13 celebrities who regret their stage name

Nicki Minaj was forced to use a stage name!

Many aspiring actors and singers choose a stage name before heading to Hollywood. When they finally grow up, that’s the name they’ll see in the lights instead of the one they were born with.

While many celebrities identify strongly with their stage name, there are also some who wish they had never chosen a fake name in the first place. Some manage to change their name, but others are stuck with a name they hate.

Here are 13 celebrities who regret changing their name to Hollywood:


Martin Sheen was born Ramon Estévez, but was convinced to use a stage name early in his acting career.

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He told Closer Weekly: “Sometimes you get persuaded when you don’t have enough insight or even enough courage to stand up for what you believe in, and you pay for it later… But, of course, I am only for my part.”

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While his son and fellow actor, Charlie Sheen – whose birth name is Carlos Estévez – has adopted a similar stage name, he is grateful he was able to influence his eldest son Emilio Estévez to act under his real name. .

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Thandiwe Newton now uses the true spelling of her name professionally, but for 30 years she acted under a slightly modified version – Thandie Newton.

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The stage name began as a misspelling in the credits of his 1991 film Flirt. Even though his character’s name was also Thandiwe, the actor was miscredited as Thandie – and it stuck.

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However, in 2021 she reverted to the correct spelling of her name, telling British Vogue, “It’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine.”

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Anne Hathaway goes by her birth name, but she hates being called Anne and regrets making it her professional name.

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On The show tonight she said: “When I was 14, I did a commercial, and I had to get my SAG card and they asked me, ‘How do you want your name to be? And I thought, “Well, that should be my name. My name is Anne Hathaway.” So it seemed like the right choice, but it never occurred to me that for the rest of my life people would call me Anne.”

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She also revealed that she would rather everyone call her Annie instead, which is the name everyone in her personal life knows her by.

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Nicki Minaj was born Onika Maraj – and her stage name wasn’t even her choice.

She told the Guardian: “One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted me to be called Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I always hated it.”

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For her, Nicki Minaj is a character that she interprets. She said, “I feel like it’s like a big play. It’s a show.”

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Nicholas Leanos rose to fame as Lil Xan before changing his stage name to Diego, which is his legal middle name.

The name “Lil Xan” – short for Xanax – was a stark contradiction to the anti-drug stance the rapper took in his lyrics. Most notably, in his hit “Betrayal”, he said, “Xans don’t force you / Xans gon’ take you / Xans gon’ fake you / And Xans gon’ betray you.”

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His name change follows both his decision to quit the drugs he’s written about in past songs and the loss of fellow rapper, Lil Peep, who died of an overdose.

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He told Complex, “It’s all like a journey. It’s not like, ‘Oh, Xan made a song a long time ago kissing Xanax, he’s a fucking liar.’ They can see my journey unfolding many months ago I was going through this and this is how things went until “Betrayed” Now they can see where it started what happened past and where I am now.”

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Jude Law was born David Law, but when he enrolled in a London-based youth theater troupe as a teenager, he started using one of his two first names as his stage name.

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However, he regretted adopting the new name when he caused confusion about his gender.

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Assuming that a student named Jude must be a girl, the National Youth Music Theater assigned him to the girls’ dorms.

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Dante Smith launched his musical career under the nickname Mos Def, but in 2012 he chose a new stage name – Yasiin Bey.

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He told GQ: “I started to worry that Mos Def would be treated as a product, not a person, so I’ve been going through Yasiin since 1999. At first it was just for friends and family, but now I am declaring it openly.”

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He also told the Guardian: “[I don’t want] to negotiate [any more] to have a nickname or a separation between the self that I see and know myself.”

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Joan Crawford was born Lucille LeSueur, but when she signed with MGM, the studio forced her to change her name.

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The then-MGM chief let fans vote on what the actor’s new name should be.

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She reportedly hated the name because she thought “Crawford” sounded too much like “crayfish”.

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When Alyssa Stephens initially launched her rap career, she used a racial slur for a stage name. However, following criticism, she changed it to Latto.

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For her, “Latto” is the abbreviation of “lottery”, and this represents a new chapter. Addressing the name change in her song “The Biggest,” she rapped, “It contradicts what I stand for/The backlash isn’t what I expected…New cradle/New whip/New name /I’m still that bitch.”

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She told Hot Freestyle, “You know you might know your intentions, but they’re strangers who don’t know you, never even met you in person…So you gotta get along, and if you know that’s not your intentions and that’s how it’s perceived, that’s like why not make a change or modify it?”

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She also touched on taking responsibility on Twitter.

Aren’t you done yet? I apologized several times even though I didn’t name myself at 8. I took the blame/responsibility, turned over a new leaf & made a positive sum of it.. while retaining my trademarks, LLC, etc. without straying too far from my established brand❤️ https://t.co/H5RxQNUXHi

@Latto / Via Twitter: @Latto


MASH POTATOES actor Harry Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg. Although he is proud of the Norwegian heritage represented by his surname, he succumbed to pressure to change it for his career.

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He told the Chicago Tribune, “I wish I hadn’t changed my name, to tell you the truth…I’m all for remembering your roots.”

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He also said he wished he could defend himself the same way John Hodiak refused to let MGM change its name. He said, “They wanted him to change his name, and he said, no, that’s my name. And he was proud to be Ukrainian.”

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Kid Rock’s legal name is Robert Ritchie, and he thinks his stage name is “the worst name in the world.”

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He told Esquire, “The only person who had a dumber name than me was the Fresh Prince.”

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“It sounded like a cool rap name when I was sixteen. But it stuck, and now it’s me. I’ll be an 80-year-old man – ‘call me the Kid’,” he said. he continued.

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Before passing by J. Cole, Jermaine Cole rapped under the name Therapist.

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When he was a teenager, the local rap group, Bomb Shelter, mentored him, and the creative names of the members – including Nervous Reck and Filthy Ritch – inspired him to find one of his own. They helped him find “Therapist” while looking through a dictionary.

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However, that didn’t last. He told MTV When I was 17“A few years later, I realized Therapist sounded like a wrestler’s name. You know, like a pseudonym. It didn’t seem real…J. Cole felt like my real name…I didn’t feel like I was trying to be anything.”

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And finally, while 16-year-old Emily Stone’s name was already taken at SAG, she signed up under the stage name Riley Stone. However, six months later, she came back and changed it to Emma Stone.

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She said The show tonight“It wasn’t necessarily because of [Baby Spice], but yes, in CE1, did I go to see the mistress and ask her to call me Emma? Yes I did it. And was it because of Emma Lee Bunton of the Spice Girls? Yes it was.”

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However, she misses using her legal name. She told W Magazine, “I miss Emily. I would love to have her back.”

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