Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis Cover ‘Shallow’
Jason Sudeikis did his best Bradley Cooper impersonation during his annual benefit concert for amputees in need. At this year’s event, which is called THUNDERGONG!, the Ted Lasso creator and star hit the stage with his former Saturday Night Live castmate Will Forte by his side to sing “Shallow,” from A Star Is Born. The iconic strumming of the guitar from the 2018 hit had the crowd roaring. Before Forte attempted to sing Lady Gaga’s part, a heavenly, velvety voice exploded through the speakers. Sudeikis’s Ted Lasso co-star and Broadway alum, Hannah Waddingham, took over the part.
In perfect Wadidingham fashion, she steps in between Sudeikis and Forte, not missing a beat of the song. She then smashes her hand on Forte’s face and pushes him aside. The crowd went absolutely wild. As the English actress belts, “I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in. I’ll never meet the ground,” Forte admits defeat and leaves the stage. Watch the amazing performance here.
Sudeikis described THUNDERGONG! as “your most clever friend made you a mixtape” with songs that make you cry and songs that make you excited. The actor and comedian said the variety show, which began in 2017, is an evening of “that great, eclectic mixtape.” Also during this year’s THUNDERGONG!, Waddingham took the stage again. This time, she shaved off Ted Lasso co-creator and star Brendan Hunt’s beard while Sudeikis serenades him with Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.” At the end of the shaving, Sudeikis auctioned off Coach Beard’s beard in a box with a plaque. Also performing at this year’s event include singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff, comedian Sam Richardson, musician Kevin Morby, and band Summer Breeze. Last year, the event raised over $600,000 for the Steps of Faith foundation to provide prosthetic limbs for amputees. And this year, the event made more than $800,000, according to KMBC News.
These Celebrities Don't Go By Their Real Names
In the entertainment industry, every aspect needs to be marketable. Some celebrities have really catchy names, while others have had to get their creative juices flowing to come up with a unique name to be known for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, there are some cases where there are other successful people in media who have the same name, and someone’s got to change their name to follow SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) rules. This guild that represents actors stipulates that no two members can have identical working names. An actor whose name has already been taken must choose a new name. SAG-AFTRA allows any new member to keep their legal name as their stage name, even if another member has the same stage name already, as long as they sign a waiver.
Why Use a Stage Name?
Furthermore, a middle name may be adopted in preference to changing a name to avoid confusion. In some cases, attaching a generational suffix is sufficient for guild rules. A person hoping to become successful as an entertainer who has a name identical to a name already familiar to the public (in any field of endeavor) may change their name to avoid having their name evoke the other person with the same name. When it comes to musicians spanning all genres, artists have come up with some pretty unique stage names. Some artists, like Sean Combs, use several aliases (P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Diddy, Puffy). Other reasons a performer will take a stage name is because their real name is considered unattractive, dull, hard to pronounce or spell, or even to retain anonymity. The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, started releasing his music anonymously on YouTube in 2009.
See which celebrities don’t go by their real name in the entertainment industry.
The former Black Eyed Peas singer's real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson. In her song, "Fergalicious," she sings the line: “They always claim they know me/Comin' to me call me Stacy." The artist officially changed her name to Fergie Duhamel in 2013, five years after being married to actor Josh Duhamel. The couple divorced in 2019.
The Kiss bassist and co-lead singer was actually born Chaim Witz in Israel. After arriving in the US, he took the name Eugene Klein (later Gene Klein), as Klein was his mother's maiden name. In the early 1970s, he changed his name to Gene Simmons to honor legendary rockabilly performer Jumpin' Gene Simmons.
The 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' star was born Yeoh Choo Kheng. The actress was credited as Michelle Khan in her early films in Hong Kong. This alias was chosen by D&B Films, who thought it might be more marketable to international and Western audiences. She changed her stage name to Michelle Yeoh when she started her Hollywood career with 'Tomorrow Never Dies' in 1997.
