Nowadays parents are coming up with some pretty awesome names, like Liv and Liam, but back in the day, names weren't always so on trend. And beyond that, there just might not be that special ring to it when you say it out loud.
For such reasons, lots of female celebrities chose to re-name themselves to better brand themselves and create a new identity that seemed to resonate with who they are and how they wanted their name to come to light in Hollywood. And while some celebs clearly use stage names hello, Cardi Bthere are several celebrities with different names than the ones they were given, and you'd never know!
Here are 30 surprising celebs who have changed their names.
Reese kept her name but shortened it, choosing to keep her mom's maiden name, Reese, and make that her first. Apparently, she changed her name to make it more "Hollywood. Nina's real Bulgarian name is super long. So, it's no wonder she chose to shorten it to appeal better to Hollywood.
She says she shortened it to make it more "memorable. While the actress' first name is just a nickname, she totally changed her last name from Litwack to Dennings. While she kept her last name, Lucy claimed her middle name as her first but shortened it to a nickname, going form Lucille to Lucy.
She announced it on Jimmy Fallon and shocked many fans.
Nicki was born Onika Tanya Maraj, but she changed her name to a stage name she thought was better for stardom. But now I guess we can also say "Mrs. Petty," according to Twitter. Faith chose to take her middle name as her first.
And when she married her first husband, Daniel Hill, she took his last name. After their divorce, she kept it professionally—she thought it fit better, and her fans already knew her as Faith Hill at that point.
And for the record, she must still love her given name, because she and current husband Tim McGraw named their third daughter Audrey! Portia chose to legally change her name based off of a character in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice.
She later also changed her last name to DeGeneres in honor of her wife, Ellen, back in She tried to make it as Lizzie Grant, but her career flopped, so she renamed herselftried again, and made a splash. Carmen changed her birth name in after meeting Prince, who suggested she change her name to further her career.
She took his advice and went with it. But then she shortened it and went all in on Katy instead.
Tina actually changed her name before stardom, back when she was in high school. The shortened version does have a nice flow to it, doesn't it? Helen wiped out her first and middle and changed it to Helen. Her father changed the family's last name to Mirren in the s. Marilyn legally changed her name back in She changed it after studio executive Ben Lyon suggested she go with something that popped better as a stage name. Apparently, Whoopi got her stage name after her co-workers at a job prior to fame noticed she had gas issues and nicknamed her "Whoopie Cushion.
Olivia chose to change her last name from Cockburn to Wilde. She was inspired by author Oscar Wilde after she starred in one of his plays in high school. This one wasn't Jen's fault. Her father, soap star John Aniston, actually changed their family's nameAnastassakis, to get more work.
She changed her first name to Miley in because her nickname was "Smiley" when she was younger. Not a bad nickname for a Disney kid, I must say! Okay, so "keys" for a singer is pretty too perfect to be real, and that's because it's a stage name. Her real name was Cook, but she chose to go with a name more aligned with a musical career. Natalie changed her last name to Portman, which was her grandmother's maiden name. She wanted to keep her life private as she began work as a teen. The actress and singer began using just her first and middle name because kids would make fun of her last name growing up.
She changed her first name to Dove to honor her late father, since that was the nickname he gave her. She chose to go by the nickname "Demi" and took her first husband's singer Freddy Moore's last name, which happened to just flow better long term. Winona chose to go by Ryder on a whim.
So, she went with that! The model changed her name to Gigi since her mom, Yolanda Hadid, would call her that when she was growing up. These days, she's formally known as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, but when she picked up acting she chose to go by her middle name. Funny how Rachel is her character's name on Suitsright? NeNe is an awesome name, but it's not her birth name.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta star changed her name to make it more catchy for the screen. Weight Loss. United States. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Getty Images. Jeff Spicer Getty Images.
Reese Witherspoon. Real name: Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon Reese kept her name but shortened it, choosing to keep her mom's maiden name, Reese, and make that her first. Jean Baptiste Lacroix Getty Images. Nina Dobrev.
Kevin Winter Getty Images. Kat Dennings. Real name: Katherine Litwack While the actress' first name is just a nickname, she totally changed her last name from Litwack to Dennings. Araya Diaz Getty Images. Lucy Hale. Real name: Karen Lucille Hale While she kept her last name, Lucy claimed her middle name as her first but shortened it to a nickname, going form Lucille to Lucy. Frederick M. Brown Getty Images. Emma Stone. Paul Zimmerman Getty Images. Nicki Minaj. Real name: Onika Tanya Maraj Nicki was born Onika Tanya Maraj, but she changed her name to a stage name she thought was better for stardom.
Faith Hill. Real name : Audrey Faith Perry Faith chose to take her middle name as her first. Jon Kopaloff Getty Images.
Portia De Rossi. Christopher Polk Getty Images. Lana Del Rey. Carmen Electra. Real name: Tara Leigh Patrick Carmen changed her birth name in after meeting Prince, who suggested she change her name to further her career. Katy Perry.
John Shearer Getty Images. Tina Fey. Real name: Elizabeth Stamatina Fey Tina actually changed her name before stardom, back when she was in high school. Helen Mirren.