Not everyone is born with a name that belongs on a billboard. Some stars had to ditch their original first or last for something that would sizzle in bright lights. But what are their real names? Wonderwall.com is rounding up the celebs who've changed their names, starting with Katy Perry! The pop star has made quite a name for herself over the years, but it isn't the one she was born with. She changed her last name to her mother's maiden name to differentiate herself from established star Kate Hudson. The singer was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Keep reading to find out which of your favorite stars traded in their birth names for something more showbiz-friendly…
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Ben Affleck is one of the biggest names in Hollywood — and if he hadn't shortened his moniker, he would have had one of the longest names in Hollywood too: Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt.
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She's one of the few stars who can dispose of her last name without seeming pretentious, but did you know that Rihanna isn't even this pop star's real first name? It's her middle name. Her birth name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
You have to wonder: Would Jennifer Aniston have risen to fame if she had entered showbiz with her birth name, Jennifer Linn Anastassakis?
Miley Cyrus' first name is actually just a shortened version of "Smiley," the nickname the singer-actress' family gave her when she was little. She was born Destiny Hope Cyrus.
He's not the only actor in the family, but Tom Cruise is the only one to go by the surname Cruise, which he borrowed from his great-great-grandfather to sound a little flashier. He was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.
Mila Kunis adopted a shortened version of her given name when she relocated to the United States from the Ukraine with her family at age 7. The name the actress was born with? Milena Markovna Kunis!
Julianne Moore once said, "It's horrible to change your name." But the actress born Julie Anne Smith did it anyway, adopting a stage name early on in her career by combining her first name with her mom's first name and adding her dad's middle name as her last name.
When Natalie Portman decided to switch up her last name, she borrowed from her grandmother, whose maiden name was Portman. Her real surname is Hershlag.
Come on — didn't you think "Vin Diesel" sounded a little bit too much like an action hero to be real? The "Fast & Furious" star's birth name is a little less high-octane. It's Mark Sinclair.
Pink acquired her stage name because she blushed easily as a kid and as a nod to Steve Buscemi's character, Mr. Pink, in "Reservoir Dogs." Either way, it's a far cry from her boring birth name — Alecia Beth Moore.
There's probably more than a few young Ashtons out there who were born after this actor found fame on "That '70s Show." Sure, it's fashionable now, but it wasn't the name Ashton Kutcher was born with! While his middle name is Ashton, his real first name is Christopher.
Olivia Wilde picked a new last name after being inspired by Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. She was born Olivia Jane Cockburn.
We cannot tell a lie: "Pretty Little Liars" star Lucy Hale was once known by a different name. Though her surname is really, truly Hale, she was born Karen. Lucy comes from her middle name, Lucille.
Nicole Richie has her adoptive father, Lionel Richie, to thank for her famous last name. She was born Nicole Camille Escovedo.
If piano-playing songstress Alicia Keys' name sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. She nearly changed her last name to Wilde, but after her manager had a dream about needing to unlock a briefcase, she chose Keys. Her real last name is Cook.
When her agent asked her how she wanted to be credited for her first movie, the "Stranger Things" actress drew inspiration from the album that her father happened to be listening to (he was a fan of soul and rock singer Mitch Ryder). And so Winona Ryder was born. Her real surname is Horowitz.
Antonio Banderas' longtime (and now former) partner Melanie Griffith had his name inked on her bicep. But did you know that's not his real name? Antonio was born José Antonio Domínguez Banderas.
Nicki Minaj's personal metamorphosis included a name change. Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj.
She's become one of the top names in comedy, but "Tina" isn't Tina Fey's real name — though "30 Rock" fans might be able to guess what is. No, her real name is considerably longer — Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.
Dakota is actually Dakota Fanning's middle name! Her real first name is Hannah.
Steven Tyler's adopted last name might sound more rock'n'roll, but there's a certain charm in the one he left behind, which was Steven Victor Tallarico.
She has one of the most famous faces in the modeling business, so it's hard to imagine Christie Brinkley with any other name. But once upon a time, she had a fairly typical American name — Christie Lee Hudson.
Fun fact: Bruno Mars' full birth name is 18 characters long! We wonder if that's why he chose a stage name half that length? His real name is Peter Gene Hernandez.
No, Demi Moore's name doesn't mean "half." It's a nickname. And she got her now-famous last name from her first husband, Freddy Moore. The actress was born Demetria Gene Guynes.
As a writer and actress, Mindy Kaling has often incorporated her Indian heritage into her work. But when she entered show business, the star of "The Mindy Project" hacked a lot of letters off her name to make it easier for English speakers to spell. She was born Vera Mindy Chokalingam.
It's pretty easy to guess why Lea Michele dropped her last name. It happens to sound less melodic than this songbird would like — it's Sarfati.
Like Ritchie Valens before him, Ricky Martin dropped a traditionally Spanish name for a similar sounding one that would fly in English- and Spanish-speaking countries. He was born Enrique Martín Morales.
Her name embodies the cute-as-a-button schtick that made her famous, and there's no way Meg Ryan's career would have turned out the way it did had she stuck with her original clunker, which was Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra.
Jamie Foxx improved on his more humdrum given name by paying tribute to one of his idols, comedian Redd Foxx. He was born Eric Marlon Bishop.
A little Christian, a little outdoorsy, Faith Hill sounds like a country singer's name. This lady's birth name apparently didn't — Audrey Faith Perry.
Nicole Scherzinger has changed things up many times in her career, going from Eden's Crush to the Pussycat Dolls to eventually stepping out on her own as a solo act. But all along the way, she kept her name as simple as possible, sticking to her first and last names but leaving out the rest. Her full name? Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente Scherzinger!
