What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

This quote by William Shakespeare has certainly outlived its utility in the modern era. It is not uncommon to see a plethora of celebrities opting a new name before entering the entertainment industry. These celebrity names are believed to fetch them way more fame and popularity than their original names. Know the interesting stories behind these 10 celebrity names.

1Akshay Kumar

The iconic name of this Bollywood star is said to be borrowed from his co-star from his debut movie. The leading actor of this movie was Kumar Gaurav and he portrayed the character named ‘Akshay’. Combining both the names, Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, chose ‘Akshay Kumar’ as his screen name.


2A.R. Rahman

It may be hard to believe but A.R. Rahman’s original name was Dileep Kumar. He had a life changing experience after meeting a Sufi saint. He was then inspired to embrace Islam and change his name to Allah Rakha Rahman.


Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in a middle-class family, he began his career with the Bangalore Transport Service as a bus conductor. When the director Balachandran decided to cast him as an actor, he suggested him a stage name ‘Rajnikanth’, which later became the most resonant name in the Tamil cinema.


4Jackie Chan

His original name is Chan Kong-sang. Before gaining popularity as a movie actor,  he used to work at a construction site in Australia. His co-workers faced a difficult pronouncing his name, so they gave him a nickname as Little Jack. His new name Jackie is derived from Jack.


5Miley Cyrus

Born as Destiny Hope Cyrus, Miley had a characteristic ebullient and cheerful personality since childhood. Her ever-smiling face earned her the nickname ‘Smiley‘ from her father. She later derived the name ‘Miley’ from her nickname to use it as her stage name as well as her official name.


6Oprah Winfrey

Born as Orpah Gail Winfrey, she was named her after a biblical figure. But her name Orpah seemed difficult to pronounce by some people, so it was later changed to Oprah Gail Winfrey.


7Vin Diesel

Before gaining fame as a film star, Vin Diesel used to work as a bouncer. His real name is Mark Sinclair, but people used to call him Vin during his bouncer days. He was always energetic, so his friends started mocking him that he runs on diesel. Thereafter, he adopted his last name as Diesel and came to be known as the legendary Vin Diesel.


Born as Marshall Bruce Mathers, this eminent rapper picked his original stage name from his initials M&M. But this name clashed with the name of a very popular candy brand. He thereby changed his stage name to a similar sounding word, ‘Eminem’.



Born as Shawn Corey Carter, this rapper adopted his first name from his mentor named Jay-O. Also, his name is said to be inspired from the subway lines J and Z, which he used to take in his struggling days in Brooklyn.

10Alice Cooper

His original name is Vincent Furnier. He is known to have always carried along a mysterious vibe. One day while playing with an Ouija board, he was contacted by a witch doctor named ‘Alice Cooper’, who inspired him to take up this name. Spooky! isn’t it?


Have more celebrity names to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section.