List of stage names

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This list of stage names lists names used by performers and entertainers, alphabetically by their stage name's surname, followed by their birth name. Individuals who dropped their last name and substituted their middle name as their last name are listed. In many cases, performers have legally changed their name to their stage name.

Individuals are not listed here if they fall into one or more of the following categories:

Note, however, that other cultures have their own naming customs and systems (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Hungarian, and others), some rather intricate, and minor changes or alterations, including reversing Eastern-style formats, do not in and of themselves qualify as stage names, and should not normally be included. For example, Björk, whose stage name appears to be an original creation, is part of her full Icelandic name, Björk Guðmundsdóttir. Her second name is a patronymic instead of a family name, following Icelandic naming conventions. "Björk" is not a stage name but how any Icelander would refer to her, casually or formally.
  • People known by generational nicknames: for example, Trey Anastasio, whose full name is Ernest Joseph Anastasio III.
  • Those whose stage forename is a middle name, e.g. Paul McCartney and Marie Osmond: these are their real middle names, not stage names.
In some cases this is reversed; i.e. a surname is simplified by the removal of a genuine particle (or particles), hyphenation or other diacritic/symbol, such as in the cases of Dirk Bogarde, Tabby Callaghan, Lyn Christie, Scott Forbes, Gregory Gaye, Martyn Green, Jean Hagen, Phyllis Haver, Jock Mahoney and Peter Ustinov.

The following are listed here for the following reasons:

  • Tupac Shakur is listed here, but under the stage name 2Pac. He was born either Lesane Parish Crooks or Parish Lesane Crooks, depending on the source, but his name was changed in early childhood to Tupac Amaru Shakur.
  • Elton John is listed here because he used the name professionally before he legally adopted it in 1972.


  • 2Pac – Tupac Amaru Shakur (born as either Parish Lesane Crooks or Lesane Parish Crooks)
  • 50 Cent – Curtis Jackson
  • 6025 – Carlos Cadona
  • 75 Cents – Ladislav Demeterffy
  • E-40 – Earl Stevens
  • John 5 – John Lowrey
  • Jussi 69 – Heikki Tapio Vuori (or Jussi Heikki Tapio Vuori)
  • Pavel 183 – Pavel Pukhov
  • Royce da 5'9" – Ryan Daniel Montgomery
  • Tech N9ne – Aaron D. Yates
  • 2 Chainz – Tauheed Epps
















  • Sonjay Dutt – Retesh Bhalla (not to be confused with the Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who uses his real name)
  • Dorothy Dwan (a.k.a. Molly Mills) – Dorothy Ilgenfritz
  • Bob Dylan – Robert Allen Zimmerman (legally changed to Robert Dylan)
  • Dynamite Kid – Thomas Billington





















  • Q-Tip – Jonathan Davis (now Kamaal Fareed)
  • Suzi Quatro – Susan Kay Quatrocchio
  • QBoy – Marcos Brito
  • Maggie Q – Margaret Denise Quigley














  • Xia – Kim Junsu
  • Xuxa – Maria da Graça Meneghel
  • Xzibit – Alvin Nathaniel Joiner



