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2) Michael Caine Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. used the stage name “Michael Scott” before deciding on “Caine.” Though he performed with the name for decades, he only officially changed in 2016. Max Mumby/Indigo – Getty Images

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3) Elton John John was born “Reginald Kenneth Dwight” and chose a stage name that would pay homage to two musicians: saxophonist Elton Dean and singer Long John Baldry. Chris Jackson – Getty Images

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4) Idris Elba Okay, so Elba’s name is really “Idrissa Akuna Elba,” making the change less a departure than a shortening. Still, it’s hard picturing a movie poster with Elba as Idrissa. (For many of us, however, he’ll always be “Stringer.”) Emma McIntyre – Getty Images

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5) Bob Dylan Robert Allen Zimmerman first changed to “Robert Allyn” before finding inspiration in the poems of Dylan Thomas. “Robert” became “Bob” and “Allyn” became “Dylan” and the rest is rock and roll history. Aaron Rapoport – Getty Images

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6) Charlie Sheen Following his father, Carlos Irwin Estvez changed his last name to “Sheen.” Martin Sheen was born Ramn Gerardo Antonio Estvez. wowcelebritytv/Bauer-Griffin – Getty Images

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7) Joaquin Phoenix Joaquin Rafael Bottom changed his surname to match his siblings who had chosen “Phoenix.” Stefania D’Alessandro – Getty Images

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8) John Legend John Roger Stephens changed his name after signing with Kanye West’s record label. The name, he was told, reflected an old school sound. Stephane Cardinale – Corbis – Getty Images

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9) Bruno Mars Peter Gene Hernandez has said the name change originated from his desire to sound other worldlyand so that record labels wouldn’t think of him as the next Enrique Iglesias. Steve Granitz – Getty Images

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10) Nicolas Cage Nicolas Kim Coppola is the nephew of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola. He changed his name to “Cage” to stand apart. Jason LaVeris – Getty Images

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11) Vin Diesel Mark Sinclair decided to adopt his father’s surname “Vincent” as well as a nickname given to him while working as a bouncer in New York: “Diessel.” Mike Marsland – Getty Images

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12) Brad Pitt Born William Bradley Pitt, Pitt decided to drop “William” and simply use “Brad” as his stage name. Vittorio Zunino Celotto – Getty Images

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13) Aaron Paul When people kept mispronouncing Aaron Paul Sturtevant’s last name, he stopped his name at “Paul” instead. Paul Archuleta – Getty Images

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14) Tom Hardy Like Pitt, Edward Thomas Hardy decided to drop that first name nonsense, forever confusing fans of mid nineteenth-century English literature. Mark Cuthbert – Getty Images

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15) George Michael Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou is just too damn hard to say. George Michael. There. Wham! Better. MJ Kim – Getty Images

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16) Johnny Depp John Christopher Depp II sounds much more regal than Depp tends to present himself. “Jonny” feels a bit looser, we think. Julian Parker – Getty Images

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17) Jonah Hill It’s not clear why Jonah Hill Feldstein took out his surname. It does make the realization that actress Beanie Feldstein is actually his sister that much more mind-blowing, though. Taylor Hill – Getty Images

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18) Ben Affleck Both Benjamin Gza Affleck-Boldt and his brother Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt decided to simplify their names for their acting careers. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin – Getty Images

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19) Zayn Malik Malick was born “Zain Javadd Malik.” Why add the “y” for a stage name? Cuz it’s frickin cool, that’s why. Mike Coppola – Getty Images

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20) Antonio Banderas Jos Antonio Domnguez Bandera decided to drop the first name and tack an “s” on the surname. Pablo Cuadra – Getty Images

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21) Ralph Lauren You don’t know the face, but you definitely know the name … the made up name. Lauren was actually born “Ralph Lifshitz.” Would you wear a Lifshitz? Thought not. Bruce Glikas – Getty Images

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22) Michael Kors Another iconic designer, Kors was actually born “Karl Anderson Jr.” Taylor Hill – Getty Images

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23) Calvin Harris Adam Richard Wiles has said that “Calvin Harris” sounded more racially ambiguous and would be better given his more soul-like genre. It’s not a great answer, but there it is. Karwai Tang – Getty Images

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24) Ricky Martin Enrique Jos Martn Morales IV’s decided on the stage name Ricky Martin. Stefanie Keenan – Getty Images

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25) Tom Cruise The cost of making it as an actor sometimes entails awesome-sounding last names. Thomas Cruise Mapother IV had to cut a few syllables and make the sacrifice. Han Myung-Gu – Getty Images

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26) Bruce Willis Like many actors on the list, Walter Bruce Willis went with the middle name, last name combo for his stage identity. Dave J Hogan – Getty Images

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27) Kit Harington A childhood nickname, “Kit,” born Christopher Catesby Harington, didn’t find out his real name until he was eleven. Stephane Cardinale – Corbis – Getty Images

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28) Jason Derulo Jaaason …. Joel Desrouleaux? Doesn’t quite roll of the tongue when shouted over the club. Joe Maher – Getty Images

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29) Stevie Wonder Stevie was born Stevland Hardaway Morris. “Steveland” became “Stevie” and “Wonder” …. well, it just seems fitting after hearing him sing. Tommaso Boddi – Getty Images

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30) Bono First on the list of monosyllabic singers is Paul David Hewson. Hewson was named “Bono Vox” by a childhood friend. (“Bonavox” being latin for “good voice.”) Later, Bono adopted the first name as, well, his only recognizable name. C Flanigan – Getty Images

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31) Sting Apparently Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner used to wear a black and yellow sweater that reminded a band member of a bee. Get it? NBC – Getty Images

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32) Prince Prince Rogers Nelson had the luck of an awesome birth name and the skill to own the moniker forever. Does anyone outside England ask “which Prince”? Getty Images – Getty Images

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33) Drake Aubrey Drake Graham went with his middle for his stage identity. Kevin Winter – Getty Images

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34) Frank Ocean Christopher Edwin Cooksey was inspired by Frank Sinatra and the original 1960s Ocean’s Eleven. David Redfern – Getty Images

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35) Ben Kingsley When he began acting, Krishna Pandit Bhanji thought his foreign-sounding name might hurt his career, so he combined his father’s nickname of “Benji” with his father’s father’s nickname of “King Cloves.” Frederick M. Brown – Getty Images

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36) Luke Perry Coy Luther Perry III followed the acting tradition of dropping those pesky Roman numerals and shortening the first name. Jean Baptiste Lacroix – Getty Images

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37) Michael Keaton When Michael John Douglas began acting he knew he had some major name competition, namely Michael Douglas. He chose “Keaton” to distinguish himself. Dia Dipasupil – Getty Images

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38) Tiger Woods Eldrick Tont Woods was nicknamed “Tiger” in honor of his father’s friend. Andrew Redington – Getty Images

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39) David Bowie A big fan of American culture, David Robert Jones, chose the name “Bowie” after Jim Bowie of 1960’s The Alamo. Terry O’Neill – Getty Images