Posted on October 30, 2015 by Laura Woods
Celebrities seem to have it all. They’re rich, famous and extremely skilled at their craft — even if their craft is simply accumulating fame. From the outside, these superstars appear naturally polished and pristine, but many had to undergo a major transformation to get into the spotlight — including their name.
The perfect celebrity name is catchy, easy to remember and rolls off the tongue. Some stars are born with a name destined for fame, but others have to do a bit of fine-tuning to get it right. You might not even recognize the given name of many of your favorite public figures.
Curious about which household names you won’t find on a birth certificate? PrettyFamous found the given names of 25 top celebrities. Keep reading to learn who swapped their original name for something a little more captivating.
#25. Kat Dennings
Given name: Katherine Litwack
Katherine Litwack—Kat Dennings—is an actress. She’s best known for her work as Max Black on the CBS television series 2 Broke Girls.
#24. Vin Diesel
Given name: Mark Sinclair Vincent
Mark Sinclair Vincent—Vin Diesel— is an actor. He’s best known for his work as Dominic Toretto in the Fast and the Furious series.
#23. Freddie Mercury
Given name: Farrokh Bomi Bulsara
Farrokh Bomi Bulsara—Freddie Mercury— was a singer and songwriter. He rose to fame as part of the rock group Queen, which is responsible for hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”
#22. Lady Gaga
Given name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta—Lady Gaga—is a singer, songwriter and actress. She’s best known for her outrageous fashion choices, hit songs like “Born This Way” and “Just Dance” and her new starring role on the television series American Horror Story: Hotel.
#21. Lana Del Rey
Given name: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant—Lana Del Rey—is a singer and songwriter. Some of her biggest hits include “Summertime Sadness,” “Young and Beautiful” and “High by the Beach.”
#20. Rick Ross
Given name: William Leonard Roberts II
William Leonard Roberts II—Rick Ross—is a rapper. Some of his biggest hits include “Aston Martin Music,” “You the Boss” and “Hustlin’.”
#19. Dr. Dre
Given name: Andre Romell Young
Andre Romell Young—Dr. Dre—is a rapper, producer and entrepreneur. He rose to fame as part of the rap group N.W.A., co-founded Death Row Records and Beats Electronics and has worked with big names like Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Eminem.
#18. Whoopi Goldberg
Given name: Caryn Elaine Johnson
Caryn Elaine Johnson—Whoopi Goldberg—is a talk show host, comedian and actress. She currently appears on the television show The View and famously starred in the films Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.
#17. Julianne Moore
Given name: Julie Anne Smith
Julie Ann Smith—Julianne Moore— is an actress. She’s best known for her work on the films Still Alice, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I, Boogie Nights and The Kids Are Alright.
#16. Ice Cube
Given name: O’Shea Jackson
O’Shea Jackson—Ice Cube— is an actor, rapper, record producer and filmmaker. He made a name for himself as a member of the rap group N.W.A., enjoyed a successful solo music career and has starred in films such as Friday, 21 Jump Street, Boyz n the Hood, and Ride Along.
#15. Rebel Wilson
Given name: Melanie Elizabeth Bownds
Melanie Elizabeth Bownds—Rebel Wilson—is an actress, writer, producer and fashion designer. She’s best known for her work on Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 2, Bridesmaids, and the television series Super Fun Night.
#14. Marilyn Manson
Given name: Brian Hugh Warner
Brian Hugh Warner—Marilyn Manson—is a singer and an actor. The controversial rocker is famous for his shocking fashion statements and hit songs like “Antichrist Superstar,” “Smells Like Children” and “Mechanical Animals.”
#13. Charlie Sheen
Given name: Carlos Irwin Estevez
Carlos Irwin Estevez—Charlie Sheen—is an actor. He’s best known for his work on the television series Anger Management, Two and a Half Men, and Spin City.
#12. Katy Perry
Given name: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson—Katy Perry—is a singer, songwriter and actress. In addition to hit songs like “Firework,” “Teenage Dream” and “Dark Horse,” she also voiced the role of Smurfette in The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2.
#11. Portia de Rossi
Given name: Amanda Lee Rogers
Amanda Lee Rogers—Portia de Rossi—is an actress who currently appears on the television series Scandal and has also starred in Arrested Development, Ally McBeal and Better Off Ted. She’s also married to comedian Ellen DeGeneres.
#10. Wiz Khalifa
Given name: Cameron Jibril Thomaz
Cameron Jibril Thomaz—Wiz Khalifa—is a rapper and a songwriter. Some of his hits include “See You Again,” “Black and Yellow” and “Roll Up.”
Given name: Nayvadius Wilburn
Nayvadius Wilburn—Future— is a rapper who recently released a collaborative album with Drake called What a Time to be Alive that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Some of Future’s hit songs include “Commas,” “Neva End” and “Honest.”
#8. Calvin Harris
Given name: Adam Richard Wiles
Adam Richard Wiles—Calvin Harris—is a music producer and DJ. His top hits include the songs “Sweet Nothing,” “Feel So Close” and “Summer.”
#7. Mindy Kaling
Given name: Vera Mindy Chokalingam
Vera Mindy Chokalingam—Mindy Kaling—is an actress and a writer. She’s best known for her work on the hit television series The Mindy Project and The Office.
#6. Brie Larson
Given name: Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers
Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers—Brie Larson—is an actress and a singer. She’s best known for her work on Trainwreck, The Gambler and Don Jon.
#5. Snoop Dogg
Given name: Calvin Cordozar Broadus
Calvin Cordozar Broadus — Snoop Dogg and Snoop Lion — is a rapper and an actor. Some of his hit songs include “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Beautiful,” “Gangsta Luv” and “Sensual Seduction.”
#4. Bruno Mars
Given name: Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez
Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez—Bruno Mars—is a singer and a songwriter. Some of his top hits include “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade.”
#3. Demi Moore
Given name: Demetria Gene Guynes
Demetria Gene Guynes—Demi Moore—is an actress, director and producer. She rose to fame as part of The Brat Pack in the 1980’s and has since starred in a number of silver-screen hits, including A Few Good Men, G.I. Jane and Ghost.
#2. Dr. Seuss
Given name: Theodor Seuss Geisel
Theodor Seuss Geisel—Dr. Seuss— was an author and illustrator of children’s books. Some of his works include “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
#1. Meg Ryan
Given name: Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra—Meg Ryan—is an actress who’s considered one of the best in the business to never be nominated for an Academy Award. She did earn a Golden Globe nomination for the 1989 hit film When Harry Met Sally, and also went on to star in You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle.