12 Celebrities Who Changed Their Names

These days, it takes more than talent to make it in the entertainment industry. You need to be the perfect package of skills, appearance, drive, and marketability. Even your name matters. Unfortunately, if you were cursed with a name that’s typical, boring, or hard to pronounce, you may have to turn away from your dreams of stardom — unless you’re willing to change it.

Tons of celebrities have changed their names in order to appear more exciting and marketable to the public. Here’s a list of stars that have changed their names to further their careers.

Lorde

Even diehard fans of Lorde’s music would never have recognized her if she went by her given name. The singer who uses Lorde as her stage name was actually born Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor in Takapuna, New Zealand.

She decided to take the name Lorde once she became famous because of her fascination with royalty and the aristocracy — something that makes sense, since she grew up in a former colony of Britain. At first, she wanted to go with the name Lord, but decided it sounded too masculine, so added the ‘e’ at the end. Although she’s still young and her fortunes could change, it definitely seems like she picked an appropriate moniker.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus was born in Tennessee as Destiny Hope Cyrus, daughter of country music legend Billy Ray Cyrus and his then-partner, and later wife Tish Cyrus. Unique names run in their family — Miley has brothers named Braison and Trace, and a sister named Noah.

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Although Miley herself was given a somewhat traditional name, she quickly became known to her family as Smiley, which was later shortened to Miley. She first marketed herself as an actress under the name Miley rather than Destiny Hope, and in 2008, she officially changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus.

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Reese Witherspoon

Although everyone knows America’s Sweetheart Reese Witherspoon, not many people know that she has a much longer name that she chooses not to use. She was born Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon in New Orleans in 1976.

Although she’s never commented publicly on why she’s credited as Reese Witherspoon instead of Laura Jeanne Witherspoon, most likely it’s because it’s simply more unique. She isn’t shy of being known by her full name (it appears in her Instagram profile), although all of her movie roles have been credited to her under her stage name.

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