Dwayne Johnson is dropping the name "The Rock" in an attempt to morph from his mega wrestling fame. But Johnson, who next stars opposite Steve Carell in the comedy Get Smart, isn't alone in creating a new stage name.
Rap star and entrepreneur Sean Combs, says he's going back to "Puff Daddy" on a remix of O'Neal McKnight's Check Your Coat but took it back last week and said he's still Sean Combs, or Diddy, whichever strikes his mood.
The-Latest takes a look at the former names of celebrities who have changed what their parents put on their birth certificate.
Stage name: 50 Cent
Real name: Curtis James Jackson III
Jackson adopted the name 50 Cent from a well-known New York robber, Kelvin "50 Cent" Martin, who made his name by stealing from and murdering local hustlers. "I'm the same kind of person 50 Cent was. I provide for myself by any means."
Stage name: Axl Rose
Real name: William Bruce Rose Jr.
Named for his birth father, William Rose changed his name to Axl, after a band he once played in. He also played in bands called Rapidfire, Rose, LA Guns and Hollywood Rose. He's right, they don't have the same ring as Axl.
Stage name: Barry Manilow
Real name: Barry Alan Pincus
The "Mandy" crooner had no say in his surname; his mother renamed him when she changed her own surname back to her maiden one, Manilow.
Stage name: Bo Derek
Real name: Mary Cathleen Collins
Immortalized running on the beach in Blake Edwards' comedy "10," Derek shortened her name after marrying John Derek, a filmmaker she began dating when she was 16 and he was 46.
Stage name: Bob Dylan
Real name: Robert Allen Zimmerman
Dylan carefully chose his stage handle, saying in his autobiography "Chronicles" that he originally planned on simply shortening his name to Robert Allen. But he adopted the last name Dylan after being inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas.
Stage name: Busta Rhymes
Real name: Trevor Smith
Public Enemy's Chuck D gave Smith his moniker - after football player George "Buster" Rhymes - after watching him perform. The rapid-fire rapper explained to MTV News: "(Chuck) was just like, 'Yo, you seem like the football player as an MC. Just the aggressiveness and that strength that you command.' "
Stage name: Dido
Real name: Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong
Her parents - a French poet and an Irish publisher -- named her after the Roman goddess Dido. The singer is best known for Eminem's sample of her song "Thank You" in his hit "Stan."
Stage name: Elton John
Real name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight
When Reginald Kenneth Dwight changed his name to Elton John, anagram enthusiasts never forgave him. John's original moniker is full of possibilities, including the anagram, "the weird England night." John is said to have settled on his name by mixing the names of musicians Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.
Stage name: Flavor Flav
Real name: William Jonathan Drayton Jr.
To Brigitte Nielsen he's Foofy Foofy, to his mom and dad he's William Jonathan Drayton Jr., but to us he'll always be … Fla-vor Flav!
Flav picked up his moniker back in his rapping days, when he was a member of Public Enemy.
Stage name: Judy Garland
Real name: Frances Gumm
Judy Garland had a beautiful voice, a beautiful face, and a beautiful name to match, but would we have seen her the same way if the Hollywood icon had kept her birth name, Frances Gumm?
Rumour has it that Garland got her surname from drama critic Robert Garland.
Stage name: Marilyn Manson
Real name: Brian Warner
Back in the late '80s, Brian Warner formed a band called Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. Eventually, the name was shortened; because if you have to tell people you're spooky, you're probably not.
Stage name: Portia De Rossi
Real name: Amanda Lee Rogers
In an interview with Advocate.com, Hollywood actress De Rossi said that her sexual preference had a lot to do with her choice of stage name. "When I was 15, I changed it legally," explained De Rossi. "In retrospect, I think it was largely due to my struggle about being gay. Everything just didn't fit, and I was trying to find things I could identify myself with, and it started with my name."
Stage name: Tom Cruise
Real name: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV
By the time he became famous, movie star Cruise had dropped his father's name. When talking to Parade magazine, Cruise described his dad as "a bully and a coward — the person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you."
Stage name: Whoopi Goldberg
Real name: Caryn Johnson
Believe it or not, screen star Goldberg actually got her first name from the whoopee cushion.
"When you're performing on stage," Goldberg told The New York Times Magazine, "you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door. So if you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me, 'You are like a whoopee cushion.' And that's where the name came from."
Stage name: Cliff Richard
Real name: Harry Roger Webb
Britain's answer to Elvis Presley, was named Harry Roger Webb by his British parents, after his birth at Lucknow,India. He dominated the pre-Beatles British pop scene in the late '50s and early '60s and has had a UK No. 1 in every decade since. Influenced by American chart-topping contemporary Little Richard in his choice of surname.
Stage name: Freddie Mercury
Real name: Farrokh Bulsara
Rock superstar who was born at Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa. It was at St. Peter's boarding school,Panchgani, near Bombay (now Mumbai, India) where he began to call himself "Freddie". At school, he formed a popular school band, called The Hectics, for which he played the piano. He was into astrology and chose the planet Mercury for his name.