Celebrities Who Have Different Real Names

Sometimes, celebrities have to choose a memorable name. From Nicki Minaj to Jamie Foxx, black celebrities’ birth names are totally different from the names fans call them. Trust me, some of these names are shocking. Here are your favorite black celebrities’ real names.

1. Jamie Foxx

Real name: Eric Marlon Bishop

Foxx explained he had to change his name from Eric Marlon Bishop to a unisex name he got started with stand-up circuit. Stating female comedians were scarce so the one available always scored slots easily. “So I went to the list and wrote down unisex names. Stacy Green, Tracy Brown…Jamie Foxx! And I'm the first guy called. He goes, 'Jamie Foxx, is she here?' I said, 'No, brother, that's me.' And then I go onstage and I get a standing ovation."

2. Rihanna

Real name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty

She’s called Robyn when she's with friends and family. "When I hear 'Robyn,' I pay attention," she told Rolling Stone.

3. Frank Ocean

Real name: Christopher Edwin Breaux

He changed his name legally to Frank Ocean in 2014. "It just felt cool. None of us are our names. If you don't like your name, then change your name."

4. Alicia Keys

Real name: Alicia Augello Cook

5. John Legend

Real name: John Roger Stephens

6. Erykah Badu

Born: Erica Abi Wright

Badu states she had to change the spelling of her name from Erica to “Erykah” as she believes Erica is a slave name.

7. Whoopi Goldberg

Born: Caryn Johnson

She said when she started out, she acted like a whoopee cushion. “Noone christened me that. I am Karen, but I was a bit of a farter,” she joked. “The theatres I was performing in were very small so if you were gassy you had to walk away farting and people would say I was like a Whoopee cushion. I was sometimes quite noisy, never offensive.”

8. Nicki Minaj

Born: Onika Tanya Maraj

“Somebody changed my name,” she told the guardian publication in an interview in 2014. “One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted my name to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I’ve always hated it.” She said she prefers being called Onika around her family. “My rule is, whatever you were calling me four years ago is what you should be calling me now, because I don’t like it when my family or close friends call me Nicki Minaj," she explained. "To me I’m not Nicki Minaj when I’m with them.”