Stage names are more common than you think, even among the A-list stars of today. There are a lot of reasons for an up-and-coming star to want to change their name — maybe their real name was already claimed in the union, or maybe their real name just sounds weird (looking at you, Tom Cruise).
We can safely say you won’t be expecting many of the names on this list. Some are downright surprising. Starting with …
1. Emma Stone
While her real name, Emily Jean Stone, is not ridiculous itself, the reason this award-winning actress eventually changed her name is incredibly absurd.
“Well, I was 16 when I found out at SAG [the Screen Actors Guild] that I couldn’t have my own name,” Stone said in an interview. So, seeing that Emma was close to Emily, she changed it to join the Guild.
2. Iggy Azalea
After the death of her dog, this Australian rapper underwent a strange name change. When her canine friend, named Iggy, died from a snake bite, Amethyst Amelia Kelly ingrained his name on a necklace.
“Everybody [who saw the necklace] started to think my name was Iggy, so it kind of became my nickname,” Azalea said.
3. Elton John
Reginald Kenneth Dwight, while a fine name in its own right, does not have the same ring as the name Elton John. Apparently, Dwight thought the same, so he combined the names of two music legends (Elton Dean and Long John Baldry) to become Elton John.
John isn’t the only musician on this list to change their name because of how it sounds – #3 did the exact same thing.
4. Miley Cyrus
When your father is known for coming up with song titles like “Achy, Breaky Heart,” you’re probably going to get an equally awful-sounding name. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to Miley Cyrus when her dad named her Destiny Hope Cyrus.
Not wanting anyone to call her “Destiny” ever, Cyrus quickly adopted the name “Miley” and hasn’t looked back.