actor advised GQ that he seen different folks touchdown commercials once they modified their names. “I just thought it was a slap in the face. Because I did deal with racism as a kid. So, it felt like changing my name would be kind of like conforming. I’m not really down for that. I know that my parents, they crossed the border to offer us a great life. And I didn’t want to turn my back on my dad working two full-time jobs, my mom working two full-time jobs, so me and my brother could go to private school.”


Modified their title: KJ Apa

On an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Reside!, the TV present host requested what KJ stands for. The actor replied, “KJ is short for Keneti James, which is a Samoan name. I’m named after my father.”


And at last, refused: Danai Gurira

In an essay written for Glamour, she recalled utilizing the nickname Dede whereas rising up in Iowa and persevering with to make use of it when her household moved again to Zimbabwe. With a librarian mom, there have been tons of books round the home, and she or he began studying literature by Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Martin Luther King Jr.

“I realized my heritage was to be celebrated, not denied. I didn’t want to fit in to what I perceived as a more Western, more acceptable mainstream. I wanted to bring light to those who should be seen more, heard more: people of marginalized cultures. I began to ask people to call me Danai. That choice has affected every choice I’ve made since — the stories I tell, the characters I play, the activism I embark upon.”

Know every other well-known individuals who use stage names or refused to take one? LMK within the feedback under!

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