From Destiny to Demetria: Just 35 celebrities whose real names you don't know.


Hands up who finds themselves falling down deep internet rabbit holes at 2am about really random things? Us too.

If you’re in need of a fun, mindless distraction, you should know many of your favourite celebs were actually born with a name different to the one they’re famous for.

Below, you’ll find a list of 35 celebrities and they’re real names to store in your brain for your next trivia night.

1. Gigi Hadid, real name Jelena Noura Hadid.

Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid. Image: Getty.

Born Jelena Noura Hadid, model Gigi Hadid hasn't gone by her real name since primary school.

Reportedly, she was given the nickname Gigi to differentiate her from a classmate with a similar name and it stuck.

2. Joaquin Phoenix, real name Joaquin Rafael Bottom.

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix. Image: Getty.

The Joker and Walk The Line actor Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Rafael Bottom.

The family changed their last name from Bottom to Phoenix when Joaquin was still a child. At one stage, he requested to change his first name to Leaf.


3. Lana Del Rey, real name Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.

Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey. Image: Getty.

American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.

In 2011, she told British Vogue, "I wanted a name I could shape the music towards... Lana Del Rey reminded me of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue."


4. Cardi B, real name Belcalis Almanzar.

Cardi B.
Cardi B. Image: Getty.

Bronx-born rapper Cardi B's real name is Belcalis Almanzar.

Reportedly, she initially took on the stage name Bacardi, a nickname given to her by family and friends because her sister's name is Hennessy. She then shortened it to Cardi B - the B stands for "whatever, depending on the day."

5. Vin Diesel, real name Mark Sinclair.

Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel. Image: Getty.

Born Mark Sinclair, Fast and the Furious star Vin Diesel gets his stage name from a childhood nickname.

The name Vin reportedly comes from his adoptive father's surname Vincent.

6. Meghan Markle, real name Rachel Meghan Markle.

Meghan Markle
Image: Getty.

The Duchess of Sussex was born Rachel Meghan Markle — the same first name as her former character on the TV series Suits, Rachel Zane.

In 2017, Queen Elizabeth II referred to Meghan as Rachel in her official consent letter for her marriage to Prince Harry, which is apparently legally required.

7. Miley Cyrus, real name Destiny Hope Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus.
Miley Cyrus. Image: Getty.

Singer and actress Miley Cyrus got her name from childhood nickname.

Born Destiny Hope Cyrus, she was dubbed 'smiley' by family and friends, which then turned into Miley.

8. Bruno Mars, real name Peter Gene Hernandez.

Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars. Image: Getty.

Singer Bruno Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez.

In an interview with GQ, the pop star said he had to change his name to literally sound like he was from another planet so record labels would stop trying to make him the next Enrique Iglesias.

9. Lady Gaga, real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga. Image: Getty.

Born Stefani Germanotta, Lady Gaga is now one of the most successful singers of our generation.

Her stage name was reportedly inspired by the Queen song 'Radio Ga Ga'.

10. Reese Witherspoon, real name Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon.

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon. Image: Getty.

Reese Witherspoon is one of Hollywood's best known actresses and producers.

The Big Little Lies star was born Laura, but decided to forge a career as Reese, which is her mother’s maiden name.

11. Tina Fey, real name Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.

tina fey
Tina Fey. Image: Getty.

American comedian, actress and writer Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.


Tina comes from her middle name, Stamatina, which is a Greek name.

12. Alicia Keys, real name Alicia Augello Cook.

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys. Image: Getty.

Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Alicia Keys decided to use a stage name before making it big.

Her real name is Alicia Augello Cook, but she chose to perform under 'Keys', like piano keys.

13. Ricky Martin, real name Enrique Morales.

Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin. Image: Getty.

Latin pop sensation Ricky Marton wasn't born... Ricky Martin.

His birth name is Enrique Morales, but it doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

14. Emma Stone, real name Emily Jean Stone.

Emma Stone
Emma Stone. Image: Getty.

True, Emily and Emma aren't that different, but there's a story behind why Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone chose to work under a different name.

Speaking to W Magazine in 2017, the star explained how, aged 16, she learned that another 'Emily Stone' was already registered with the Screen Actors Guild. Initially, she went with Riley Stone, but she soon realised Emma was a better fit.

15. Prince Harry, real name Prince Henry.

prince harry
Prince Harry. Image: Getty.

Like his wife, The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry also goes by a different name than the one on his birth certificate: Henry Charles Albert David.

As a child, he was referred to as Harry (Henry and Harry are often interchangeable) and the name stuck.

16. Katy Perry, real name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson.

Katy Perry
Katy Perry. Image: Getty.

It's hard to imagine singer Katy Perry as Kathryn Hudson.