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daniel Barnz was born Daniel Bernstein in a suburb of Philadelphia, and later changed his surname to an amalgamation of Bernstein and Schwartz, the surname of his partner of almost two decades, Ben Schwartz.
  2. ^ Julie Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells, but took the name Andrews when she moved in with her stepfather as a child.
  3. ^ Jimmy Barnes was born James Dixon Swan in Glasgow, Scotland. His family relocated to South Australia in 1961, when he was four years old. Barnes' parents later divorced. His mother remarried, to a clerk surnamed Barnes and encouraged her children to adopt their stepfather's surname.
  4. ^ Christie Brinkley was born Christie Lee Hudson but following her parents' divorce she was legally adopted by her stepfather, whose surname (Brinkley), she took.
  5. ^ Neneh Cherry was born Neneh Mariann Karlsson (Karlsson was her mother's maiden name); she was later adopted by her stepfather Don Cherry, and subsequently took his surname.
  6. ^ Nancy Davis, later Mrs. Nancy Reagan, was born Anne Frances Robbins; she was adopted by her stepfather, Dr. Loyal Davis, whose surname she took.
  7. ^ Missy and Tracey Gold were born Melissa Fisher and Tracey Claire Fisher, respectively; the surname Gold is a shortened form of the surname they acquired upon adoption by their stepfather, Harry Goldstein.
  8. ^ Julie Goodyear was born Julie Kemp; she adopted her stepfather's surname.
  9. ^ American actress, director and screenwriter, born Barbara Carol Wayne; her mother Bess Myerson, married, secondly, to Arnold Grant, who legally adopted Barbara in 1962.
  10. ^ Born Blake Ellender Brown and Eric Lawrence Brown, respectively; later adopted their stepfather (Ernie Lively)'s surname (see [1])
  11. ^ Elle Macpherson was born Eleanor Nancy Gow, but was assigned her stepfather's surname (see "Elle Macpherson looks good with Intimates",; accessdate 19 January 2014)
  12. ^ "Movies: Biography for Jesse L. Martin". The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2014. Jesse L. Martin was born Jesse Lamont Watkins to Jesse Reed Watkins and Virginia Price; the two divorced when Jesse was a child. His mother eventually remarried and Martin adopted his stepfather's surname. 
  13. ^ At the age of 10, Martine took her stepfather's surname when her mother met and married window cleaner John McCutcheon.
  14. ^ Rita Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alverío, but later adopted the surname of her first stepfather, Edward Moreno.
  15. ^ Piers Morgan was born Piers Stefan O'Meara; after being adopted by his stepfather, his name became Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan, which he shortened to Piers Morgan, professionally.
  16. ^ Simon Pegg was born Simon John Beckingham to Gillian Rosemary (née Smith), a former civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician and keyboard salesman. His parents divorced when he was seven and he took the surname of his stepfather (Pegg), after his mother re-married.
  17. ^ Barratt, Nick (2 June 2007). "Family detective". The Daily Telegraph (London, UK). Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "10 Questions for Simon Pegg". Time. 2 October 2008. 
  19. ^ Cadwallader, Carole (4 February 2007). "A fair cop". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  20. ^ Nicole Richie was born Nicole Escovedo. Her biological parents, Peter Michael and Karen Escovedo, agreed to let Richie stay with singer-songwriter Lionel Richie and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey because they could not afford to care for her financially. Richie became legally adopted by Lionel and Brenda at the age of nine.
  21. ^ Doris Roberts was born Doris May Green but her biological father abandoned the family and her mother later remarried, to Chester Roberts, whose surname the future actress adopted.
  22. ^ Kenneth Wayne Shamrock was born as born Kenneth Wayne Kilpatrick. He bounced around between several group homes before being placed in Bob Shamrock's Boys' Home at age 14, in Susanville, California where he turned his life around. Bob Shamrock legally adopted Ken as his son, and Ken changed his last name from Kilpatrick to Shamrock in Bob's honor.
  23. ^ Leigh Young was born on January 25, 1945, in Washington, D.C. She added the surname Taylor, which was the surname of her stepfather, a successful Detroit executive.
  24. ^ Kiri Te Kanawa was born as Claire Mary Teresa Rawstron in Gisborne, New Zealand, but adopted as an infant by Thomas Te Kanawa, a Māori, and his wife, Nell.
  25. ^ Alan Thicke was born Alan Willis Jeffery in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada. His stepfather was Dr. Brian Thicke, whose surname Alan legally adopted.
