Not every celeb is born with a name they want to see in lights, so they often choose a stage name to help them stand out. The reasoning behind the names they choose can range from sweetly sentimental to absolutely wild.
Here are the stories behind 23 celebrity stage names:
Iggy Azalea used to wear a necklace with her dog’s name on it, and she decided to use it as her stage name when people kept asking if the name on the necklace was hers.
Halsey’s stage name is both an anagram of their first name and an homage to a street in Brooklyn that used to be their train stop.
Cardi B’s nickname growing up was Bacardi because her sister’s name is Hennessy, but she shortened it after her Instagram account kept getting deleted.
The Weeknd took the final “e” out of his name because of copyright issues with a Canadian band called the Weekend.
Chumbawamba member Alice Nutter changed her legal name to that of a woman who was accused of witchcraft and hanged in 1612.
Snoop Dogg’s mom nicknamed him after Snoopy because of how much he loved the Peanuts character growing up.
Lil Nas X chose his stage name because “every new rapper’s name is Lil,” and he thought calling himself “Lil Nas” would be funny.
Lady Gaga’s producer Rob Fusari nicknamed her “Gaga” after the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga,” and she added “Lady” because of its regal connotations.
Nicki Minaj fought with a manager who wanted to change her name from “Maraj” to “Minaj,” and she’s “always hated it.“
Vin Diesel’s name is a combination of his stepfather Irving Vincent’s name and a nickname he earned as a “fueled up” club bouncer.
Reese Witherspoon adopted her mother’s maiden name as her first name early in her acting career.
After dropping his first EP, Hozier shortened his name because he felt it would be “easier to remember.”
Olivia Wilde changed her last name to honor writer Oscar Wilde after playing Gwendolen in a high school production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
When he was 14, Eminem started rapping under the name “M&M,” which were his initials, and it evolved into “Eminem.”
Vanilla Ice uses a nickname he earned as a teenager because of his pale complexion and a dance move he invented that mimicks sliding on ice.
Lorde chose her stage name because she’s fascinated with aristocracy, but she added the “e” to make it “more feminine.”
John Legend took on his stage name after the nickname became more well-known in his social circle than his real name.
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