What’s in a name? Just ask these celebs! Tons of stars make the decision to take a different name when kicking off a career in the spotlight — and, honestly, it’s pretty shocking when fans find out their real monikers.

Halsey, for example, has explained why she decided to go by a stage name instead of their birth name, Ashley.

“People hear about me and they want to paint my story as a rags to riches tale, but that’s not true. It was a very slow and painful process,” the New Jersey native told Cosmopolitan in November 2020. “When I look back on it, I’m so proud of that teenage girl who dropped [my first album] Badlands because I had all the odds against me. I didn’t know anybody in the music industry. I was from New Jersey. I had no f–king money, and there was no way I was going to college.”

Halsey continued, “Me wanting to do this was so far-fetched, and the fact that I changed my name in the process — I think I had the foresight to know that being me wasn’t enough. I had to become somebody completely different. At the time, I felt that Ashley didn’t deserve to be famous and successful because she wasn’t that special, but if I made Halsey, maybe she could be.”

Dove Cameron is “super open” about her name change as well.

“So, basically, Chloe is my birth name. It’s on my birth certificate,” the Descendants star explained in a 2017 interview. “But my dad always called me Dove — as like a nickname. He called my sister Flower, and he called me Dove more than he ever called me Chloe. And, like, Dovey, Dovely, Dove-Love. Like that was just his nickname. You know, some dads call their daughters Sugar Pie or something. But mine just sounded a lot more like a name than a lot of them. It’s not like my sister was gonna go by Flower. You know what I mean? And he actually — he passed away when I was 15, and I decided to legally change it. So, it’s on my passport — everything legal is Dove.”

They’re not the only stars who’ve spoken out about their name changes. JoJo Siwa, Shay Mitchell, Jacob Sartorius, Katy Perry, Camila Cabello, Miley Cyrus, Lucy Hale, Gigi Hadid and more well-known celebs have decided to go by their middle names or even nicknames!

Scroll through the gallery to discover all the stars who don’t go by their real names.

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