One is a bit more legendary than the other, but you have to admit it: some celebrities seem to have been born for stardom with their glitzy names. Overview of some celebrities that change their names.
Yet they are often not as authentic as we think, and some stars choose to take a different name at the beginning of their career. From actors to singers, we list some of the most notable.
The name Brad Pitt (56) may be legendary, but the American actor was actually born William Bradley Pitt. Not so glamorous, William Pitt chose an abbreviation for his middle name. Still, Brad uses his real first name regularly, especially when he wants to stay under the radar. For example, many women with whom he flirted already said that he introduced himself as William.
The Hadids have become a household name in the entertainment world, but Gigi Hadid actually lived as Jelena Noura Hadid. The 25-year-old supermodel already said that it is not a logical abbreviation for her real name, but that it actually comes from her mother, Yolanda.
“My mother’s family in the Netherlands called her Gigi in the home environment. And that’s what I was called at home when I was very young.” When she had a high school classmate named Helena, which became confusing with her name, Gigi became her nickname. “The teacher asked my mother, ‘If I had to nickname Jelena, what would it be?’ And my mother said, “I sometimes call her Gigi,” and the name stuck.”
Country legend Billy Ray Cyrus baptized his daughter, not Miley, but Destiny Hope Cyrus. When the career of the 27-year-old singer exploded with ‘Hannah Montana’, she decided to change her stage name to Miley Cyrus. That was a derivative of ‘Smiley’, as her family called her. In 2008 she really had her name changed on her identity documents.
Anyone who saw the film ‘Rocketman’ already knows that Elton John (73) actually has an entirely different name. Still, the story told in the feature film is not entirely correct. The singer was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight. He composed the name Elton John from the first names of some friends from ‘Bluesology’, a local band in which he played.
The saxophone player Elton Dean, and the frontman John Baldry, were together called: Elton John. Although he had a close friendship with John Lennon, the Beatle was not the inspiration for his stage name, as ‘Rocketman’ showed.
Nicki Minaj was actually born Onika Tanya Maraj. In 2012, The Guardian asked the 37-year-old rapper about her name change. “Someone changed my name,” she said. “During one of the first record contracts I signed, my manager wanted my name to be Minaj. I didn’t want to, but he convinced me. I always hated it. ” She admits that she prefers her real name around her family and friends. “I’m only Nicki Minaj when I’m not with them.”
When Jennifer (51) was born on February 11, 1969, she was given the name Jennifer Joanna Aniston. The now-famous surname should actually have been Anastassikis. Her father John Aniston, also a well-known actor, decided to change his last name because it was too difficult to pronounce for Americans. He actually comes from Greece but moved to the States at the age of 2.