Who knew that these celebs didn’t go by their real names? Check out the list below to see some of the most surprising and shocking real names that you’d never believe were attached to famous faces.
Bono – Paul David Hewson
U2 frontman and activist Bono was born Paul David Hewson on May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland. The son of a civil servant, he attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School, where he met the other three members of U2. The band’s early success with their 1980 debut album Boy led to Bono being dubbed “The Voice of a Generation.”
With U2, Bono has released 14 studio albums, won 22 Grammy Awards, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also a noted activist for causes such as poverty and AIDS awareness, and in 2006, he obtained the Nobel Peace Prize for what he did. Married to Alison Stewart since 1982, Bono is the father of six children.
Madonna – Madonna Louise Ciccone
Born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958, in Bay City, Michigan, pop icon Madonna is one of the most renowned and successful female artists of all time. She has sold over 300 million records worldwide and has won 20 Grammy Awards.
Dubbed the “Queen of Pop,” she is also known for her outspokenness and controversial behavior both onstage and off. Married to actor Sean Penn from 1985 to 1989, Madonna later wed director Guy Ritchie in 2000; the couple divorced in 2008. She is the mother of six children.
Sting – Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner
English singer-songwriter Sting was born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner on October 2, 1951, in Wallsend, Northumberland, England. He rose to fame as the lead singer and bassist for the rock band The Police, with whom he released five studio albums.
Since the start of his solo career in 1985, Sting has sold over 100 million records and won 16 Grammy Awards. Married to Trudie Styler since 1992, Sting is father to six children.
Prince – Prince Rogers Nelson
In 1958, he was born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince was a prolific and innovative musician and actor who was acclaimed as one of the most talented and versatile performers of his generation.
He was known for his unique, eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and outrageous fashion sense. A seven-time Grammy Award winner, Prince sold over 100 million records during his career.
Jamie Foxx – Eric Marlon Bishop
Jamie Foxx was born Eric Marlon Bishop on December 13, 1967, in Terrell, Texas. He is an award-winning actor, singer, and comedian who has appeared in films such as Booty Call, Ray, Collateral, and Django Unchained.
He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Ray Charles in the 2004 biopic Ray. Foxx is also a Grammy Award-winning artist, having won two awards for his 2005 album Intuition.
Emma Stone – Emily Jean Stone
Although Emma has one of those names you’d see on a 2024 trending name search like Unmask, her birth name is not as common. Emily Jean Stone was born with her slightly more mundane name on November 6, 1988, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Stone is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award. She has also been nominated for two Emmy Awards. Stone began her acting career in 2004 with a small role in the VH1 sitcom Unhappily Ever After. From 2010 to 2013, she starred as Gwen Stacy in the superhero film series The Amazing Spider-Man.
Lady Gaga – Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986, in New York City, Lady Gaga is a singer, songwriter, and actress.
She shot to stardom with her debut album The Fame (2008), which spawned the international number-one hits “Just Dance” and “Poker Face.” A five-time Grammy Award winner, Gaga has also achieved success in acting, most notably with her starring role in the 2017 Bradley Cooper film A Star Is Born.
Bon Jovi – John Francis Bongiovi Jr.
Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi Jr. on March 2, 1962, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He is an actor, singer, and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1980s as the frontman of the rock band Bon Jovi.
The band has released an unprecedented 14 studio albums and has sold more than 130 million records worldwide. Married to Dorothea Hurley since 1989, Bon Jovi is the father of four children.
We are pretty sure that 90% of our readers thought that Olivia Wilde is the real name of this actress. But, no, her real name is Olivia Cockburn. Her parents, grandparents, and relatives were all journalists and novelists.
Because of that, it doesn’t need to surprise us why this super talented person “borrowed” the last name from Oscar Wilde. In one of her interviews, she said that Oscar Wilde is the person that she respects a lot. She considers him a true comedian and revolutionar. Interesting, isn’t it?
No, Bruno Mars is not the name of the well-known singer. The reason why he gave himself a name Bruno is somehow cute. As he said in one of his interviews, others nicknamed him this way because he looked as chubby baby. More precisely, his dad gave him this interview after Bruno Sammartino.
For those that do not know, it is one of the fattest wrestlers in the history of this sport. As stated, he was a chunky kid, so his dad liked to call him that way. When others heard that nickname, they started to name him that way as well. Because of that, he decided to keep his nickname and make it as some sort of brand (he certainly managed to reach that goal many years later).
The real name of Demi Moore is some sort of mystery. Believe it or not, for many years, a lot of people thought that her real name was Demetria.
However, in one of her interviews, Demi neglect that and confirmed that her real name is Demi Gene Guynes. The reason why she decided to use this nickname is unclear, but it seems that she made a good step as everyone knows who she is.
Well, this is probably one of the craziest stories you will ever hear. The real name of Kit Harington is actually Christopher Catesby Harington. But, something even crazier is the fact that even Kit didn’t know that until he turned 11. He and his brother didn’t want to have traditional names.
For examples, his name Jack also uses a nickname as his real name is actually John. Christopher, according to him, is the name that people do not often use, and he wanted to have a name that will be easy to remember. Because of that, he decided on Kit. Strange story, isn’t it?
The real name of Julianne Moor is Julie Anne Smith. As you can conclude on your own, the name of this actress was way popular among actors. Because of that, she wanted to do something to change her name and become more recongizable among people. The method she used is hilarious – she used all the family members names and made some sort of cocktail.
In one of her interviews, she said that the middle name of her dad is Moor, while her mom’s name is Anne. So, she used the both things not to hurt neither mom’s or dad’s feelings. But, it seemed that her plan worked cause Julianne Moore truly is a beautiful name and certainly quite popular in different parts of the world.
These are only some of the celebs with shocking real names. There are many more who have equally interesting name stories. Do some research on your favorite celebrities and see if you can find their hidden (real) names!