Alicia Aguello Cook was looking to change her name and resorted to the dictionary for help. She knew that she wanted a name that reflected her love for music, but her mom ultimately impacted her final decision.
Her mom did not approve of her first choice. Eventually, she stumbled upon the word “Keys” and was inspired. “It’s like the piano keys. And it can open so many doors.” And so Alicia Aguello Cook became Alicia Keys.
Of course, it might be fairly obvious that a name as cool as Vin Diesel is a stage name, but it was certainly a unique choice. Diesel was born as Mark Sinclair but chose to leave his given name behind in favor of the name Vin Diesel.
The name was a bit more steely and intimidating for his job as a bouncer at various New York nightclubs. His choice of “Vin” for a first name came from his mother’s maiden name of “Vincent.”
Over the Hill
The country songstress was first known as Audrey Faith Perry. She then chose her middle name as part of her stage name, but the surname “Hill” actually came from her first marriage to Daniel Hill. It was after her first marriage that her career was really solidified so, even after her first marriage dissolved, she didn’t want to change the name that fans knew her by.
These days, she is enjoying marital bliss with fellow country music star Tim McGraw and has been for over two decades!
Some may be familiar with the origin of Miley Cyrus’s unique name. She was given the name Destiny Hope Cyrus because her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) thought she would have a remarkable future. She was given the nickname “Smiley” as a toddler, but it was then shortened to “Miley” when she had trouble pronouncing it.
In 2008 Miley legally changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus at just the age of 15. When she was married to actor Liam Hemsworth, she was also briefly Miley Ray Hemsworth.
The Shampoo Ad
Demi Moore was first known as Demetria Gene Guynes (yes, Guynes) and her first name was supposedly chosen from a shampoo ad. As she grew up, Demi discovered that the man she believed to be her father was not her biological father.
The news didn’t impact Demi’s name-changing decisions, and she chose to keep her last name as “Guynes'' until she married musician, Freddy Moore. It was then that she finally became “Demi Moore”.