Reese Witherspoon, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Rihanna—it’s as if these celebrities were destined to make it big in Hollywood from the moment their parents signed their birth certificate. But as it turns out, some of the most acclaimed household names weren’t born with the golden ticket to stardom. Instead, they paved their own ways, often adopting a stage name to help open doors. Ahead, 42 of the most well-known celebs who actually go by pseudonyms, plus the stories behind when and why they chose to forgo their birth names.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.