Surprise! A lot of your favorite musicians don’t go by their real names. Shocking, I know. Why not? Well, not everyone is born with a cool stage name like Prince or Jewel or Madonna. Sometimes, people have really cool real names and you think, “Well, this is really the only thing you can do with a name like that.”

Case in point: You’re not really going to find someone named Dua Lipa working on the production line at a factory.

Side Note: Did you know that Billie Eilish’s name is actually Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell? Eilish was originally meant to be her first name with Pirate being her middle. Pirate?? This is the weirdest yet somehow coolest name I’ve ever heard! But, I digress.

When you’re not born with a cool celebrity-sounding name, sometimes you might want to make a change, in “the business,” that is. And, why not? I’ve always wanted a cool name. It’s almost like having a superhero name. However, “Batman” is taken. So, I had to settle for “Fisher.”

What Is Their Real Name?

Here are some celebrities who have decided to ditch their birth-given moniker for something with a little more “wow” factored in. As you’ll see, there’s a lot in a name. Some of their original names suggest a completely different career path altogether.

Thankfully, they made a change. Can you imagine a world without Elton John? I don’t wanna. Thankfully, we don’t have to. Had he stuck with “Reginald Dwight”, he might have spent his years doing people’s taxes.

  • Bruno Mars

    Bruno Mars: To be honest, this one kind of disappoints me. Bruno seems otherworldly talented so I was hoping this was his real name. It’s not. Bruno was born Peter Gene Hernandez. Can you imagine “Uptown Funk” coming from a Peter? Or a Gene? No. It’s Bruno. No offense to Peters or Genes, but I refuse to believe it.

  • Doja Cat

    Doja Cat: Amazing to think that this isn’t her birth given name, right? She was born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini. It’s a mouthful all together but I’ll go on record saying that just “Amala” would be a really cool stage name, kind of like “Rihanna” or “Beyoncé.” Either way, Doja Cat will forever have my heart, having bonded over our love for the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza.

  • SZA

    SZA: This one should be obvious. No one is named SZA, unless you are some sort of sport model import coupe. I could see that: “The NEW Acura SZA, 0-60 in 4.2 seconds!” SZA also has a first name that would be just as cool as a stage name: Solána Imani Rowe.

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B: Cardi was born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, which sounds like she was born into a rich family. She was not. However, with a reported $80 million net worth, she’s doing alright.

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus: Although it’s her legal name now, Miley was born ‘Destiny Hope Cyrus’ before she legally changed it to ‘Miley Rae’. “Miley” started as a nickname from her parents calling her “Smiley Miley” as a baby.

  • Freddie Mercury

    Freddie Mercury: One of the best stage names ever. If you don’t know who Freddie Mercury is, climb out from under that rock and spend the next week listening to Queen. One of the best bands ever. Freddie was born Farrokh Bulsara. Nothing against his birth name but a stage name has never fit an artist better.

  • Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga: I feel like everyone knows this one already but, I love the story of how she chose her name. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta chose “Lady Gaga” because her dad used to play the song “Radio Gaga” by Queen (See Freddie Mercury above). She turned the song, and memory, into her name which proved to be a very smart career move for her.



    “Lady Gaga” fits. Lady Gaga has fans called “little monsters”, passes out on her private jet and wears outrageous outfits, including a meat dress. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta works in her family’s garage and knows everything about cars, so much so that she uses that knowledge to save her fiancé’s cousin from going to prison in Alabama for a murder he didn’t commit.

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