16 Celebrities Who Defined Their Degree Names


Whoopi Goldberg’s actual identify is Caryn Elaine Johnson.

In 2006, she informed the New York Times, “Whilst you’re functioning on level, you by no means in point of fact have time to enter the toilet and shut the door. So, when you get just a little gassy, you’ve were given to let it cross. So, other people used to mention to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s the place the identify got here from.”


Shay Mitchell’s actual identify is Shannon Ashley Garcia Mitchell.

All over a 2017 Fb Are living tournament, the actor said, “I like J.Lo, Jennifer Lopez. And when I used to be in highschool, other people can be like, ‘Shay-Lo,’ after which Shay kinda caught. We dropped Lo, as a result of nobody may also be J.Lo.”


Jamie Foxx’s actual identify is Eric Marlon Bishop.

On an episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, the actor stated the explanation why he modified his identify was once because of stand-up comedy. “I spotted it will be, like, 1,000 guys display up and most effective 3 women, however the 3 women would at all times get a place, and they might make a choice from the record. So, I went to the record and wrote down unisex names. Stacey Inexperienced. Tracey Brown. Jamie Foxx.”


Emma Stone’s actual identify is Emily Jean Stone.

All over a 2017 interview with W Magazine, she stated, “My actual identify is Emily. However it was once taken at SAG. … I had the choice of Emily J. Stone, and it is more or less like Michael J. Fox, which I like Michael J. Fox, however I do not believe I may just pull off the J. … To invite a 16-year-old to pick out a brand new identify is in point of fact a captivating procedure, as a result of I used to be like, ‘I’ll be Riley. My identify goes to be Riley Stone.'”

On an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she printed that she in reality sought after to be referred to as Emma as a child. “Rising up, I used to be tremendous blonde, and my actual identify is Emily, however I sought after to be referred to as Emma on account of Child Spice. And bet what? Now, I’m.”


Bruno Mars’ actual identify is Peter Gene Hernandez.

All over a 2013 interview with Rap-Up, the singer stated, “Bruno is after Bruno Sammartino, who was once this large, fats wrestler. I suppose I used to be this chunky little child, so my dad used to name me that as a nickname.”

In 2013, the actor informed GQ that the song business attempted to field him in because of his closing identify. “‘Your closing identify’s Hernandez,'” he recalled other people telling him. “‘Perhaps you will have to do that Latin song, this Spanish song. … Enrique’s so scorching presently.'” He ended up choosing the identify Mars and sidestepped the problem. “Mars simply more or less got here [from] joking round as a result of that sounds larger than lifestyles. That was once it, easy as that,” he told Latina Mag.


Lana Del Rey’s actual identify is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.

All over a 2012 interview with MTV, she stated, “I knew that I sought after a reputation that sounded form of unique and jogged my memory of the beach at the Floridian coast. ‘Lana Del Rey’ sounded stunning.”


Awkwafina’s actual identify is Nora Lum.

In 2017, the actor informed Galore, “I simply in point of fact concept it was once humorous when other people attempt to subtilize merchandise like Neutrogena. As a result of I simply believe anyone sitting there, desirous about a lot of these bizarre names, particularly the water names. However anyhow, I simply got here up with it when I used to be 16 and concept it was once in point of fact humorous. After which, I ultimately followed it.”

“My rap identify was once simply Aquafina, however then I feel after we had been hanging out the video, the man that made the video…he was once like, ‘Neatly, we will have to exchange the spelling so you do not get sued,'” she recalled. “So, he spelled it so additional. He spelled it in essentially the most additional method ever. So, I used to be like, ‘I think like other people are not going to grasp this,’ and he was once like, ‘Yeah, however I think adore it can be distinctive, so then other people [will] glance it up.’ However then, nobody is aware of the best way to spell it. So, you realize, it got here again to chew me within the ass.”


KJ Apa’s actual identify is Keneti James Apa.

Closing yr, the actor gave the impression on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! After Jimmy requested what KJ stands for, the actor stated, “KJ is brief for Keneti James, which is a Samoan identify. I am named after my father.”


Alicia Keys’ actual identify is Alicia Augello Cook dinner.

