From Prince to a symbol and from Chad Johnson to Chad Ochochinco, funny name changes are common among celebrities. “Why do they do that”, you might ask. Some of them have good reasons, yet some are simply rich enough to act crazy, so they do. Here are some of these funny celebrity name changes. Enjoy!

1. Lisa Bonet became Lilakoi Moon

name change1

Lisa Bonet had the idea of changing her name after having enough with the fans harassing her. Though, she hid her real name to keep her life private, that I understand. What I cannot understand however is why “Lilakoi” of all names? I mean, what is wrong with good old “Beth”, for example? Not trendy enough most probably!

2. Russell Tyrone Jones became Ol’ Dirty Bastard and then Big Baby Jesus

name change2

If you asked a dedicated rapper who Jones was, he would not know what to answer.  But if you mention Ol’  Dirty Bastard, or ODB, you would get better results. The founding member of the rap collective Wu-Tang Clan was not satisfied with creepy ODB either. He probably wanted something even more shocking, even though, not even close to representative: Big Baby Jesus. He died from a overdose in 2004, so he did not stand up to his name.

3. Caryn Johnson became Whoopi Goldberg

name change3

I think that at the beginning of her career, Caryn, felt that her name was too common to make her stand out.Thus, he tought of a funny one; here is how she made the pick: “If you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from.” (see source). Well, no comment about THAT.  In what the surname is concerned, her mother made the selection, thinking that a Jewish one had more chances of succeeding in Hollywood. We cannot claim that she was wrong, though the name was probably far less important than her talent.

4. Mark Duper became Mark Super Duper

name change4

The former Miami Dolphins wide receiver had the idea of  getting his name officially changed into Super Duper (after having already changed Dupas in Duper). As a way of standing out, as a form of self pride or as a good luck charm, the reason of this ridiculous choice will probably remain unknown to us but, as far as I am concerned, it was simply silly and nothing more.

5. Mark Sinclair Vincent became Vin Diesel

name change5

I have to admit that Vin Diesel seems more appropriate for this tough guy than Mark Sinclair Vincent. As the actor related, the story of his name change came from the time when he was a bouncer at a night club from New York City. As he says,  bouncers always  used a fake name and his was  the short form of Vincent, combined with a nickname given by his friends  and was inspired by his never-ending energy.

6. Ron Artest became Metta World Peace

name change6

Ron Artest is Los Angeles Lakers forward, but he is also known for his efforts to rap and for his ambition to become a stand-up comedian as well. I have no clue whether he is good in these new domains, but what I do know is that his name change was absurd.  His new name, seemingly of Buddhist inspiration (in Buddhism, Metta means friendship towards others), was made official  on September 16, this year.

7. Prince became…a symbol

name change7

You may be surprised to find out that Prince was not a scene name, but his actual birth name. The famous singer’s full name was Prince Roger Nelson, and his parents could not come with more appropriate one, as Prince truly became the biggest name in the pop music.  Hence, when he was popular enough to do whatever he wished, he changed his name into , yes, a symbol that had no related sound associated to it.  Not only was the symbol unpronounceable, but it was also an unknown sign, which the singer explained as a combination of the symbols for man and woman.  After years of puzzling journalists as regard to the pronunciation of his name, he probably had enough teasing the world and came back to “Prince”.

8. Steven Demetre Georgiou became Cat Stevens and then, Yusuf Islam

name change8

When you are called Steven Demetre Georgiou, then the name change becomes not only reasonable, but absolutely necessary, if one wants to turn into a popular singer in America. No disrespect to the Greeks, but his name was really hard to pronounce and to remember. Thus, he changed it to Cat Stevens, where Cat was inspired by his girlfriend’s opinion, that he had the eyes of a cat, and became one of the most famous singers in the world.  Years later, he turned to Islam and changed his name into Yusuf Islam, to fit with his newly discovered self.

9. Sean Combs became Puff Daddy, P. Diddy  and then,  Diddy

name change9

Sean Combs really likes changing names as other people change their clothes. Well, at least, the first two monikers sound manly and cool enough, but Diddy?!  I am positive that someday, Diddy will wake up, realize how silly this name is and change it back to one of the former variants and come forward with a new one. Whatever it will be, it must be for the better…

10. Chad Johnson became Chad Ochocinco

name change10

You know him as a great player of New England’s patriots and you may be familiar with his weird name change, back in 2008. Apparently, Chad Johnson was so devoted to his team that he decided to change his name into Ochochinco in order to reflect the number on the back of his jersey, 85. He does not seem troubled by the fact that in Spanish, 85 is actually “ochenta y cinco” and went on with his choice. Later, he thought of changing his name again, this time to Hachi-Go, which means 8-5 in Japanese.  He wisely gave up hat idea though and returned to Johnson.

source and photo credits:

Time magazine