Nicolas Cage's lineage includes Hollywood royalty, so he changed his surname to distance himself from his über-famous director uncle and to avoid the appearance of nepotism. His famous family's surname? Coppola.
Queen Latifah changed her name when she was just 8 years old. According to the rapper-actress, adopting names with Arabic roots was en vogue during her childhood. She chose the name Queen as a statement "about women being treated as queens" and Latifah because "it meant delicate, sensitive, kind, nice … and I was like, 'That's me.'" The Queen's birth name? Dana Elaine Owens.
Is John his last name or just part of a double first name? That's a question only the man himself can answer. Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight.
She's been in the public eye since the '60s, so we bet you'll be surprised to know that Jodie Foster's first name isn't the one she was born with. Her real name is Alicia Christian Foster.
Elle Macpherson's original surname rhymes with the word cow. Something she surely is not! Her real name is Eleanor Nancy Gow.
It's different for actors today, but way back when, Martin Sheen — whose mom immigrated to America from Ireland and whose father immigrated from Spain — felt he had to drop his Spanish names in order to land roles. He was born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez.
Charlie Sheen's life is complicated for oh-so-many reasons, and his name is just one of them. The son of actor Martin Sheen chose to use his father's stage surname professionally. But he was born Carlos Irwin Estevez.
We know him by his stage name, Eric Bana, but his real last name has many more syllables: Banadinović.
Calvin Harris didn't "Feel So Close" to his birth name. Taylor Swift's former flame's real name is Adam Richard Wiles.
Lana Del Rey began her career using her birth name. But after her first attempt at stardom failed, she started fresh by changing her image — and her name. Her real name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.
Tori Amos has reportedly gone by three different first names since birth: Tori (her current name), Ellen (her middle name) and Myra (her first name at birth).
As the only girl in the family band, Marie Osmond made the right call when she decided to go by her prettier middle name instead of the drab-sounding first name her parents gave her — Olive.
He's gone from being just a comedian to a respected member of the American media landscape — an election-influencer, even. But would Jon Stewart have gotten as far had he stuck with his birth name? It's Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz.
Michael Caine may play Alfred the butler in "The Dark Knight Rises," but he's actually the one with a dual identity. He was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite.
Demi Moore's ex-husband — er, the second ex, that is — also grew up going by a name different than the one that eventually showed up on movie marquees. Maybe "Bruce Willis" just sounded cooler? His real first name is Walter.
Would you believe that someone would choose to be known as Whoopi Goldberg? Because this comedian didn't always have that name. Even more surprising, she chose her first name from a nickname she got as a result of her reputation for being gassy. No, really. She was born Caryn Elaine Johnson.
As a teenager in her native Australia, Portia de Rossi dreamed up her current name in order to sound famous and stylish. And that's exactly what she became. It's a far cry from her given name: Amanda Rogers!
Jon Bon Jovi's real name isn't all that different from his stage name. He switched because he wanted one that everyone could spell and pronounce, since he was born John Francis Bongiovi.
She may forever be Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman in our hearts, but there was a time before that when Jane Seymour wasn't even "Jane Seymour." In fact, she chose the stage name in honor of King Henry VIII's third wife. She was actually born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg.
Shania Twain has changed her name twice: First she was adopted and took her stepfather's last name. Then, early in her career, the songstress switched her first name to an Ojibwa word meaning "on my way." Her real name is Eilleen Regina Edwards.
Good thing Prince gave Carmen Electra her moniker. Her real name is Tara Leigh Patrick.
Luke Perry, who played Dylan McKay on the original "Beverly Hills, 90210," was born Coy Luther Perry.
Before she became famous for splashing around in an oversized martini glass, Dita Von Teese pranced around with the not-so-sexy name Heather Renée Sweet.
It's a strange case when "Garth" is more normal-sounding than one's given name, but that's what happened with this country legend. Yes, Garth Brooks' real first name is even more unusual. It's really Troyal.
He may be known to most of the world as "Kumar," but in real life, Kal Penn hasn't even been "Kal Penn" all that long. In fact, his stage name is just a variation on the first name his parents gave him! He was born Kalpen Suresh Modi.
Tina Turner's marriage to Ike Turner might have been troubled, but she kept his marquee-friendly last name for her career nonetheless. Tina was born Anna Mae Bullock.
Take a guess at what Pat Benatar's real name is. Really, hit us with your best shot. She's actually Patricia Mae Andrzejewski.
Chevy Chase dropped his nerdy-sounding name (Cornelius Crane Chase) in favor of his now-famous one. And the current one comes from an English ballad, not from the city of Chevy Chase, Maryland, in case you were wondering.
Today the KISS frontman is known as Gene Simmons. Before that, he was Eugene Klein. And before that, he had an even less rock'n'roll-sounding name: Chaim Weitz.
Tiger Woods has one of the most recognizable names in sports, but his first name was given to him by a friend of his father. His real first and middle names are English and Thai, respectively. He was born Eldrick Tont Woods.
The late David Bowie had to choose a stage name. There's no way he could be a rock star with his humdrum birth moniker — David Robert Jones.
The late Joan Rivers never went by her real surname. It was actually Molinsky.
Although her childhood nickname was Baby, the late Judy Garland chose her new first name because she thought it sounded peppy. Her stage name is a far cry from her real name: Frances Ethel Gumm.
The late John Wayne famously had a given name that didn't sound that manly — Marion Robert Morrison. We're fairly certain that few got away with teasing him, though.
The late Natalie Wood will forever be remembered for the way she lit up the silver screen. But you have to wonder how her life might have been different if she had kept the name her Russian immigrant parents gave her — Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko.
Before she was Anna Nicole Smith, she was Nikki Hart. And before that, the late model used the name she was actually born with: Vickie Lynn Hogan.