Elton John and Meghan Markle lead celebs who don’t use their real name

A host of celebrities made the decision to change their birth name before they hit the big time in the showbiz industry.

Meghan Markle, 41, changed her name prior to pursuing her acting career, switching her middle name and first name.

The Duchess of Sussex was born Rachel Meghan Markle, the same name as her onscreen Suits character, Rachel Zane.

The mother of two has never explained her reasoning for the change, but like many celebs, she may have found it catchier.

Sir Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, with 2019’s Rocketman showing the backstory to the hitmaker’s early life.

In a 1987 interview, Elton explained: “When I became Elton John, it was like a new lease on life.

“I didn’t particularly like being Reg Dwight. It had too many unhappy memories.”

Gigi Hadid was also born Jelena but explained to Style.com: “My mum was called Gigi as a kid by her mother when she was younger.

“But only around the house. In first or second grade, there was a girl named Helena and it got confusing with the teacher who had to call out our names, and so the teacher asked my mum, ‘If I needed to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?’

“And my mum was like, ‘I call her Gigi sometimes,’ and the name stuck.”

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Brad Pitt’s middle name was Bradley, but he was born William Bradley Pitt.

Songstress Lana Del Rey decided to completely revamp her name for fame, with her birth name being Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.

She experimented with the stage name Lizzy Grant before settling for Lana Del Ray.

Her source of inspiration came on a road trip with her sister, where she realised she “wanted a name that sounded sort of exotic and reminded me of like the seaside on the Floridian coast.”

Reese Witherspoon was born Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon but decided to go by Reese for her first film appearance in The Man in the Moon when she was 14 years old.

Bruno Mars admitted he was nicknamed Bruno, leading him to change his name from Peter Gene Hernandez.

He told Rap-Up: “Bruno is after Bruno Sammartino, who was this big, fat wrestler.

“I was this chunky little baby, so my dad used to call me that as a nickname. Mars came up because a lot of girls say I’m out of this world!”

The story behind Lady Gaga’s stage name began with an autocorrected text message.

In 2006, she met music producer Rob Fusari, who compared her vocals to Queen’s Freddie Mercury.

He would sing “Radio Ga Ga” whenever she entered the studio, and one day they were texting and his phone autocorrected it to Lady Gaga.

She reportedly texted back: “That’s it.”

The Joker actress was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

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