Silliest Celebrity Name Changes

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The silliest celebrity name changes put each of these celebrities names into the headlines, but not necessarily for making wise decisions. From a legendary pop musician who changed his name to a funky symbol to athletes who legally adopted ridiculous names to force professional sports league to put that ludicrous name on their jerseys, these celebrities all at one point in their life, if not several times, changed their names.

It's pretty common for musicians and actors to change their name before entering the entertainment world. Larry King was born Lawrence Zeiger, Marilyn Monroe was Norma Jean Baker, and Madonna became simply Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. But those names are not nearly as silly as these celebrities self-selected names. Lady Gaga? Eminem? All are far cries from what would be considered a "normal" name.

In the bizarre category, pop singer Prince stunned the world in the 1990s when he changed his name to a weird symbol that could not be pronounced. It really didn't work though, as he was called "the artist formerly known as Prince" for several years.

In the annoying category, rapper, actor, and entrepreneur Sean Combs has changed his name repeatedly throughout the years going from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to just Diddy. Actor and professional wrestler Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson did the flip-flop act as well with his names, going back and forth between monikers as he changed and re-changed careers.

Athletes have been changing their name for years. Mark Super Duper, Chad Ochocinco, and Metta World Peace all petitioned the courts for name changes, which also essentially forced the executives at the NFL and NBA to put the cheesy names on their officially licensed jerseys.

Whether it was before they were famous or after they had established these careers, all of these celebrities for one reason or another adopted new, flashy names. Hey, we can't all be born with awesome names like Blue Ivy Carter or Fifi Trixibelle or even North West.

What are some funny celebrity name changes? There are some pretty hilarious ones on this list. Some celebrities change their names for the better... but often times, it doesn't work out that way.


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    Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pop singer Prince made perhaps the biggest splash when he changed his name to an unpronounceable love symbol in 1993. The gimmick, during which he was often referred to as "the artist formerly known as Prince," lasted only a few years with the artist returning to the stage name of Prince in 2000.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Film Producer, + more
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    Seriously? That's not your real name? You chose that? Born Arnold George Dorsey, the singer went by Gerry Dorsey professionally for a while and then changed his name in 1967 and did a career re-launch.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 79
    • Birthplace: Chennai, India
    • Profession: Singer
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    Robert James "Bob" Ritchie is the birth name of the musician now known around the world as Kid Rock. Ritchie earned the title of Kid Rock early in his musical career when he was working as a DJ for parties outside of Detroit, Michigan, and people would reportedly comment something along the lines of "hey, look at that white kid rock."
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 44
    • Birthplace: Romeo, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Rapper, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, + more
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    Added by: KirkSaw

    Tracy Morrow. That is a name and not a beverage.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: USA, Newark, New Jersey
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Rapper, Entrepreneur, Musician, + more
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    NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco, a poor Spanish translation of his jersey number, 85, in 2008. He previously used the name Ochocinco on his Cincinnati Bengals jersey, which earned him a fine from the league but once the name change was legal, the NFL was forced to use his new moniker.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 37
    • Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States of America
    • Profession: Athlete, American football player
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    The Los Angeles Lakers forward and former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant formerly known as Ron Artest legally changed his name to Metta World Peace in September 2011. The NBA star later explained that Chad Ochocinco inspired the change and that "changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world."
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 36
    • Birthplace: Queensbridge, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Basketball player, Rapper, Actor
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    Robert Van Winkle. Somehow the name, "Vanilla Ice" was supposed to make him cool.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: Texas, USA, Dallas
    • Profession: Record producer, Rapper, Musician, Actor, Singer, + more
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    Eminem
    Photo: Freebase
    The Detroit rapper known as Eminem or Slim Shady was actually born Marshall Bruce Mathers III. After first going by the moniker M&M (yes, like the candy), the rapper eventually changed his stage name to Eminem and went on to become one of the most influential rappers of the 1990s and 2000s.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 43
    • Birthplace: Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Rapper, Musician, Film Producer, + more
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    Taking the title for the most silly name changes, Sean John Combs, an influential rapper, singer, producer, actor, and entrepreneur, has gone through a long list of stage names during his career. Puff Daddy, a title he used early in his rap career, changed to P. Diddy, which was then shortened to simply Diddy. With the March 2014 announce of an upcoming album, he decided to revert back to his old name, Puff Daddy, a name he hasn't used since 1997.

