Here are 13 famous people who went under a different name when they first broke through.

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People are sometimes saddled with names that are either unpronounceable or impossible to remember in their whole. And if you’re the type to work a standard 9-to-5, that’s good, too. However, this may not be the ideal option if you’re an entertainer who wants widespread recognition for your work. That’s why a lot of people either alter their names entirely or go by a shorter version.

Miley Cyrus, No. 1

Destiny Hope Cyrus formally changed her name to Miley Cyrus in 2008. In honour of her grandfather on her father’s side, she changed her childhood nickname “Smiley” to Miley.

In the second place, Victoria Beckham

Back in the day, before Victoria Beckham became a household name, she was simply known as Victoria Adams on her albums. When the Spice Girls got famous, though, she rebranded herself as Posh Spice. Victoria Beckham, the fashion icon, didn’t come to prominence until years later.

Three, Vin Diesel

Mark Sinclair was a huge guy for his age of 17 years. He has also worked as a bouncer at the famous bar The Tunnel. At about the same time, he began using the moniker Vin Diesel and regularly shaving his head.

Actress Rachel Weisz

She first went by Rachel Vyce, but after hearing that it was too difficult to say, she reverted back to her birth name, Kenya Campbell. For a while, she thought it sounded better that way, but eventually she changed her mind. Following her marriage to Rachel Weisz, the actress went on to star in a string of critically acclaimed films.

Natalya Portman, No. 5

Neta-Lee Hershlag got her big break in 1994 when she auditioned for the role of Leon. The actress went by “Natalie” on set and adopted her mother’s maiden name. Some of the movie’s parts were controversial, so she probably wanted to keep her distance.

Singer Alicia Keys

Her birth name is Alicia Augello-Cook, but she adopted a stage name that has a deeper meaning for her. According to her, “it’s like the piano keys, and it can also open a lot of doors,” which is how she came to adopt the stage name Alicia Keys and go on to set numerous industry benchmarks.

Item 7: Jamie Foxx

When he initially started performing at open mic evenings, Eric Marlon Bishop, now known as Jamie Foxx, went by a few different aliases. He originally used aliases like Tracy Brown and Stacy Green while signing up for open mic lists, but settled on Jamie Foxx.

Eighth, Iggy Azalea

Her dog’s name, “Iggy,” inspired her stage moniker, which is a play on her given name, Amethyst Amelia Kelly. According to Azalea, she chose the last name “because that is a street name that my mom and family live on, and it sounds very feminine, and I thought it would balance out Iggy being so masculine.”

Number Nine: Lana Del Rey

Singer Elizabeth Woolridge Grant is better known by her stage name, Lana Del Rey. Originally known as “Lizzy Grant,” she then changed her stage name to “Sparkle Rope Jump Queen” before settling on “Lana Del Rey.”

Tom Hardy, No. 10

Tom Hardy was born Edward Thomas Hardy, but he went by his middle name after years of going by just his first. The Internet at large knew his real identity, but they didn’t broadcast it.

Eleven. Blake Lively

After Blake established herself as an actor, she adopted her mother’s maiden name, Lively.

Twelve. Aaron Paul

At first, no one could say his surname, “Sturtevant,” when he went in for auditions, so he changed it to something more universally pronounceable, and then he reduced it once he made it to Hollywood.

13. Lorde

At the age of 12, after a Universal Music Group agent watched video of her performing at a middle school talent contest, she legally changed her name to Lorde. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor is her birth name. She was inspired to change her name after discovering its royal connotations, but she added a “e” since she thought the name Lord sounded too male for a woman.

Preview photo credit Laurent VU/SIPA/Sipa Press Russia/East News, mileycyrus / Instagram

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