20 Famous Latinas Who Use a Stage Name
There’s power in the names that our parents give us at birth. They’re a legacy passed down from our anceatros and a reminder of where we come from. However, these reminders of their heritage can be a hurdle for aspiring Latinx celebrities while starting their careers. Due to this, famous Latina actresses and musicians often swamp their given nombres for a stage name.
Usually, celebrities take on a stage name by shortening their given name or changing it completely. Sometimes the reason for this is an active attempt to make their names sound less Latino but it also happens so they’ll have shorter, more marketable names. Whether they aim for a less Spanish sounding name or just for something simpler, these Latinas are definitely memorable.
Here are 20 Latinas who use stagenames:
1. Jenni Rivera
Instagram / @jennirivera
This legendary singer and songwriter is known around the world as Jenni Rivera but that’s not her given name. The Latina’s full names is Dolores Janney Rivera. When she started her career, the late Rivera dropped “Dolores” and used a diminutive form of her middle name instead. This shorter moniker is easier for fans to remember and without a doubt looked better on a concert marquee.
2. Demi Lovato
Instagram / @ddlovato
Pop starlet Demi Lovato has a unique name reminiscent of actress Demi Moore, but the Latina wasn’t named after the 80s icon. Her full name is actually Demetria Devonne Lovato with “Demi” being her nickname. As memorable as “Demi” is, we have to admit that Demetria Devonne is a very melodious name naturally meant for a musician.
3. Michelle Rodriguez
Instagram / @mrodofficial
Michelle Rodriguez is known for taking on roles that show off her tough girl image. However, the name she’s best known for isn’t technically her real one. She was born Mayte Michelle Rodriguez but dropped the “Mayte” for her stage name. Still, no matter what she chooses to go by, the Fast and the Furious star is decidedly the fiercest boss lady around.
4. Gloria Estefan
Instagram / @gloriaestafan
Gloria Estefan is one of the most legendary Latinas in the world so it makes sense that she’d be christened with a name just as incredible. The Cubana was named Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García. Yes, it’s a mouthful but Estefan was named with the traditional Spanish naming custom. In this custom, the child takes both their paternal and maternal surnames. When Estefan married her husband, Emilio, she dropped the additional names and simply took his to create her stage name.
5. Raquel Welch
Instagram / @therealraquelwelch
Raquel Welch is iconic for portraying strong female characters and being one of the 20th Century’s biggest sex symbols. Those who aren’t very familiar with the actress might be surprised to discover that she’s also a Latina. Her Bolivian father gave her the name of Jo Raquel Tejada. The “Raquel” came from her father’s mother and the “Jo” is from her mother, Josephine. After taking her high school sweetheart’s name when they married, Welch dropped the “Jo” from her moniker and started her acting career.
6. America Ferrera
Instagram / @AmericaFerrera
America Ferrera’s journey to her stage name is very different from most on this list because it’s actually her given name. The difference is that Ferrera didn’t actually start going by her real name until she started acting. She was named after her mother but the actress hated it so she went by her middle name, Georgine. It wasn’t until she started pursuing her career that she saw how memorable and marketable her given name is.
7. Celia Cruz
Instagram / abuelamamimiami
Called “La Guarachera de Cuba,” Celia Cruz is the most popular and well-know Latina artist of the 20th Century. However, the simple alliteration of her stage name hides her monumental given name. She was born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso. She, too, was named in the Spanish custom — her mother’s family name was “Alfonso” and her father’s was “Cruz.” She already went by Celia when she began her music career in the 1940’s.
8. Soledad O’Brien
Instagram / @americasbestracing
Born to immigrant parents, Soledad O’Brien has always been proudly vocal about her heritage. Embracing their Cuban and Irish backgrounds, her parents named her María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien. When she started her journalism career, the Afro-Latina shortened her name but kept pieces of it to honor the two halves of her background.
Instagram / @Thalia
Singer, songwriter, and actress Thalia is one of the most influential and popular Mexican artists in the world. Though she only goes by one name now, she was born Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda. She was also named in the Spanish tradition with her mother and father both contributing their surnames to hers. When Thalia began in the music business, she decided to go solely by her memorable middle name.