Born as Samuel Timothy Smith, the country singer always believed his step-father, Horace Smith, was his real father. Therefore, he went through part of his life using Smith as his last name. At age 11, McGraw discovered his birth certificate while searching in his mother's closet to look for a picture for a school project. Following the discovery, he learned from her that his biological father was major league pitcher Tug McGraw, and she took him to meet him for the first time. Tug denied the parentage for seven years until Tim was 18 years old.
The rapper was named Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. after his stepfather. His “Snoop Doggy Dogg” nickname came from his mother because she thought he looked like Snoopy from the 'Peanuts' cartoon. He also briefly went by "Snoop Lion" in 2012 after he embraced the religion of Rastafarianism on a trip to Jamaica. These days, he's simply known as Snoop Dogg (he has ditched the "Doggy" part).
The pop singer was born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Music producer Rob Fusari collaborated with Gaga in 2006 and claimed to have been the first person to call her "Lady Gaga," which was derived from Queen's 1984 song "Radio Ga Ga."
The Kiss co-founder and frontman was born Stanley Bert Eisen. Stanley had the idea of changing his name in 1974 not only for marketing purposes, but also the fact he had always hated his birth name because he was taunted “for his Jewish heritage and ear-warped microtia." Inspired by Paul McCartney and Paul Rodgers, he legally changed his name to Paul Stanley.
The rapper was born Nayvadius DeMun Willburn. He received the name "Future" because he was nicknamed "The Future" by his The Dungeon Family group members. He legally changed his last name to Cash in 2022 to better fit his lifestyle.
Born Emily Jean Stone, the actress said that she changed her name because there was already an Emily Stone registered with the Screen Actors Guild. She changed her stage name to Emma because of Baby Spice and because it's closer to Emily. She briefly tried to go by Riley Stone when she was 16, but when she was called "Riley" on set, she had no idea they were referring to her.
The "Locked Out Of Heaven" singer was born Peter Gene Hernandez. He adopted his stage name from the childhood nickname his father gave him, adding "Mars" at the end because: "I felt like I didn't have no pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I'm out of this world, so I was like I guess I'm from Mars."
The "America's Sweetheart" singer was born Tanner Elle Schneider -- comedic actor Rob Schneider is her father. She adopted her stage name when she decided to pursue music as a career because she didn't want to be famous, and would rather be seen as a performer. So, she took her mother's maiden name.
The "White Ferrari" singer was born Christopher Edwin Breaux. When he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music career, he established himself as a songwriter under the name Lonny Breaux, getting the first name "Lonny" after his grandfather named Lionel. He adopted the stage name Frank Ocean, getting the name from Frank Sinatra and the 1960s film 'Ocean's 11,' which Sinatra starred in.
The singer and composer was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight. He began going by the name Elton John in homage to two members of his Bluesology bandmates: saxophonist Elton Dean and vocalist Long John Baldry. He legally changed his name to Elton Hercules John in 1972. Hercules came from a horse from British sitcom 'Steptoe and Son.'
The country pop star was born Eilleen Regina Edwards. When her mother remarried when she was 4 years old, she became Eilleen Regina Twain. When she became a professional singer in the '90s, she wanted a stage name that "sounded a little less like my grandmother’s name, because I’m named after my grandmother, both my grandmothers, Eilleen and Regina." After she met somebody with the name Shania, she thought it was beautiful, and Shania Twain was born.
The "Attention" rapper's real name is Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini. She got her stage name from a strain of marijuana she liked to smoke in high school and how it sounds like a girl's name. The second half of the name comes from her love of felines.
The Hole singer was born Courtney Michelle Harrison. While in Portland in 1980 working at the strip club Mary's Club she adopted the surname Love to conceal her identity and later adopted Love as her surname.