  26. ^ Louis William Tomlinson (One Direction) was born Louis Troy Austin to Johannah (née Poulston) and Troy Austin. His parents split up when he was young and he took the surname of his stepfather, Mark Tomlinson.
  27. ^ Steven Van Zandt was born Steven Lento in Winthrop, Massachusetts; his mother, Mary Lento, remarried when he was young, and Steven took the last name of his stepfather, William Van Zandt.
  28. ^ Grace Lee Whitney was born Mary Ann Chase, but her name was changed when she was adopted as a small child.
  29. ^ Bibi Besch (and her sister) adopted their stepfather (Joseph Besch)'s surname after they were adopted.
  30. ^ Katherine DeMille was born Katherine Paula Lester in Canada and orphaned at an early age; she was adopted by Cecil B. DeMille and his wife, Constance.
  31. ^ Joan Fontaine was born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, but as her elder sister Olivia de Havilland had taken the family surname (de Havilland), Joan (after essaying such unsatisfying stage names as Joan Burfield and Joan St. John), decided to use her stepfather (Frank Fontaine)'s surname, notwithstanding both sisters' mutual dislike of their mother's husband.
  32. ^ Yankee, Luke (2006). Just Outside the Spotlight: Growing Up with Eileen Heckart. BackStage Books. ISBN 0-8230-7888-4. OCLC 2006921113. 
    Eileen Heckart was born from an out of wedlock relationship and briefly known as Anna Eileen Herbert; "Herbert" was quickly changed to Heckart, the surname of her maternal grandmother's wealthy second husband, who adopted the child.
  33. ^ "Biography of Charlton Heston". Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
    Heston was born John Charles Carter, the son of Lila (née Charlton; 1899–1994) and Russell Whitford Carter (1897–1966). When Heston was 10 years old, his parents divorced. Shortly thereafter, his mother married Chester Heston, whose surname John Charles adopted, taking his mother's maiden name (Charlton) later as his forename.
  34. ^ Dorothy Lamour was born Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Carmen Louise (née LaPorte) and John Watson Slaton. Her parents' marriage lasted only a few years. Her mother remarried, to Clarence Lambour, whose surname Dorothy later adopted and modified as her stage name.
  35. ^ Art Linkletter was born Gordon Arthur Kelly, but his name was changed to Arthur Gordon Linkletter when he was adopted in infancy.
  36. ^ Lori March was born Lori von Eltz; she was adopted by her stepfather.
  37. ^ Melcher was born with his birth father's surname ("Jorden"), but was adopted by his stepfather (Marty Melcher), who married Terry's mother (Doris Day); Terry took Marty's surname.
  38. ^ Mary and Florence Nash were born to James H. Ryan, a lawyer, and his wife, Ellen Frances (née McNamara); the sisters adopted the surname of their stepfather, Philip F. Nash, a vaudeville booking executive, who married their mother after the death of their father.
  39. ^ Baby Jane Osborne was born Helen Alice Myres, but adopted by a couple surnamed Osborn under unclear circumstances, see Baby Jane Osborne obituary, New York Times, November 17, 2010.
  40. ^ Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath. Her parents divorced and her name was changed to "Rogers", her stepfather's name, after her mother's remarriage.
  41. ^ Sylvia Sidney was born Sophia Kosow, but took the surname of her stepfather, Dr. Sigmund Sidney, a dentist, after he adopted her.
  42. ^ Birth name per Dorchester Historical Society website,; accessed September 27, 2014.
  43. ^ Profile,; accessed September 27, 2014.
  44. ^ Stage name Johnny Cougar given to him by his manager in 1975; changed to John Cougar in 1979. Mellencamp has not used this name since 1982 and has not used the name John Cougar Mellencamp since 1989.
  45. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (2011-05-28). "Irene Gilbert dies at 76; cofounder of Stella Adler's Los Angeles acting academy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  46. ^ "Deed poll certificate for Elton John" (PDF). 
  47. ^ While performing in WWE, he has used "The Rock" exclusively since 1997. In his career as a film and TV actor, he has mainly been credited as either Dwayne Johnson or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
  48. ^ Tiny Tim (né Herbert Khaury) had no official middle name, though some web sites report it to be "Butros", his father's first name, while during his televised wedding his middle name was given as "Buckingham". His headstone reads "Khaury/Herbert B/Tiny Tim/1932-1996". "Tiny Tim photos at". 2004-04-21. Retrieved 2012-05-14.