Who are some of your favorite celebrities? Brad Pitt, maybe? Reese Witherspoon? Katy Perry? Well, we have a surprise for you: Chances are, you don’t know any of those celebs’ real names. In fact, most A-list celebrities weren’t born with the name that they now use. And while some made minor modifications like using their middle name as a first name, others created a whole new identity for themselves. In other words, if you’ve ever gotten down on yourself for not having a “catchy” enough name, don’t worry — neither did these stars, at first.
While all names are lovely and unique in their own right, it’s true that some just roll off the tongue better than others. Somehow, “William Bradley Pitt” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it — and come on, just look at Brad Pitt. That man may have been born a William, but he’s definitely grown into a Brad.
While Pitt went the innocuous route and chose a name that easily could have been his own, other stars have opted to go for an obvious stage name, like Cardi B (real name: Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar) or Lorde (real name: Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor). Our favorite real-name coincidence so far has to be Meryl Streep, whose real name is Mary Louise — just like her Big Little Lies character! It must have been extra-easy for her to get in character for that one.
We honestly couldn’t believe it when we found out just how many of our favorite stars have modified their monikers, and we have a feeling you’ll be surprised too. Here are 59 celebs whose real names you definitely don’t know.