Think you know everything about your favourite celebrity or some of the world’s most popular people? Think again! You see, the media will often tell you everything from what’s hot to what’s not, to what’s happening and who’s dating – but more often than not they don’t tell you who Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor is 😉

There are a lot of stars who’ve changed their real names before they were famous, whether it’s because their real names are long and therefore hard to remember or they just simply want interesting monikers. For example, Miley Cyrus’ real name is actually really sweet and pretty – Destiny Hope Cyrus. We know, right?

Here are some other celebrities whose real names will surprise you:


1. Born: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

Katy Perry Real Name

Nope, not Goldie Hawn’s daughter aka Kate Hudson! We’re talking about pop superstar, Katy Perry. The quirky singer changed her last name to Perry (her mother’s maiden name) to avoid being mistaken for the actress Kate Hudson. Can’t blame her, it was too easy, just too easy.

2. Born: Natalie Hershlag

Natalie Portman Real Name

After landing her first role in Luc Besson‘s “Leon the Professional”, Natalie changed her surname. She took her paternal grandmother’s maiden name, “Portman”, as her stage name in the interest of privacy and to protect her family’s identity. She kept it to protect her privacy even as her (now highly successful) acting career continued.

3. Born: Joaquin Rafael Bottom

Joaquin Phoenix Real Name


Gosh, the kids in school must’ve had a field day during his time. Luckily, Joaquin Phoenix’s changed the family’s last name after leaving the “Children of God” religion in the 70s. To be fair, his late brother also suffered the same fate of carrying the same surname until it was changed. His brother’s name was River Jude Bottom aka River Phoenix.

4. Born: Olivia Jane Cockburn

Olivia Wilde Real Name

Olivia Wilde changed her named in high school and well, we can see why. It’s amazing that she made it all the way right into high school well and sane! She adopted her stage name in honour of Irish author Oscar Wilde. Talk about the coolest stage name. Ever. Definitely made up for the not-so-cool high school times.

5. Born: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite

Michael Caine Real Name

Michael Caine’s first stage name was Michael Scott, but it was already taken—and the name he settled on was inspired by the fact that he happened to see “The Caine Mutiny” was playing at a theatre at the moment he had to decide. Today, Michael Caine is synonymous with Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy character Alfred Pennyworth aka Batman’s loyal and trustworthy butler.

6. Born: Demetria Guynes

Demi Moore Real Name

Demi Moore got her last name from her first husband, Freddy Moore. Before their marriage, Demi began using Freddy’s surname as her stage name. While the new name worked out well, their marriage didn’t. But the name stuck even after her marriages with Bruce Willis (with whom she has 3 daughters) and Ashton Kutcher.

7. Born: Caryn Johnson

Whoopi Goldberg Real Name

Her stage name was taken from a Whoopee Cushion. She once said, “You know, when you work in the theater sometimes, you do quick changes and you’re running around and, sometimes you’re just letting go. And it became, that was the joke: Whoopi.” Her mother told her she would do better in Hollywood with a Jewish surname – Hence, Whoopi Goldberg.

8. Born: Peter Gene Hernandez

Bruno Mars Real Name

This dude now goes by the nickname his father gave him as a youngster – Bruno. And he chose the surname “Mars” because, well, his Hispanic surname meant that people from the music industry would try to pigeonhole him as another Latino artist, and even convince him to sing in Spanish. So he changed it to “Mars” to avoid being stereotyped. Bruno Mars.

9. Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva

Nina Dobrev Real Name

Friends and family know her by that name, they don’t call her anything else. But as an actress, the “The Vampire Diaries” star assumed the abbreviated title of Nina Dobrev. Her given birth name, however, is an impressively long one, and telling of her Bulgarian roots. Hmm. Doesn’t Nikolina sound like an authentic vampire-ish name though? It’s meant to be!

10. Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor

Lorde Real Name

This artiste’s real name is Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, a beautiful name if you ask us. But she decided to go with a stage name for her pop persona. Why? She explained, “Lorde is a character. Ever since I was a little kid, I have been really into royals and aristocracy. So to make ‘Lord’ more feminine, I just put an ‘e’ on the end! Some people think it’s religious, but it’s not.”

Which one surprised you the most? Do you know of any other celebs with “secret real names” that you’d like to share with us? Leave us a comment in the comments box below!

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Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.