In 2007, the singer informed Newsweek, “I were given so determined I went in the course of the dictionary for one thing that catches my eye. I am getting to the W’s, and I pick out Wild. ‘Alicia Wild, how does that sound, Ma?’ She stated, ‘It feels like you are a stripper.’ However I appreciated Keys. It is just like the piano keys. And it may well open such a lot of doorways.”


Nicolas Cage’s actual identify is Nicolas Kim Coppola.

All over a Wired interview previous this yr, the actor stated he modified his identify because of his connection to his uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola. “I modified my identify as a result of I used to be doing just a little film referred to as Speedy Occasions at Ridgemont Top, and I used to be nonetheless Nicolas Coppola. Folks would no longer forestall pronouncing such things as, ‘I like the scent of Nicolas within the morning’ on account of Apocalypse Now, Robert Duvall pronouncing, ‘I like the scent of napalm within the morning.’ And it made it arduous to paintings. I determined I are not looking for this, so I modified it to Cage.”


Sir Elton John was once born Reginald Kenneth Dwight however legally modified his identify to Elton Hercules John.

All over a 1987 interview, he reportedly said, “Once I changed into Elton John, it was once like a brand new hire on lifestyles. I didn’t in particular like being Reg Dwight. It had too many unsatisfied reminiscences.”


John Legend’s actual identify is John Roger Stephens.

In 2008, the singer informed MTV News, “John Legend is a nickname that some pals began calling me, and it more or less grew into my level identify. Legend is one thing that I by no means would have selected for myself at the start. It grew to the purpose the place extra other people in my circle would know me by way of that identify than by way of my actual identify. I needed to come to a decision.”


Halsey’s actual identify is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane.

In 2020, the singer informed Cosmopolitan, “I feel I had the foresight to understand that being me wasn’t sufficient. I needed to develop into anyone totally other. On the time, I felt that Ashley didn’t should be well-known and a success as a result of she wasn’t that particular, but when I made Halsey, possibly she might be. [Changing my name] gave me the chance to create a brand new character that wasn’t sure by way of the expectancies I had for myself or the constraints that others put on me on account of my upbringing or my socioeconomic scenario.”


Jo Koy’s actual identify is Joseph Glenn Herbert.

All over the Netflix particular In His Components, the comic shared that folks would snort at his identify when he did stand-up early in his profession. He was once mulling over other choices when his aunt referred to as him over to consume along with her nickname for him: Jo Koy. For over 30 years, he is used that as his level identify.

“I am going, ‘Then what do you name me?’ She is going, ‘I name you Jo ko. This is your nickname. Jo ko.’ And for all of you at house who have no idea what that implies: In Tagalog, ko way my. My nickname is my Jo. Jo ko. How fucking candy is that?”


Frank Ocean was once born Christopher Edwin Breaux however legally modified his identify to Christopher Francis Ocean.

In 2011, the singer informed Complex, “I modified my identify on my birthday closing yr. It was once essentially the most empowering shit I did in 2010, needless to say. I went on LegalZoom and altered my fucking identify. It simply felt cool. None folks are our names. Should you don’t like your identify, then exchange your identify. I’m just a few steps into the method, so I most probably shouldn’t also be speaking about this, however by way of the start of summer time, I’ll be instantly. I’ll be boarding planes as Christopher Francis Ocean.”


And in spite of everything, Mindy Kaling’s actual identify is Vera Mindy Chokalingam.

In 2020, she informed NHPR, “I shortened my identify as a result of emcees for those comedy presentations would have hassle saying it, after which, they might make a funny story about my closing identify. My actual identify is Vera Mindy Chokalingam, and it is a South Indian identify, and it is a lengthy identify. As a performer, those comedians would simply butcher it, after which be like, ‘I have no idea what it’s! Simply this woman, Mindy.'”

“Whilst you do comedy…those are all comedians who modified their names, and I felt it was once the perfect factor for me to do, and in the end, it was once in point of fact advisable to do it. It was once one thing that I had numerous combined emotions about. However my oldsters did not thoughts. I talked to them about it. After which, I stopped up shortening it. It is bittersweet, however I’ve to mention, it was once one of these assist to my profession to have a reputation that folks may just pronounce.”

Know some other well-known individuals who use level names? LMK within the feedback under!

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