Celebrities are constantly vying for the spotlight. It comes with the job description, right? Perhaps this is why, with some, it’s a perceived necessity to change their names or simply go by one name. Here are some A-listers who have done just that.
Seal. This British singer and songwriter was born Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel. So, there’s probably no explanation needed for why he chose to change his name. However, he oddly took shortening it to the extreme, went with one instead of two, and changed it entirely in the process.
Prince. This singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and director passed away unexpectedly in 2016. During his career, he was well-known for being unusual and extravagant, which could explain his decision to stick with one name only – then, transition to a symbol only, before finally returning to “Prince.” In any case, Prince didn’t have to change his name to a symbol to be a forever famous symbol of success.
Adele. Her name induces the same emotional effect as her music, right? Whether or not this was her intent, the super-status singer and songwriter was born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. The shortened version rolls off the tongue more easily and doesn’t automatically connect her with the Adkins diet plan.
Drake. This rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur chose to go by a name that better suits his chosen music genre than his birth name – Aubrey Drake Graham. Going simply by “Drake” helps complete his fly hip-hop image.
Bono. Is there a cooler name, really? This is likely what the infamous singer, songwriter and musician thought to himself when he chose to change his stage name from his commonplace birth name, Paul. The rock band U2 needed a lead vocalist with a little pizzazz, after all.
Enya. The famous Irish singer may have noted early on that few would be able to properly pronounce her birth name, Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin, so she had better find a simpler one for the stage. And, that she did. The name Enya, as whimsical and enduring as her music, stuck.
While there have been many name rebels, not all of these rebels have chosen to veer from their given ones. Some, no matter the pressure they might be under to make the switch, have refused to do so. Leonardo DiCaprio, for one, has been very vocal about refusing to give up his unique birthright for a more common name. His agent tried desperately to get the famous actor to transition to Lenny Williams. Kudos to this Hollywood hotshot for sticking to his roots!