12 Black Celebrities Whose Real Names Will Surprise You

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Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx’s birth name was Eric Marlon Bishop, but he reportedly changed it because he wanted to be mistaken for a woman.

Yahoo.com reports that in 1989 when Foxx began performing at open-mic nights, female comedians were routinely called to the stage before the male comics — and Foxx didn’t want to wait. He chose “Jamie” because of the gender ambiguity of the name.

“Foxx” was his way of paying tribute to one of his favorite performers, comedian Redd Foxx — whose moniker was also a stage name.

 

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg 

Whoopi Goldberg was named Caryn Elaine Johnson at birth, but biography.com reports that she changed it after deciding her given name was too boring.

The African-American actress, comedian and talk show co-host claims Jewish and Catholic heritage and the surname name “Goldberg” is attributed to her family lineage.

 

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