The "Industry Baby" rapper's real name is Montero Lamar Hill. He adopted the stage name Lil Nas X as a tribute to the rapper Nas. X comes from the Roman numeral 10 and the number of years he thought it would take to find fame. He added Lil in front of his name to be funny because he said "every new rapper’s name is Lil, Lil, Lil. ‘What if I was Lil Nas?"
The singer-songwriter's real name is Stevland Hardaway Judkins. When Stevie was signed by Motown in 1961, his surname was legally changed to Morris, which was an old family name. He changed his stage name to Stevie Wonder because many people were astounded by his ability to play numerous instruments and his ability to sing doing both at the same time, and people called Stevie "A Little Wonder."
The "Deli" rapper's real name is Isis Naija Gaston. She got the name Ice from a childhood nickname. When she was 14 trying to come up with a finsta name, she added "spice" because it rhymed.
The singer was born Destiny Hope Cyrus because her parents believed that she would accomplish great things. Her parents nicknamed her "Smiley," which they later shortened to "Miley," because she often smiled as an infant. In 2008, she legally changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus. Her middle name honors her grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus.
The 'Dopesick' actor was born Michael John Douglas. He decided to use a stage name to satisfy SAG rules, as there were already actor Michael Douglas and daytime host Mike Douglas. He said Keaton was unrelated to actress Diane Keaton or silent film actor Buster Keaton. Instead, he searched in a phone book under "K," saw "Keaton" and decided on that to be his stage name.
The English singer-songwriter was born Steven Demetre Georgiou. After formally converting to the Muslim faith in 1977, he took the name Yusuf Islam. He stated that he "always loved the name Joseph" and was particularly drawn to the story of Yusef in the Qur'an. Thinking his birth name might be difficult to remember, he chose the stage name Cat Stevens, partly because a girlfriend said he had eyes like a cat.
The "Cognac Queen" rapper was born Megan Jovon Ruth Pete. She came up with her stage name because she was always called a Stallion as a teenager and decided to just roll with the name, initially using it as just a social media handle before letting it stick with her. She also goes by the alter ego Tina Snow, inspired by Pimp C's alter ego, Tony Snow.
The actor and singer was born Eric Marlon Bishop. While performing open mic nights at a comedy club in 1989, he found that female comedians were often called first to perform. He chose the stage name of Jamie Foxx, which he felt was ambiguous enough to disallow any biases, with his surname being a tribute to the comedian Redd Foxx.
The 'Ted Lasso' star was named Daniel Jason Sudeikis. Since his father's name is Daniel Joseph, his mother started calling him Jason so they knew who she was yelling at and the name stuck.
The rapper and singer's real name is Jason Bradley DeFord. Because he was a chubby kid growing up, his mother came up with the nickname Jelly Roll. One of his high school classmates, who didn't know what his mother called him at home also started calling him Jelly Roll.
The "MotorSport" rapper's real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar. Cardi developed her stage name as a derivation of Bacardi, the rum brand that was formerly her nickname.Her sister's name is Hennessy, so everybody used to be "Bacardi" to her. She shortened it to Cardi B, and the "B" stands for "whatever the 'B'... be, depending on the day: beautiful or a bully." In 2018, Cardi won the right to be named Cardi B after being awarded the trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The 'Fast & Furious' star was born Mark Sinclair. Sinclair began going by his stage name "Vin Diesel" while working as a teen as a bouncer at the New York nightclub Tunnel, wanting a tougher sounding name for his occupation. Vin comes from his mother's married last name Vincent, while the surname Diesel came from his friends due to his tendency to be energetic.
The pop star was born Alecia Beth Moore. Her stage name has multiple reasons. First, her best friend had never seen a white girl’s vagina before so he asked her if he could see it, so she showed it to him and he said "‘It’s pink!’" Then her friends started calling her Mr. Pink, Steve Buscemi's character from the 1992 Quentin Tarantino film 'Reservoir Dogs.' Right before her first album came out in 2000, P!nk ran into Buscemi and went, "'Steve! Mr. Pink! I'm Pink! Because of you! I'm going to have an album and you're going to know who I am.' And he was like, 'What the f--- lady?' and just ran away from me."
