Celebrities change their names all the time either for privacy reasons or to have a name more memorable for fans. Last time we looked at Korean actors and actresses who changed their names for fame and today we are talking about K-pop stars who adopted awesome stage names for their music careers! Do you know the real names of these popular stars?

There are so many K-pop stars who have changed their names or have amazing stage names. This list is just a sampling of these stars! Feel free to add your other favorite K-pop star stage names in the comments below!

1. CL - 2NE1

CL from 2NE1 was born Lee Chae Rin. Her stage name CL comes from a combination of her first and last name. 

2. Rap Monster - BTS

In a interview, Kim Nam Joon revealed that he got his stage name Rap Monster because of a song he wrote in 2011. At the end of the song he yelled out "rap monster!" and the company staff soon began calling him Rap Monster. The name stuck!

3. G-Dragon - Big Bang

Born Kwon Ji Yong, G-Dragon chose his stage name as an extension of his given name because "Yong" literally translates to dragon and "Ji" sounds like the letter G. 

4. Qri - T-ara

Born Lee Ji Hyun, Qri got her stage name because she is so cute!

5. IU

Before she debuted, IU, born Lee Ji Eun, decided she needed a stage name for privacy reasons. Her stage name was created by her manager as a simple combination of "I" and "U".

6. Zelo - B.A.P.

Born Choi Jun Hong, Zelo's stage name comes from the Greek god of rivalry, Zelos.

7. Rain (Bi)

Rain was born with the given name Jung Ji Hoon. He adopted his stage name because he was told that he has a certain sad charisma when he danced and he associated sadness with rain.

8. BoA

While at first, BoA may seem like it would be an original stage name, it is actually just a stylized version of the pop star's given name, Kwon Boa. Fans of BoA think of her name as an acronym for Beat of Angel, although this was assigned to her later on.

9. Peniel - BTOB

Possessing one of the strangest stage names in K-pop, Peniel was actually born as Shin Dong Geun. I, for one, am still not sure if his choice was the best...

10. Onew - SHINee

SHINee member Onew was born Lee Jin Ki and chose his stage name because it reflects his personality. Onew (온유) in Korean means soft or gentle.

11. Ravi - VIXX

The main rapper and "mood maker" of VIXX, Ravi, was actually born as Kim Won Shik. The stage name Ravi definitely suits his outgoing and powerful stage presence!

12. T.O.P - Big Bang

Many fans also know T.O.P. by his given name Choi Seung Hyun. He is not only a famous K-pop star but also a talented, successful actor under his given name!

13. Jun.K - 2PM

Jun.K is the stage name of 2PM's main vocalist and heartthrob. Prior to October 2012, Jun.K's given name was Junsu, but he revealed on Twitter that due to family matters he would be changing his name to Kim Min Jun. However, he kept his stage name, Jun.K, the same.

14. Lay - EXO

Fan favorite Lay was actually born Zhang Yixing in Changsha Hunan, China. He is one of many EXO members who go by a stage name, including Tao, whose real name is Huang Zitao, and Xiumin, who was born Kim Min Seok.

15. Raina - After School/Orange Caramel

Raina, who is widely considered to be one of the best female vocalists among girl groups in South Korea, was actually born Oh Hye Rin.

Fun fact: before Raina debuted and adopted her stage name, she worked as a barista at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

16. B-Bomb - Block B

Born Lee Min Hyuk, B-Bomb chose his stage name because he thought it was rare and unique as well as because he wanted to have an “explosive” influence.


Kim Myung Soo chose the stage name "L" because his image most resembled the character L in the popular manga Death Note.

18. Nana - After School/Orange Caramel

Just like INFINITE's L got his name from a popular manga, Nana took her stage name because she resembles the title character from the awesome Nana manga series.

19. Chen - EXO

Chen is another member of EXO who adopted a stage name. His given name is actually Kim Jong Dae. Suho (born Kim Jun Myeon) and Kai (born Kim Jong In) are two other EXO members who go by their stage names as well.

20. Baro - B1A4

Baro, the main rapper for the group B1A4, was given the name Cha Sun Woo at birth. He become known as Baro after he was discovered by an WM Entertainment representative and began his training.

21. UEE

Adorable After School member UEE was actually born Kim Yoo Jin! While she hasn't talked much about where her name came from, it definitely suits her!

22. Suga - BTS

This Bangtan Boy was given the name Min Yoon Gi, but in an interview said he chose his stage name "because my skin is pale, I’m pretty when I smile, and because I’m sweet." Adorable!!

23. JR - NU'EST

Kim Jong Hyun, who goes by the stage name JR, is the leader of NU'EST. JR stands for Junior Royal.

24. Ailee

Ailee was born in California as Amy Lee, and her Korean name is Lee Ye Jin. Ailee comes from a stylized combination of her first initial and last name: A-Lee.

25. Taeyang - Big Bang

Taeyang's real name is Dong Young Bae. Taeyang means "sun" in Korean, and fans say he chose this name because he wants to be like the sun to his fans — the center of their universe and a power that never gives up.

26. Sunny - Girls' Generation

Speaking of the sun...Girls' Generation's Sunny was born Lee Sun Kyu. She takes her name from her real name as it displays her bright and sunny personality.

How many of these K-pop stars' real names did you know? What other stage names do you love? Let us know in the comments down below!

Do you enjoy K-pop? Watch every fangirl’s dream when the guys of EXO become neighbors with a shy young woman in the web series EXO Next Door:

KD Bonbon loves dogs and enjoys listening to K-pop and watching Korean dramas in her spare time. Whenever she’s not working her 9-5 corporate job, she’s writing for DramaFever News.

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