Plenty of famous people choose a stage name to set themselves apart. Sometimes, however, one name change isn’t enough, so they christen themselves with a new name.
Here are 16 celebs who changed their stage names:
BTS member Kim Namjoon’s original stage name was Rap Monster, but in 2017, he officially changed it to simply RM.
Emily Stone had to chose a stage name because another SAG member was already registered under her name. She initially chose Riley, but she later changed it to Emma Stone.
Before Jermaine Cole went by J. Cole, he rapped under the name Therapist.
Early in his music career, David Jones went by Davie Jones, but because Davy Jones of the Monkees rose to fame first, he decided to go by Tom Jones. However, that stage name was also already in use, so he settled on David Bowie.
Kesha Sebert, who previously stylized her mononym as Ke$ha, dropped the dollar sign when she “let go of [her] facade about being a girl who didn’t care” after entering rehab for an eating disorder.
Shad Moss rose to fame as Lil Bow Wow, dropped the “Lil” in 2002, then pivoted to using his legal name professionally in 2014.
In 2020, Nicholas Leanos officially changed his stage name from Lil Xan to Diego, which is his legal middle name.
Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. debuted as Snoop Doggy Dogg in the early ’90s, shorted his name to Snoop Dogg when he joined a new record label in 1998, and went by Snoop Lion from 2012-2013.
When he first began performing at stand-up open mic nights, Eric Bishop would sign himself up under “unisex names” such as Tracy Brown, Stacy Green, and, eventually, Jamie Foxx.
Elizabeth Grant created music under the name May Jailer from 2005-2007, released her debut album as Lizzy Grant in 2008, and rebranded herself as Lana Del Rey in 2011.
Prince Rogers Nelson dropped his famous mononym, Prince, in favor of an an unpronounceable “love symbol” in 1993.
Steven Georgiou performed under the name Cat Stevens until 1977, when he converted to Islam and changed both his legal and professional name to Yusuf Islam.
Tahliah Barnett initially went by her childhood nickname, Twigs. However, at the behest of another artist already called Twigs, she modified her name to FKA Twigs — Formerly Known As Twigs.
Dante Smith rose to fame as Mos Def, but he changed his name to Yasiin Bey in 2012.
As a member of BTS, Min Yoongi goes by Suga, but for his solo work, he took on the name Agust D.
And finally, Sean Combs has gone through several stage name changes over his career. He was Puffy in 1995, Puff Daddy from 1996-2001, P. Diddy from 2001-2005, Diddy from 2005-2017 (although he still released music as P. Diddy because of legal concerns), and Love/Brother Love since 2017.