14 Celebs Who Were Forced To Use New Stage Names

I think “Keaton” is a popular stage name!

Some people who work in the entertainment industry choose to work with stage names. However, others use a stage name because it’s a requirement, rather than an option, because someone else is already working under the same name.

Here are 14 actors and musicians who had to change their stage names because someone else was already using theirs:


When Diane Hall registered for her Actors’ Equity card, there was already a Diane Hall, so she cycled through a few options – Dorrie Hall (her sister’s name), then Corry Hall, and finally Diane Keaton (her sister’s maiden name). mother).

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In her autobiography Once againshe wrote, “It dawned on me that I could keep it all in the family by using my mother’s maiden name: Keaton. Diane Keaton.”


Because of the Fatal attraction actor, the union let Michael Douglas choose a stage name. After going through the “K” names, he decided Michael Keaton was “good enough.”

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on The Late Show with Stephen Colberthe said: “I’m trying to relax my name again because I’m proud of my name. I’m going somewhere, and there will be a driver with a sign that says Michael Douglas, and then I show up. They look so confused! ‘


The Weeknd had to drop the “e” from his stage name due to copyright issues with a Canadian band called The Weekend.

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His real name is Abel Tesfaye.


Initially David Jones went by Davie Jones, but he changed his stage name to Tom Jones because of Davy Jones of The Monkees. However, there was already a lead singer of Tom Jones, so he chose the iconic David Bowie.

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His other persona on stage, Ziggy Stardust, was inspired by ‘American street culture’.


When her real name was already known to SAG, Emily Stone registered as Riley Stone. However, six months later, she went back and turned it into Emma Stone.

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Due to an actor’s union rule, 16-year-old David McDonald had to pick a stage name, so he flipped through a music magazine until he settled on David Tennant — inspired by Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.

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on The Late Late Show with James Cordenhe said: “At 16, I didn’t know any actors. I didn’t know how to choose a name…I was just flipping through a magazine and thinking, ‘What am I going to call myself?'”


William H. Macy bears his full name so people don’t confuse him with the late actor Bill Macy.

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His middle initial stands for Hall.


At first Michael B. Jordan considered using Michael Bakari (his middle name) to separate himself from the famous basketball player he shares a name with, but he eventually decided to keep his real name and add his middle initial .

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He told the SAG-AFTRA Foundation: “Ever since I was a kid who was bullied on the basketball court… I would turn into Michael Bakari… Two seconds of weakness I had that thought and then I just held it, and owned it .”


Because of the Lost actor of the same name, Elizabeth Mitchell decided to act under the name Elizabeth Banks.

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She wanted a one-syllable last name, so she made a list, alphabetized it, and then went with the first option on the list.


When 18-year-old Patricia Neal had to join Actors’ Equity, her name was already taken by the actor from The day the earth stood still† With only an hour to choose her new stage name, she called her grandpa, who told her, “Honey, I remember a lot of comedians named Fannie coming through the vaudeville circuit, so maybe that would be a lucky name for you.” Then her boyfriend suggested the full name Fannie Flagg, after their friend’s grandmother.

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Flagg told the Sacramento Bee, “So I agreed, never dreaming I’d be stuck with it.”


FKA Twigs added the acronym for “formerly known as” to her stage name because another artist who goes by Twigs asked her to change it.

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Her real name is Tahliah Barnett.


Because her name was already used by the Duel in the sun actor Jennifer Jones changed her name to Gemma Jones, after the female lead in her father’s film never escape me

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In never escape me (1935), Griffith Jones played Caryle Sanger and Elisabeth Bergner played Gemma Jones.


Katheryn Hudson released a few gospel albums under her real name, but when she signed to Capitol Records as a pop artist in 2007, she decided to go with Katy Perry so people wouldn’t mistake her for actor Kate Hudson.

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Perry is her mother’s maiden name.


And finally, even though she had registered with SAG as Vanessa L. Williams, in order to avoid such problems early in her career, several newspapers mistook former Miss America actor Vanessa Williams for New Jack City actor Vanessa Williams.

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New Jack City‘s Vanessa Williams told Entertainment Weekly she didn’t see a problem with it because “there’s plenty of work for both of us.”

The confusion actually started before they were famous. In the 1980s, they applied for the same music theater course at NYU.

Things got even more confusing, though, when Vanessa L. Williams starred in the TV show version of soul food and Vanessa Estelle Williams starred in the movie version of soul food† As a result, SAG decided that since both women had built careers under the name Vanessa Williams, they could both be credited as just Vanessa Williams.

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