10. Rita Hayworth
Instagram / @theritahaywortharchive
Rita Hayworth was the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940’s. She was also a Latina. Hayworth actually dyed her naturally dark hair to the red she’s known for so she could be considered for more diverse roles. She also took on a less Spanish sounding stage name for the same reason. Hayworth was originally named Margarita Carmen Cansino but used her mother’s maiden name with her nickname “Rita” to form her now famous brand.
Instagram / @shakira
The Columbian singer, songwriter, and dancer, Shakira, is another big time celebrity who only needs one name to make her mark. Like many other Latinx people, she was given both her mother’s and father’s family names as part of her own. Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, the name reflects both her father’s Arabic roots and her mother’s Spanish ones.
12. Anita Page
Instagram / @classichollywoodarchive
It may come as a surprise, but silver-era star Anita Page was a Latina. Often called the “blond, blue-eyed Latin” and “the girl with the most beautiful face in Hollywood,” she was born Anita Evelyn Pomares. When she joined MGM Studios, she was given the name Ann Page but another actress already had claim to that name. Instead, MGM let her combine her first name with their chosen surname to get a new moniker for the pretty star.
13. Kate del Castillo
Instagram / @katedelcastillo
One of the biggest stars in telenovela, Kate del Castillo is a household name, but, her real moniker is considerably longer. Born Kate del Castillo Negrete Trillo, the actress was given both her mother’s surname and that of her famous father, Eric del Castillo. Additionally, it seems stage names run in this family. A fellow telenovela star and legend of Mexican cinema, her dad was born J. Eduardo Eric del Castillo-Negrete Galván and shortened his name for his career.
14. Salma Hayek
Instagram / @salmahayek
Salma Hayek is one of the most well-respected and popular Latinas in Hollywood. Though she made a name for herself in such movies like Frida, that nombre just happens to be a stage name. The actress/producer was born Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez. When she began her acting career, Hayek dropped “Jiménez” — her mother’s last name — and simply went with her father’s name.
15. Sofia Vegara
Instagram / @sofiavagara
Sofia Vergara is the highest paid actress on TV and, as such, has made her name well known all over the world. However, the name Vergara uses is a shortened version of her given name. She was named Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara and that double Vergara isn’t a typo. Both her mother and father had the surname “Vergara” so she was given both as part of her offical name. Understandably, she cut it down for her stage name.
16. Zoe Saldana
Instagram / @zoesaldana
You might know her as Gamora from Gaurdians of the Galaxy but Zoe Saladana’s parents gave her another unique moniker. Her birth name is actually Zoe Yadira Saladaña Nazario. Like many Latinas, she inherited names from both her parents. “Saladaña” is her Dominican father’s surname while “Nazario” is from her Puerto Rican mother.
17. Roselyn Sánchez
Instagram / @roselyn_sanchez
Puerto Rican actress, model, and singer Roselyn Sanchez is best known for her roles on Without a Trace and Devious Maids. Though Sanchez spends most of her career answering to the names of fictional characters, her stage name is also a bit fictious. She was originally named Roselyn Milagros Sánchez Rodríguez by her parents. To make it more memorable, Sanchez dropped both the “Milagros” and “Rodriguez” from her name.
18. Rita Moreno
Instagram / @theritamoreno
With an EGOT and the Presidential Medal of Freedom under her belt, the name Rita Moreno stands for Latina excellence. However, it’s not the legendary actress’ real name. Moreno was actually born Rosa Dolores Alverío. The Puerto Rican actress adopted the surname Moreno from her mother’s second husband. As a girl, she was often called “Rosita” which naturally evolved to “Rita”. Moreno’s nickname also has a connection with another famous Rita. When she came to the US as a girl, she traveled with dancer Paco Cansino, the uncle of Rita Hayworth.
19. Eva Mendes
Instagram / @evamendes
Actress and business woman Eva Mendes is well known for being a enchanting and sexy film star. As such, it’s only natural that she has a stage name. Mendes was originally born Eva de la Caridad Méndez. Not only did she drop the extra name, along her way to stardom the actress also changed the spelling of “Méndez.”
20. Katy Jurado
Instagram / vintage_stardust
During the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Katy Jurado played sultry femme fatales. She was such an iconic beauty that Juan Gabriel wrote the song Que Re’chula es Katy in her honor. However, Katy was never her real name. In fact, she was born María Christina Estela Marcela Jurado García. For her stage name, Jurado kept her father’s surname and took on the nickname Katy.
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