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.
People are not listed here if they fall into one or more of the following categories:
Those who changed their surname due primarily to marriage:
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.
The following are listed here for the following reasons:
Tupac Shakuris 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 Johnis listed here because he used the name professionally before he legally adopted it in 1972.
^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.
^Julie Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells, but took the name Andrews when she moved in with her stepfather as a child.
^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.
^Christie Brinkley was born Christie Lee Hudson but following her parents' divorce she was legally adopted by her stepfather, whose surname (Brinkley), she took.
^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.
^Robert Conrad "Robb" Flynn was born as Lawrence Matthew Cardine in Oakland, California. He was adopted after being abandoned by his birth parents. He has since stated that he does not wish to find his birth parents, with the Machine Head song "Left Unfinished" describing his feelings about them. "Interview: Robb Flynn of Machine Head". goldenplec.com. May 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
^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.
^Julie Goodyear was born Julie Kemp; she adopted her stepfather's surname.
^Dave Gahan, British musician, was born David Callcott to parents Len and Sylvia Callcott; Dave was only six months old when his father left the family. Sylvia and Len divorced two years later and his mother moved Dave and sister Sue (born 1960) to Basildon, Essex, after she married her second husband Jack Gahan.
^American actress, director and screenwriter, born Barbara Carol Wayne; her mother Bess Myerson, married, secondly, to Arnold Grant, who legally adopted Barbara in 1962.
^Born Jane Elizabeth Marie Burgess, she later adopted her stepfather (Yves Lapotaire)'s surname (see )
^Born Blake Ellender Brown and Eric Lawrence Brown, respectively; later adopted their stepfather (Ernie Lively)'s surname (see )
^"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.
^At the age of 10, Martine took her stepfather's surname when her mother met and married window cleaner John McCutcheon.
^Rita Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alverío, but later adopted the surname of her first stepfather, Edward Moreno.
^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.
^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.
^Barratt, Nick (June 2, 2007). "Family detective". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
^Cadwallader, Carole (February 4, 2007). "A fair cop". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
^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.
^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.
^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.
^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.
^Alan Thicke was born Alan Willis Jeffery in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada. His stepfather was Dr. Brian Thicke, whose surname Alan legally adopted.
^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.
^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.
^Suzanne Vega was born in 1959 in Santa Monica, California to Pat (née Schumacher), a computer systems analyst of German-Swedish heritage, and Richard Peck, of Scottish-English-Irish origin. They divorced soon after her birth and Suzanne's stepfather, Edgardo Vega Yunqué, whose surname she adopted, was a writer and teacher from Puerto Rico.
^White was born Vanna Marie Rosich in Conway, South Carolina, the daughter of Joan Marie and Miguel Angel Rosich. Her father was of Puerto Rican and Croatian descent. He abandoned the family and White took the name of her stepfather, Herbert Stackley White Jr., a South Carolina real estate agent in what is now North Myrtle Beach.
^Bibi Besch (and her elder sister) adopted their stepfather (Joseph Besch)'s surname after they were adopted.
^Nancy Davis, later Mrs. Nancy Reagan, was born Anne Frances Robbins; she was adopted by her stepfather, Dr. Loyal Davis, whose surname she took.
^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.
^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.
^Yankee, Luke (2006). Just Outside the Spotlight: Growing Up with Eileen Heckart. BackStage Books. ISBN0-8230-7888-4. OCLC2006921113.
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.
^"Biography of Charlton Heston". biography.com. March 18, 2010. 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.
^American musician, was born Arthur Taylor in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Chester, a jazz cornet player, and Agnes Taylor, a school teacher. He and his mother moved to Los Angeles when he was five years old. In 1953 his mother married Clinton Lee, who adopted Arthur, who legally changed his name to Arthur Taylor Lee.
^Art Linkletter was born Gordon Arthur Kelly, but his name was changed to Arthur Gordon Linkletter when he was adopted in infancy.
^Lori March was born Lori von Eltz; she was adopted by her stepfather.
^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.
^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.
^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.
^While performing in WWE, he has used "The Rock" exclusively since 1997. In his career as a film and television actor, he has mainly been credited as either Dwayne Johnson or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
^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". Findagrave.com. 2004-04-21. Retrieved 2012-05-14.