First Stage Names Of 10 Celebrities Before Their Real Names Became Iconic

It’s not unusual for artists and celebrities to use stage names. But what happens when they drop their stage names for their real ones? Well, for these famous celebs below, their names became some of the most iconic names in Hollywood. They are so iconic that we can’t think of any other moniker that will better suit them.
So let’s find out what were the first stage names of these celebrities before they ditched them. Do you think this is a good choice, or they should have kept their initial monikers?

1. Thandiwe Newton

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Thandiwe Newton’s name used to be misspelled as Thandie Newton. The actress used this misspelled name as her stage name for 30 years. She finally decided to ditch it in 2021 and switched to her real name instead. According to Thandiwe, this is her move to "taking back what’s hers."

2. Prince

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We all know Prince as, well, Prince. His full name was Prince Rogers Nelson and he used his first name as his stage name. However, this was not always the case. Back in 1993, his stage name was the "love symbol" (which was an unpronounceable symbol) instead of Prince. Turned out Warner Bros. owned the name Prince and all related music marketed under that name.
This made the singer become a pawn used to produce more money for the label, so he refused to use that name. It was not until 2000 when his Warner Bros. contract expired did he began going by Prince again.

3. Kesha

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Kesha Sebert’s first stage name was Ke$ha with the stylized S. She dropped the title in 2017 after entering rehab for her eating disorder. To her, the dollar sign was a part of old her facade. That facade was about being a girl who didn't care, which wasn’t who she really was. The singer has been using her real name ever since then.

4. James Rodriguez

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James Rodriguez was refused to be cast as a lead many times because of his Mexican last name. A production even encouraged him to change it because he didn’t look “Mexican enough." So after some conversations with his dad, he decided to choose the stage name James Roday from a Chekhov play he was in.
20 years later, he realized that changing his name only added to the toxic traditions of Hollywood. The actor then switched back to his real name.

5. Mamie Gummer

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Mamie Gummer’s first role was in the 1986 movie Heartburn alongside her mother Meryl Streep. The film credited her as Natalie Stern. For her next role in 2003, the actress changed her stage name back to her real name Mamie. She has always been credited as that ever since.

6. Grace Gummer

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Like her sister, Grace Gummer was also first credited under another name when she starred in The House of the Spirits. Her stage name at that time was Jane Gray. After her acting career took off in 2010, the actress switched back to Grace Gummer.

7. Tori Spelling

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Tori Spelling decided to audition under the stage name Tori Mitchell for Beverly Hills, 90210. She did this without telling her dad, producer Aaron Spelling. After she got cast as Donna, she turned back to her real name and was credited as Tori Spelling. When asked about her stage name, Spelling claimed that she was inspired by a Heather Locklear character.

8. Jermaine Cole

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Jermaine Cole used to go by the stage name "Therapist" in his teenage years. However, the name didn’t sit well with him and he thought it sounded too much like a wrestler's name. Cole then switched to J. Cole, which according to him was “a real natural fit."

9. John Mellencamp

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John Mellencamp’s management team was afraid that no one would buy records from someone with a strange German last name like him. They convinced the singer to change it to something more “uniquely American." John accepted this deal so he could release his 1976 debut album. He chose Johnny Cougar to be his stage name.
After his contract with the label ended, he changed his name to John Cougar. The singer ultimately decided to drop stage names altogether and went by his real name in 1991.

10. Shad Moss

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Shad Moss got the stage name Li'l Bow Wow from his mentor Snoop Dogg when he was 6 years old. In 2012, he decided to drop the "Li'l" in his name to show that he had grown. In 2012, Moss switched to his real name instead.
Those are some wild stage names of iconic Hollywood stars before their real names became a league of their own. Speaking of stars before fame, many celebrities also start with boring jobs like a lot of us. Let’s find out what these famous people did before fame came to them.
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