    He also goes by Sean Combs professionally and gave his clothing line another moniker, Sean John.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York, Harlem
    • Profession: Fashion designer, Record producer, Songwriter, Television producer, Musician, + more
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    Before getting her big break in pop music, Lady Gaga was known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta from New York City. The stage name reportedly was inspired by a text message auto-correct in which music producer Rob Fusari meant to type "Radio Ga Ga," after the Queen song of the same title, though the exact origin of the name Lady Gaga is disputed.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 29
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Fashion designer, Record producer, Businessperson, Singer-songwriter, Actor, + more
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    Conway Twitty
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use
    Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins. Decided that he wanted the Twitty!
    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 60 (1933-1993)
    • Birthplace: Friars Point, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Profession: Singer-songwriter, Singer
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    Vin Diesel
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use
    Actor Vin Diesel is among many celebrities who changed their name before becoming a mainstream celebrity. The former Mark Sinclair Vincent became Vin Diesel while working as a nightclub bouncer. He later told Conan O'Brien that the name Diesel came from his friends, who compared his energy level to the stinky automotive fuel.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting, Film Director
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    After first adopting the stage name Ol' Dirty Bastard, or simple ODB, the late Wu-Tang Clan rapper born Russell Tyrone Jones grew tired of his unflattering stage name in 1998. Just after announcing his solo career, he also announced a name change to "Big Baby Jesus." He managed to crank out three solo albums in between jail stints before passing away from a drug overdose in 2004.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 36 (1968-2004)
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, Fort Greene, New York
    • Profession: Master of Ceremonies, Record producer, Rapper, Composer
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    Born Caryn Elaine Johnson in 1955, the actress and "The View" co-host was less than shy about her bodily functions: "If you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me, 'You're like a whoopee cushion.' And that's where the name came from." Whoopi's mother thought that a Jewish surname would get her further in Hollywood.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: New York City, Manhattan, USA, New York
    • Profession: Talk show host, Comedian, Television producer, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, + more
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    Born Walker Smith, Jr, Robinson decided to change his name when some girl ringside said that he looked as sweet as sugar after an amateur bout and he liked the nickname. He picked up the Ray Robinson after showing up to an amateur fight without the required official identity card and he borrowed his friend's, named Ray Robinson. "Sugar Ray Robinson had a nice ring to it," he said, "Sugar Walker Smith wouldn't have been the same."
    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 68 (1921-1989)
    • Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Professional Boxer
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    Dwayne Johnson
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY
    Former NCAA Football player turned WWE wrestler turned actor, Dwayne Johnson went by the stage name The Rock early in his career. He swore off the title when he took up acting, but after appearing in movies such as "The Other Guys" and "Tooth Fairy," Johnson returned to professional wrestling career and his nickname again in 2011.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 43
    • Birthplace: USA, Hayward, California
    • Profession: Wrestler, Television producer, Film Producer, Author, Actor, + more
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    Ice Cube
    Photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstock
    As he ages, he sure looks a lot more like an O'Shea Jackson.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California, Baldwin Hills
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Rapper, Television producer, + more
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    Added by: KirkSaw

    Ok, she had to change her name to be in show business. Florian Cloud De Bounevialle Armstrong is her birth name! Dido though?
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 44
    • Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Musician, Singer-songwriter
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    Decades before the likes of Chad Ochocinco and Metta World Peace were changing their name, one Miami Dolphins player formerly known as Mark Kirby Dupas was doing it. The wide receiver changed his name first to Mark Duper then Mark Super Duper in the 1980s early in his NFL career.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 56
    • Birthplace: Pineville, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Profession: American football player
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    Former "The Cosby Show" and "A Different World" actress Lisa Bonet shocked fans in the early 1990s when she decided to change her professional name to Lilakoi Moon. However, she continued to use the name Lisa Bonet in subsequent acting credits, which only confused things further.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: USA, California, San Francisco
    • Profession: Actor, Film Director
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