Alter egos or alternative personalities allow celebrities to express themselves in a way that is different from their public persona, whether it’s in their music, movies, books, or any kind of art products. It allows them to channel their creativity and develop personas as a way to push themselves creatively without losing their original roots.
For example, we all know how the violent alter ego of Slim Shady boosted Eminem’s career to a whole new level, or how Sacha Baron Cohen owns several hilarious satirical alter egos to push the envelope further in his comedies. To sum it up, here are the ten celebs who own alter egos.
10 Beyoncé – Sasha Fierce
Queen Bey embraced her on-stage persona and “savior,” Sasha Fierce, on her third album I Am… Sasha Fierce. Released in 2008, the multiplatinum album explored Bey’s sensual and aggressive self, and according to her, the persona is “strictly for the stage.” However, she later killed the alter ego in 2010, as she’s finally comfortable enough with showing her true colors on stage.
9 Bruno Mars – Ricky Regal
Moving to Bruno Mars, the powerhouse singer introduced the world to his fashionista alter-ego, Ricky Regal. Released during the promo of his upcoming Silk Sonic album, Ricky Regal is the fruit of Mars’ collaboration with the Lacoste fashion line, aiming to embrace freedom, luxury, and creativity in its fabrics. Speaking of the album, its lead single “Leave the Door Open” was released back in March.
8 Eminem – Slim Shady
Violent, crazy, and over-the-top. Slim Shady was born after Eminem‘s frustration with the turmoil sales of his debut album, the 1996’s Infinite. It allows Eminem, the rapper, to rhyme anything and intertwine any words beautifully without any boundaries, even if it means namedropping someone or freeing a crazy thought in the process. Throughout his career, we see Slim Shady in almost every single album except in the 2010’s Recovery.
7 Miley Cyrus – Hannah Montana
Miley Stewart is only a normal teenage girl, but her secret personality Hannah Montana is a world-renowned pop star. The actress herself, Miley Cyrus, embraced the two characters during her days with Disney Channel from 2006 until 2011.
However, as she graduated from Disney and ventured into the pop industry, the singer seems to distance herself from the alter ego that made her big, although she still has a couple of nice things to say about her.
6 Tupac – Makaveli
When rap star Tupac Shakur spent some time behind bars, he used to read a lot of books including The Prince by Italian political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli. He later embraced and enacted this new persona in his fifth album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, although it was short-lived due to his sudden death in 1996.
5 Will Smith – The Fresh Prince
Before becoming Will Smith we know today, he shot to stardom as one of the duos of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince from West Philly. The two scored their first-ever Grammy win back in 1898 for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and sold over 5 million albums in the U.S. alone. He even landed his own show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, under NBC from 1990 until 1996.
4 Mark Wahlberg – Marky Mark
Another rapper-turn-actor, Mark Wahlberg was a part of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch hip-hop group back in 1990. The group’s most well-known songs are “Good Vibrations” and “Wildside,” peaking among the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.
He didn’t even start taking his acting career seriously until 1993, when he made his on-screen debut in The Substitute. Since then, he put his “Marky Mark” name to bed.
3 Christina Aguilera – Xtina
Christina Aguilera made her big breakthrough with “Genie In a Bottle” as a teenage sensation. However, as she ventured into adulthood, she found that giving herself a new identity would allow her to express herself a lot more freely and break the “teeny bopper” bubble. That’s how the sensual “Xtina” alter ego was born.
2 Lady Gaga – Jo Calderone
Lady Gaga created Jo Calderone in 2010. Calderone is an Italian-American man from New Jersey who appeared in several photoshoots for Nick Knight and Terry Richardson. She even jokingly hit on Britney Spears on the stage of the MTV VMAs back in 2011, without breaking her character. She was the definition of totality.
1 Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat, Ali G, & More
Lastly, we have comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who debuted his “rap” alter ego, Ali G, back in 1998. He’s a satirical British male character who embraces the British Jamaican culture through its hip-hop and reggae music. Cohen also has Borat Sagdiyev, the infamous Kazakh journalist, Brüno Gehard, a gay Austrian fashion journalist, and General Admiral Aladeen, the “Supreme Leader” of fictional nation Wadiya.
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