Celebrities have come up with professional names in the name of marketability for a long, long time.
Same with plenty of rappers whose birth names aren’t Kanye West, Talib Kweli Greene or Jermaine Cole.
Ever heard of Allen Konigsberg? You probably know him as Woody Allen.
Louis Szekeley? That’s Louis C.K. Elvis Costello’s real name is a doozy, and actually sounds a little bit cooler than his stage one: Declan Patrick McManus.
Every historian knows William Shakespeare was a nom de plume for Illiterate McWriterton.
OK, that last one isn’t true, but you get the point.
So today it’s surprising that Jamie Foxx is trending on Twitter-not for any particular project he’s linked to-although he’s the new host of game show Beat Shazam-but rather because not many people seem to be aware that Jamie Foxx isn’t his real name.
The multi-talented actor was actually born as Eric Marlon Bishop.
He began going by Jamie Foxx in the late ’80s to give his comedy career a boost, choosing “Jamie” because it might have been mistaken for a woman’s name, which he thought would give him preferential treatment at stand-up comedy open mic nights, and “Foxx” as an homage to one of his inspirations, the late great comedian Redd Foxx.