5 WTF Celeb Name Changes Starting With Jeffery
Young Thug has finally given a release date and trailer for his new mixtape, Jeffery, and with two days to go until we can give it a listen, we’ve got some questions. The most obvious, but also the most pertinent, being: is Young Thug to be referred to as Jeffery (his birth name) from now on, as the video suggests? Or will it be somewhere along the lines of The-Artist-Named-Jeffery-but-Formerly-Known-As-Young-Thug? It’s still too early to say, but it did get us thinking about aliases and alter egos. Celebs changing their names is nothing new—the idea of a “stage name” is basically as old as entertainment itself, and the reasons to adopt a new alias are aplenty. Whether it’s because the name is shared with an already established person (as was the case with Michael Keaton and Katy Perry), or to create onstage alter-egos (like Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce or David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust), the choice to rename, and thus rebirth, oneself is pretty standard. While we wait to see what or who Jeffery is and what Jeffery is all about, we take a look at some other celebrities who have adopted different monikers.
Before she was our favorite controversial-turned-activist, stoner popstar—before she was even Hannah Montana—Miley Cyrus was living life under a very different name. Born Destiny Hope Cyrus, Miley’s best known name comes courtesy of her ever-present smile, which enabled the nickname Smiley. Can you imagine Destiny Hope smoking weed, surrounded by her thousands of dogs, as she makes beadwork pieces for Jeremy Scott’s show? We’re having trouble picturing it too.
If you feel like Joaquin Phoenix is a complete and total enigma, it’s because he kind of is. Born in Puerto Rico as Joaquin Rafael Bottom to hippie parents, Joaquin and his siblings (including the late River, R.I.P) grew up in the religious group/cult the Children of God. A few years later, disenchanted by the CoG, the Bottoms eventually made it to the U.S. and changed their last name to Phoenix. For a time though, the actor and fake rapper took on a flower child, nature-based moniker, calling himself Leaf. Although it was an appropriate choice seeing as his siblings’ names are River, Rain, Summer, and Liberty, our favorite Bottom is definitely Joaquin’s.
It’s no surprise why Olivia Wilde changed her real last name, considering it’s “Cockburn.” Sure, the last name is shared by a string of prestigious journalists, including her parents…and sure, it’s technically pronounced “Cou-burn,” but let’s be real, we’re all reading it that way. We have a feeling that if she hadn’t changed her name to Wilde (after the legendary Oscar, of course), the string of NSFW jokes would be longer than the slew of successful members in the family.
Metta World Peace
By far our favorite celeb name change of the list is from NBA player Metta World Peace. Born in Queens with the very normal name, Ronald William Artest, Jr., Metta changed his name during the 2011 off season. When asked about the name change, he credited being in the creative forefront as one reason, and the fact that kids would have to research what “Metta” means as another. It’s purely educational, y’all…all Metta wants is World Peace and to provide education for kids.
It’s hard to imagine Cameron Jibril Tomaz as a weed-loving, tattoo covered, cool-pants-wearing rapper, so it’s for the best that Wiz Khalifa decided to change his name. The Pittsburgh native and Amber Rose baby daddy was heavily influenced by his grandfather when choosing his stage name. Wiz came from the fact that he was good at everything he did, and Khalifa because it means successor in Arabic and his grandfather was Muslim. We’re down to smoke with Wiz…just not too sure about smoking with Cameron Jibril.
Image via Hitunes.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on Jeffrey.