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I Can’t Look At These 32 Celebs The Same Way Again After Learning How They Got Their Stage Names

I never knew some of these names were fake...

Not every celeb is born with a name they want to see in lights, so they often choose a stage name to help them stand out. The reasoning behind the names they choose can range from sweetly sentimental to absolutely wild.

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Here are the interesting stories behind 32 celebrity stage names:

1. Post Malone put his real name into a random rap name generator when he was 14, and he's stuck with the results ever since.

rapper
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His real name is Austin Richard Post.

2. Doja Cat named herself after two things she loves — weed (aka doja) and cats.

rapper
Jim Bennett / FilmMagic / Via Getty

Her real name is Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini.

3. Brie Larson shortened her first name from "Breanna" then chose "Larson" after he favorite American Girl doll growing up, Kirsten Larson.

"Captain Marvel" actor
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Via Getty

Her real name is Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers.

4. Michael Keaton chose "Keaton" at random from a list of K names because the Michael Douglas was already registered with the union under his name.

"Batman" actor
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His real name is Michael John Douglas.

5. Diane Keaton was also required to register under a stage name to prevent confusion with another actor, so she decided to go by her mother's maiden name.

"And So it Goes" actor
Taylor Hill / WireImage / Via Getty

Her real name is Diane Hall.

6. Initially, Alicia Keys wanted to go by "Alicia Wilde," but her mother put a stop to that and helped her decide on "Keys" (like a piano) instead.

singer
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Her real name is Alicia Augello Cook.

7. The Weeknd took the final "e" out of his name because of copyright issues with a Canadian band called the Weekend.

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His real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye.

8. Lil Nas X chose his stage name because "every new rapper’s name is Lil," and he thought calling himself "Lil Nas" would be funny.

"Old Town Road" singer
Rich Fury / Getty Images

His real name is Montero Lamar Hill.

9. Halsey's stage name is both an anagram of their first name and an homage to a street in Brooklyn that used to be their train stop.

"Without Me" singer
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Her real name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane.

10. Olivia Wilde changed her last name to honor writer Oscar Wilde after playing Gwendolen in a high school production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

"Booksmart" director
Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot

Her real name is Olivia Jane Cockburn.

11. Sting often wore a black and yellow striped sweater during his Phoenix Jazzmen days, so one of his band members nicknamed him after a bumblebee.

musician
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His real name is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner.

12. Cardi B's nickname growing up was Bacardi because her sister's name is Hennessy, but she shortened it after her Instagram account kept getting deleted.

Dia Dipasupil / Via Getty

Her real name is Belcalis Almanzar.

13. Chumbawamba member Alice Nutter changed her legal name to that of a woman who was accused of witchcraft and hanged in 1612.

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The punk musician turned writer was born Anne Holden.

14. Machine Gun Kelly took his name from George "Machine Gun Kelly" Barnes — an infamous mobster from the Prohibition Era.

singer
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His real name is Colson Baker.

15. Snoop Dogg's mom nicknamed him after Snoopy because of how much he loved the Peanuts character growing up.

"Drop It Like It's Hot" singer
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

His real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.

16. Lady Gaga's producer Rob Fusari nicknamed her "Gaga" after the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga," and she added "Lady" because of its regal connotations.

"Poker Face" singer
Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

She was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

17. Nicki Minaj fought with a manager who wanted to change her name from "Maraj" to "Minaj," and she's "always hated it."

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj.

18. Vin Diesel's name is a combination of his stepfather Irving Vincent's name and a nickname he earned as a "fueled up" club bouncer.

voice of Rocket Raccoon
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

His real name is Mark Sinclair.

19. P!nk's stage name is a reference to Mr. Pink, Steve Buscemi's Reservoir Dogs character.

"Raise Your Glass" singer
Mauricio Santana / Getty Images

Her real name is Alecia Beth Moore.

20. Reese Witherspoon adopted her mother's maiden name as her first name early in her acting career.

actor who plays Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde"
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Her full name is Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon.

21. Saweetie's stage name was originally her Myspace display name, which came from a nickname her grandma gave her.

rapper
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Her real name is Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper.

22. Lizzo's name was inspired by the Jay-Z song "Izzo."

Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Her real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson.

23. When her real name was already taken at SAG, Emma Stone named herself after Emma Bunton, otherwise known as Baby Spice.

actor who plays Mia Dolan in "La La Land"
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Her real name is Emily Jean Stone.

24. After dropping his first EP, Hozier shortened his name because he felt it would be "easier to remember."

Steve Jennings / WireImage / Via Getty

His full name is Andrew John Hozier-Byrne.

25. Jay-Z chose his stage name to honor Jaz-O, his mentor and producer.

"Dirt Off Your Shoulder" singer
Ari Perilstein / Via Getty

His real name is Shawn Corey Carter.

26. Awkwafina's stage name refers to the "high school kid that doesn’t really care about anything," whom she repressed during college.

actor who played Peik Lin Goh in "Crazy Rich Asians"
Theo Wargo / WireImage / Via Getty

Her real name is Nora Lum.

27. When he was 14, Eminem started rapping under the name "M&M," which were his initials, and it evolved into "Eminem."

"Stan" singer
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

His real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III.

28. Lorde chose her stage name because she's fascinated with aristocracy, but she added the "e" to make it "more feminine."

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Her real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor.

29. Vanilla Ice uses a nickname he earned as a teenager because of his pale complexion and a dance move he invented that mimicks sliding on ice.

"Ice Ice Baby" singer
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His real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle.

30. John Legend took on his stage name after the nickname became more well-known in his social circle than his real name.

"All of Me" singer
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His real name is John Roger Stephens.

31. Frank Ocean took inspiration from Frank Sinatra and Ocean's 11 when choosing his stage name.

"Thinkin Bout You" singer
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He was born Christopher Edwin Breaux, but he legally changed his name to Christopher Francis Ocean in 2010.

32. And finally, Iggy Azalea used to wear a necklace with her dog's name on it, and she decided to use it as her stage name when people kept asking if the name on the necklace was hers.

"Fancy" singer
Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Her real name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly.