What’s Your ‘Real Name’? Say ‘Hello’ to Celebrities Who Changed Their Name

Photo credit: Kai-Z-Feng
Photo credit: Kai-Z-Feng

*I must admit, I have always had a problem with people who change their birth name. I mean, that’s your whole identity. I’ve always thought maybe these folks were going through some kind of identity crisis. How does a name like “Shelton Jackson” become Spike Lee… Or “Steveland Morris” become Stevie Wonder… Or someone once known as Eileen Regina Edwards is now called?Shania Twain?

These are not just “revisions” to an existing name like Kevin becomes Kevyn…They are totally NEW names.

But I guess if I am going to be OK with anyone doing it (not that these folks have one f**k to give whether I do or not) it does sit better with me if you’re a celebrity. Hey, in this case, your name is your brand, so it should have a good ring to it right?

Let’s be real, would we have given “Peter Gene Hernandez” a good listen had he not been introduced to us as?Bruno Mars?

Hi, when I grown up I'm gonna change my name to BRUNO MARS!
Hi, when I grown up I’m gonna change my name to BRUNO MARS!

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Its no wonder people thought this sista was Jewish when her name first appeared on the scene. I personally recall the thespian from her theatre days in our beloved Bay Area, but many people may not realize she was born: Caryn Johnson. Here’s how her stage name allegedly came about.

Her stage name was concocted from her ability to fart a lot. (If you?ve seen her 1 in 3 commercials, you know she?s made quite the weird career out of bodily functions.) Her mother advised her to take a Jewish last name, arguing that it would help her career if people thought she was Jewish.

Spike Lee

Spike Lee

One writer at Thought Catalogue?says:

Whenever Spike Lee acts like a royal brat, remembering that his real name is ?Shelton? always puts things into perspective for me. ?Sit down, Shelton. It?s time for a nap.?

Who in the HELL is?Lucille LeSueur you might ask?

Perhaps you remember her cringe-worthy line in the film, “Mommie Dearest”…


Mommie Dearest

She’s none other than Ms. Joan Crawford.

You gotta have?Faith was what?Georgios Panayiotou would grow up to sing. We already miss you, George Michael.


I recall interviewing ?”Erica Abi Wright” over the phone years ago. Of course that name alone is a mouth full, we like Erykah Badu much better.

Erykah Badu

No way, you say. YES way! “Eric Marlon Bishop” became known as Wanda. Naw, she was just a character Jamie Foxx made famous.

Jamie Foxx as Wanda

RELATED: Country legend Billy Ray Cyrus nicknamed his baby girl “Smiley” because of her bubbly personality. Little did he know her butt-cheek baring, tongue-wagging persona would one day belong to some girl named Miley.


Hey, we can’t be mad at these folks for the name changes they made. At least they have all been out there long enough for us to realize their monikers were good choices. There is not one celeb mentioned here whose?real name?sounds better.

Don’t you agree?


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