US rapper and producer, Kanye West officially becomes Ye; see other celebrities that have changed their stage names as well.
Reports coming out of the US today say American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, businessman, and fashion designer, formerly known as Kanye West, has officially changed his name to Ye for personal reasons.
On 18 October 2021, Deadline reports that the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court approved Ye’s request to formally change his name from Kanye Omari West to just Ye — with no middle name or last name. This comes as a follow-up to the petition he filed in August.
None of this, however, comes as a surprise. As you may already well know, the name Ye is, in fact, an abbreviation of ‘Kanye’, which the rapper started using as far back as 2012. The earliest memory of this name has to be his 2012 hit song “Clique”, featuring Jay-Z and Big Sean.
Some may also remember a tweet from 2018 where the rapper declared: “The being formally known as Kanye West… I am YE.” Furthermore, his 8th studio album, which was released in the same year, was simply titled Ye. Speaking about the album, in an interview with Big Boy back then, the rapper explained the name’s religious significance. “I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means ‘you,'” he explained.
Now that Mr West finally has his desired name let’s look at other entertainers who have changed their names.
1. John Legend
Of course, John Legend wasn’t his birth name. He was born John Roger Stephens, but growing up, his friends called him John Legend. The moniker stuck so hard it overshadowed his real name, and when he went into showbiz, he chose it as his stage name. In a 2008 interview with MTV, John explained: “John Legend is a nickname that some friends started calling me, and it kind of grew into my stage name. It grew to the point where more people in my circle would know me by that name than by my real name.” One could say his friends saw the future because surely now, John is a legend.
2. Katy Perry
Born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, American singer Katy Perry changed her name to avoid being confused with another celebrity, actress Kate Hudson. Kate has also had the last name ‘Brand,’ which she adopted after getting married to British entertainer Russell Brand. She, however, reverted back to ‘Perry’ upon their divorce.
3. Dove Cameron
Born Chloe Celeste Hoffman, this American actress and singer has the coolest reason for changing her name. Dove lost her dad in 2011 to suicide, and in a bid to honor him, she changed her name to the nickname he gave her. Though her family and friends still call her Chloe, she is legally Dove. “He passed away when I was 15, and I decided to legally change it. So it’s on my passport – everything legal is Dove,” she told StyleWatch in an interview.
4. Jamie Foxx
All-round entertainer Jamie Foxx wasn’t born with the name for which he is now known. Eric Marlon Bishop is his birth name, but that changed when he started out on his comedy career. Jamie noticed that female comics were called first to perform during open mic nights, so he came up with a gender-neutral name. He chose “Foxx” as his last name in honor of Sanford and Sons’ star, Redd Foxx.
5. Miley Cyrus
Born Destiny Hope Cyrus, the American singer used to be called Smiley as a child because she smiled a lot. She modified the nickname to Miley, and it became her stage name right from the Hannah Montana days. Miley changed her last name to that of her ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth, but is back to being Miley Cyrus since their divorce in 2020.
6. Whoopi Goldberg
Also read: Biography of American actress India Eisley.
Highly decorated American actor, comedian, and author Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson. The origin of her first name, Whoopi, is hilarious. Explaining to The New York Times, she said, “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.” She has also said that the name Goldberg is part of her family, and her heritage, just like being black.
7. Bruno Mars
Bruno’s dad had a hand in what has now become his first name. Born Peter Gene Hernandez, his dad started calling him the nickname Bruno since he was two years old. “I was going to go by ‘Bruno,’ one name. Mars just kind of came joking around because that sounds bigger than life. That was it, simple as that,” he told Latina Magazine.
8. Jennifer Aniston
Born Joanna Linn Anastassakis, American actress, producer, and businesswoman, Jennifer Aniston, didn’t have to change her last name by herself. Her Greek father, John Aniston, who is also an actor, changed the family’s last name when he went into show business. A smart decision, as Aniston is easier to pronounce and remember and is still of Greek origin. It is hard to tell where Jennifer came from, though.
9. Iggy Azalea
In case you’ve been wondering, here is confirmation that this Australian rapper and model wasn’t christened Iggy. Born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, she had a dog named Iggy growing up. Her last name, Azalea, comes from the street her family lives on. One thing we can all agree on though is, Iggy Azalea is way easier and faster to pronounce than Amethyst Amelia Kelly. One wonders, though, why didn’t she opt for Amelia Kelly?
10. Alicia Keys
What are the odds, that a professional pianist bears the name ‘Keys’? Well, in this case, it isn’t a coincidence. Born Alicia Augello Cook, the singer, and classically trained pianist, changed her last name to reflect her love of music. Alicia in an interview with Fox News, explained: “It’s like the piano keys. And it can open so many doors.” The Keys have sure has opened many doors for Alicia.
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