The "Rebel Yell" singer was actually born William Michael Albert Broad. His stage name was coined due to a chemistry teacher's description of Idol on his school report card as "idle." He later said in 2014 that he wanted to use the name "Billy Idle," but thought the name would be unavailable due to its similarity to the name of 'Monty Python' star Eric Idle and chose Billy Idol instead.
The actress and filmmaker was born as Olivia Jane Cockburn. While attending the same boarding school in Massachusetts as George Bush Sr. and Jr., she changed her name. In honor of family members who wrote under pen names and for her love of Irish author Oscar Wilde, she left Cockburn behind.
The pop singer's real name is Amanda Ava Koci. She got her stage name from a nickname she gave herself when she was 13 because she never felt like an "Amanda." When Ava got signed to her record label, she decided she needed a last name, so she chose Max. She chose Ava to represent the feminine side of her personality, and Max the masculine.
The rapper and singer was born Melissa Viviane Jefferson. The name started as a play on her real name. At age 14, she formed a musical group called Cornrow Clique with her friends. At this time, she acquired the nickname "Lizzo," a variant of "Lissa," inspired by Jay-Z's popular "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" at the time. They put the two together and got the stage name Lizzo.
Born Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, the "Without Me" singer chose Halsey as an anagram of her first name. It also goes further than the letter play. Growing up in New Jersey, young Halsey would always take the train into New York. When she was 17, she was seeing a 24-year-old guy who lived on Halsey Street in Brooklyn. That is where she recalls first starting to write music and feel like she was a part of something bigger than her town "in the middle of nowhere New Jersey."
The 'Beetlejuice' star was born Winona Laura Horowitz. The actress changed her last name from Horowitz when asked how she would like to have her name appear on the credits of her first role in 1986's 'Lucas' alongside Charlie Sheen. She suggested Ryder as her father's favorite soul and rock artist, Mitch Ryder's album was playing in the background.
The "Love Is A Battlefield" singer was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski. At 19, after dropping out of Stony Brook University to pursue health education, she married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar. Even after they divorced a few years later in 1979, Benatar kept the surname for her stage persona.
The actress, rapper, and singer was born Dana Elaine Owens. Her stage name comes from her mother teaching her that all women are queens, and Latifah means “delicate, sensitive, kind, and nice” in Arabic. She found a book with Arabic names when she was eight and that stuck with her.
The 'Two and a Half Men' alum was born Carlos Irwin Estévez. His father Martin Sheen had adopted the surname Sheen in honor of the Catholic archbishop and theologian Fulton J. Sheen. His decision to go by Charlie was simply to avoid confusion with an uncle also named Carlos. When he became an actor, he took on the last name Sheen to follow in the footsteps of his father. On the other hand, his brother Emilio Estevez kept his birth name.
The reggaeton artist's real name is Carolina Giraldo Navarro. She got her stage name from a friend who called her Carolina G after being obsessed with rap group G-Unit when she was in school. The artist modified it with a "K" when she chose her stage name.
The Godfather of Shock Rock was born Vincent Damon Furnier. When the band was called Nazz, had to choose another name because there already was a band of that name. They chose the name "Alice Cooper" largely because it sounded innocuous and wholesome, in a humorous contrast to the band's image and music. In 1972, when he was asked about his assumed rock name Cooper, said he got it from the American television series, 'Mayberry RFD.' The show features a character named Alice Cooper, played by Alice Ghostley. In 1973, Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper to avoid legal problems over the ownership of the group name.
The "California Gurls" singer was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. She released her debut album, a contemporary Christian record titled 'Katy Hudson' in 2001, but it was unsuccessful. To avoid confusion with actress Kate Hudson, she briefly performed as Katheryn Perry, but adopted the stage name "Katy Perry" from her mother's maiden name.