She reportedly shortened her first name and took her mother's maiden name Perry so as not to be confused with actress Kate Hudson.

17. Iggy Azalea, real name Amethyst Amelia Kelly.

Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea. Image: Getty.

Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea was born Amethyst Amelia Kelly.

IMDB reports she took her stage name from the name of her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she grew up on, Azalea Street.

18. Lorde, real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor.

Lorde. Image: Getty.

New Zealand singer Lorde's real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor.

In a 60 Minutes interview, she said she came up with her stage name at the age of 16. It's inspired by her "obsession with nobility and aristocracy".

19. Nicki Minaj, real name Onika Tanya Maraj.

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj. Image: Getty.

When Onika Tanya Maraj started her rap career, she went by the stage name Nicki Maraj, which she later changed to Nicki Minaj.

20. Pink, real name Alecia Beth Moore.

Pink. Image: Getty.

Grammy-winning singer Pink was born Alecia Beth Moore.

Reportedly, her stage name Pink is a reference to the character Mr. Pink in the film Reservoir Dogs.

21. Portia de Rossi, real name Amanda Lee Rogers.

Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi. Image: Getty.

Australian actress Portia de Rossi was known as Amanda Lee Rogers until she was 15.

IMDB reports the then-teenager changed her name to Portia de Rossi because it sounded more exotic.

22. Rihanna, real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Rihanna. Image: Getty.

Singer and mogul Rihanna goes by a single name, like other iconic singers Cher and Madonna.

Rihanna is her middle name, but she told Rolling Stone she still goes by Robyn among family and friends. She also used her last name Fenty to launch her cosmetics and clothing brands.

23. Tiger Woods, real name Eldrick Tont Woods.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods. Image: Getty.

Golfer Tiger Woods was born Eldrick Tont Woods.

Tiger is a nickname given to him by his father, reportedly as a nod to one of his army friends who was called Tiger.

24. Demi Moore, real name Demetria Guynes.

Demi Moore
Demi Moore. Image: Getty.

Hollywood actress Demi Moore was born Demetria Guynes.

Demi is a nickname and Moore is the last name she chose to keep from her first marriage to American singer Freddy Moore from 1980-1985.

25. Blake Lively, real name Blake Ellender Brown.

Blake Lively
Blake Lively. Image: Getty.

It's hard to picture actress Blake Lively with another name, but she was born Blake Brown.

Brown is her father's last name, but she chose to take her mother’s maiden surname when she entered the entertainment business.

26. Diane Keaton, real name Diane Hall.

Image: Getty.

Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall.

However, as the name Diane Hall was already registered in Screen Actors Guild, she decided to go with her mother's maiden name professionally.

27. Olivia Wilde, real name Olivia Cockburn.

Image: Getty.

Olivia Wilde's real name is actually Olivia Jane Cockburn.

During high school, when Olivia was getting into acting she realised Olivia Cockburn wasn't the right fit. So instead, she decided to honour the writers in her family and change her last name to Wilde, after the author, Oscar Wilde.


28. John Legend, real name John Stephens.

Image: Getty.

The American singer-songwriter professionally known as John Legend originally went by John Stephens.

We agree, John Legend has a better ring to it.

29. Aaron Paul, real name Aaron Sturtevant.

Image: Getty.

The star of Breaking Bad's real name is actually Aaron Paul Sturtevant.

When he began his acting career, he dropped his last name and kept it simple.

30. Tim Allen, real name Tim Dick.

Image: Getty.

The hilarious Tim Allen is actually called Timothy Alan Dick.

In 1979, Tim was set to perform at Detroit's Comedy Castle. And just before he performed, the producers asked him to change his name as they believed people would think he made up his real name to be funny.

31. Tom Cruise, real name Thomas Mapother IV.

Image: Getty.

Tom Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

But once he began acting he decided to drop his last name.

32. Natalie Portman, real name Neta-Lee Hershlag.

Image: Getty.

Born Neta-Lee Hershlag, the American actress decided to drop her last name and change her first name slightly for privacy reasons.

Her paternal grandmother's maiden name is Portman.

33. Winona Ryder, real name Winona Horowitz.

Image: Getty.

When Winona Horowitz was asked what name she'd like to appear in the credits after appearing in her first film, she said Winona Ryder.

All because Mitch Ryder's album was playing in the background.

34. Jonah Hill, real name Jonah Feldstein.

Image: Getty.

Jonah Hill's full name is Jonah Hill Feldstein.

Like many other actors he dropped his surname to keep his stage name short and sweet.

35. Elizabeth Banks, real name Elizabeth Mitchell.

Image: Getty.

Elizabeth Banks decided to change her name after another actor had already registered the name Elizabeth Mitchell in the Screen Actors Guild.

Feature image: Getty.