01. Mahershala Ali
Real Name: Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore
According to the Guardian, Mahershala Ali’s mother, who is a pastor, chose his name from the Bible. He decided to change his last name from Gilmore to Ali when he converted to Islam in 2000. In an effort to boost his career, he later decided to shorten his first name.
02. Bruno Mars
Real Name: Peter Gene Herandez
In an interview with the Associated Press, Bruno Mars, whose birth name is Peter Gene Hernandez, explained that his stage name “Bruno” was inspired by the wrestler Bruno Sammartino, who was known for his size. Since Bruno Mars was a chubby baby, his father affectionately called him Bruno as a nickname. As for his surname “Mars,” it was chosen because many girls would tell him he was extraordinary or “out of this world.”
03. Emma Stone
Real Name: Emily Stone
Emma Stone shared that her real name is Emily Stone. However, when she entered the acting industry, she discovered that another actress already had the same name. So, she needed to choose a new name. Initially, she chose Riley, but while on the set of Malcolm in the Middle, she realized that it didn’t suit her well when she heard it being called out. As a result, she decided to go with the name Emma Stone.
04. Larry King
Real Name: Lawrence Zeiger
While employed at a radio station in Miami Beach, Lawrence Zeiger decided to adopt a new name for his broadcasting career. The station’s general manager believed that his original surname was too ethnic, so just moments before going on air, he selected the surname King. He found inspiration for this name in an advertisement he spotted in the newspaper for King’s Wholesale Liquor. Hence, Lawrence Zeiger became Larry King, the name he would become well-known for in his illustrious broadcasting career.
05. Katy Perry
Real Name: Katheryn Hudson
Katheryn Hudson chose the name Katy Perry because she wanted to avoid being mistaken for Kate Hudson. She decided to use Perry, her mother’s maiden name, as her stage name instead.
06. Tom Cruise
Real Name: Thomas Mapother IV
The action star, born Thomas Mapother IV, decided to change his name to Tom Cruise to distance himself from his estranged father. He chose to use his middle name as his last name. Interestingly, many people may not be aware that he is related to Lost actor William Mapother, who happens to be his first cousin.
Real Name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty
The talented singer, originally named Robyn Fenty, is commonly known by her middle name, Rihanna. However, if you’re a fan, you might already be aware of her last name, as it is also the name of her cosmetics and lingerie brands.
08. Snoop Dogg
Real Name: Calvin Broadus Jr.
Like you might have guessed, Snoop Dogg is not the rapper’s real name. He was actually born as Calvin Broadus, Jr. His nickname “Snoop Dogg” came from when he was a kid and his mom said he looked like Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s dog friend. Snoop Dogg shared in an interview that he loved the Peanuts and Charlie Brown cartoons, and Snoopy was his favorite character. He watched them so much that he even started to resemble Snoopy a bit.
09. Vin Diesel
Real Name: Mark Sinclair
You might be shocked to hear this, but the famous action star Vin Diesel doesn’t use his real name. When he was born, his parents named him Mark Sinclair, which is a more ordinary name. However, he decided to change his name to Vin Diesel for his career in acting. The reasons behind his stage name are not confirmed, but it is believed that “Vin” comes from the name Vincent, which his family adopted when his mother got married again, and “Diesel” represents his lively and energetic personality. Some people say he changed his name to protect himself when he worked as a bouncer before becoming famous.
10. Kit Harrington
Real Name: Christopher Catesby Harington
The actor known for his role in “Game of Thrones” has a real name of Christopher Catesby Harington. However, he didn’t realize that his name wasn’t Kit Harrington until he was 11 years old. He explained that Kit is a variation of Christopher, but it’s not commonly used. His middle name is Catesby. If you’re interested in other celebrity couples like Harrington and Rose Leslie, you can find a list of 15 onscreen couples who dated in real life.