9 Weirdest Celeb Name Changes

The former Ron Artest is in good company
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2011 3:29 PM CDT
This March 25, 2011 file photo shows Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest celebrating after dunking the ball during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers.    (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

(Newser) – In honor of Ron Artest’s name change to Metta World Peace, Time rounds up nine more celebrities who’ve undergone rather, er, interesting name changes:

  • Lisa Bonet: The Cosby Show star became known as Lilakoi Moon in the 1990s because, she said, she wanted privacy. But she continued to use Lisa Bonet for acting roles.
  • Ol’ Dirty Bastard: The Wu-Tang Clan rapper started out as Russell Tyrone Jones, but his weirdest name change wasn’t the first. No, it was the second, when he went from ODB to Big Baby Jesus in 1998.

  • Whoopi Goldberg: Born Caryn Johnson, the comedian named herself after a whoopee cushion because apparently, she’s quite open about her gassiness. As for her new last name, her mother believed Whoopi would be more successful in Hollywood with a Jewish surname.
  • Cat Stevens: The singer-songwriter first changed his name from the one he was born with, Steven Demetre Georgiou, because his girlfriend said he had cat eyes. Then he converted to Islam and, in 1978, changed his name again to Yusuf Islam.
  • Chad Ochocinco: Formerly Chad Johnson, the New England Patriots receiver changed his name in 2008 to correspond with his jersey number, 85. Although technically, in Spanish, that’s ochenta y cinco.
Click for the full list or find out how six more celebs got their names.

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