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Born That Way: Lady Gaga And 13 Other Celebs Whose Real Names Aren't That Catchy

April 2nd, 2014 7:00pm EDT
Born That Way: Lady Gaga And 13 Other Celebs Whose Real Names Ar
Said Henry Rollins, "I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone." So did the following famous celebrities, who took the names they were given and reinvented them into something more suitable to their personality, or the personality they wanted to cultivate. Want to know why they changed their already perfectly suitable names? We have your answers right here!

1. Lady Gaga

Born That Way: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta

Music producer Rob Fusari claims to have invented the name...

DVD Review: Various Artists - 'The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert'

March 23rd, 2014 10:48pm EDT
DVD Review: Various Artists - 'The Freddie Mercury Tribute Conce
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert is a tour de force; a clinic in the sheer healing power of music. It’s also a testament to just how much Freddie Mercury meant to Queen, music and the entire world really. So it should be no big surprise that the music world that Mercury’s worked every day to enrich showed up in spades to join the surviving members of the band - Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor - and thousands of screaming fans to hold a tribute concert to their deceased front man.

Among those to show up and take the stage were Seal (“Who Wants to Live Forever”), Robert Plant (“C...

Queen To Release Lost Freddie Mercury Duet With Michael Jackson

December 2nd, 2013 9:24am EST
A batch of Freddie Mercury's lost songs could soon be released.

Brian May and Roger Taylor have confirmed that undiscovered tracks recorded by the Queen frontman, including 1983 collaborations with Michael Jackson, are being finished by the band.

May tells Mojo magazine: "There's more in there than we thought, in the Queen source archive.

"I'm a little nervous of saying there's an album there, but there's certainly a few tracks ... We've found some Freddie vocals, some demos."

The legendary singer and the late King of Pop worked together 30 years ago but failed to release anything after...

Multi-instrumentalist Roger Taylor

October 27th, 2013 12:20pm EDT
Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor played most of the instruments on his new solo album himself.
The legendary 'Radio Ga Ga' hitmaker has made his first solo album in 15 years, and although he is best known as a drummer and singer, he played almost all the instruments on 'Fun on Earth'.
He told BANG Showbiz: "I did keyboards, a lot of guitar on the album, I collect old guitars, beautiful old electric guitars, I love them, they're items of beauty and I did some of the piano and obviously the vocals and some bass, but I don't play bass on all the tracks.
"I also got [guitarist] Jeff Beck in there [on the track '...

Ben Whishaw set to star in Freddie Mercury biopic

October 20th, 2013 8:30pm EDT
Freddie Mercury
James Bond star Ben Whishaw is set to star as Queen's Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic.

Ali G star Sacha Baron Cohen had initially been picked to play the flamboyant rock icon, but pulled out of the movie in July (13), citing creative differences.

Now filmmakers have turned to British actor Whishaw to take on the project, which will be produced by the band's surviving members Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, according to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

Taylor hinted at the new casting on Friday (18Oct13), when he stated in a TV interview that an actor with the initials "BW" ...

Dominic Cooper for Freddie Mercury biopic?

October 4th, 2013 3:10am EDT
Freddie Mercury
Dominic Cooper has been linked to the role of Freddie Mercury in the new biopic.
The 35-year-old actor - known for playing Darcy in 'Dead Man Down' - is reportedly being lined up to replace Sacha Baron Cohen in the long-planned movie about the legendary Queen singer, according to the Latino Review.
The 'Borat' actor was reportedly dropped from the film earlier this year after drummer Roger Taylor claimed he and Brian May believed the star would turn the movie into a comedy with his performance.
He said previously: "We felt Sacha probably wasn't right. We didn't want it to be a joke. We wan...

Sacha Baron Cohen was too funny to play Freddie Mercury

September 24th, 2013 3:00am EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen
Rockers Queen decided against Sacha Baron Cohen playing their late bandmate Freddie Mercury on the big screen over fears the Brit was too funny for the part.

The Borat star is said to have fallen out with the remaining members of legendary band Queen, who had script and director approval, and now drummer Roger Taylor has opened up about the doomed movie and Cohen's casting.

He says, "We felt Sacha probably wasn't right. We didn't want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved."

The much-anticipated biopic is believed to have since been shelved and Taylor admits there's not much hope fo...

Daniel Radcliffe To Play Freddie Mercury?

September 21st, 2013 3:45pm EDT
Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe has reportedly been offered the role of Freddie Mercury in a new biopic.

'The Dictator' star Sacha Baron Cohen was originally set to play the iconic Queen front man before he quit over creative differences with surviving band mates Brian May and Roger Taylor - and now the 'Harry Potter' actor could take on the part.

An insider told the Daily Star newspaper: "Daniel has be told the part is his if he wants it.

"Despite his youth, Daniel has impressed movie bosses with his portrayal of gay poet Allen Ginsburg in this year's movie 'Kill Your Darlings'.

"Plus, he's closer in...

Freddie Mercury film 'probably not going to happen'

September 3rd, 2013 8:40pm EDT
Freddie Mercury
The screenwriter of the much-anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic fears the project will be shelved after Sacha Baron Cohen's decision to walk away from the film.

Cohen reportedly fell out with the remaining members of Mercury's band Queen, who have script and director approval, and now revered writer Peter Morgan has opened up about the doomed movie.

He tells the BBC, "It's probably not going to happen."

The film, which was originally scheduled for a 2012 release, has faced a slew of delays, but rocker Brian May assured fans last year (12) that the movie "should be ready" to hit screens i...

Sacha Baron Cohen Quits Freddie Mercury Biopic

July 23rd, 2013 9:55am EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen has reportedly pulled out of an upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic due to creative differences with Queen.

The British actor purportedly had a falling out with the remaining members of the band about his portrayal of the iconic singer, according to

Cohen reportedly wanted the film to be a "gritty R-rated tell-all" about Mercury, while Brian May and Roger Taylor wanted the project to focus on the entire band.

The film was originally set to be released in 2012. Last year, May assured fans it would be released in 2014 with Cohen as the star.

Cohen sang in movie...

Sacha Baron Cohen exits Freddie Mercury biopic - report

July 22nd, 2013 8:41pm EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen
British actor Sacha Baron Cohen has pulled out of a new Freddie Mercury biopic, according to a U.S. report.

The funnyman was set to play the late Queen frontman in the film - and even took singing lessons to perfect his vocals for his role.

However, sources tell that the Bruno star has stepped away from the project after falling out with the remaining members of Queen about his portrayal of their friend and bandmate.

The website claims Cohen wanted the biopic to be a "gritty R-rated tell-all" about the star, while Brian May and Roger Taylor were reportedly keen for the proje...

Brian May to look into Freddie Mercury gorilla dispute

July 9th, 2013 8:40pm EDT
Brian May
Queen star Brian May is planning to personally investigate the reasons behind the removal of a gorilla sculpture painted to resemble the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury following a copyright dispute.

The statue, named Freddie 'Radio Go Go' Gorilla, was placed outside The Forum venue in Norwich, England as part of an art trail by organisers at creative group Go Go Gorillas, ahead of a planned auction to raise money for charity.

However, they were forced to take the life-sized gorilla down on Monday (08Jul13) after receiving a complaint from executives at the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an ...

Freddie Mercury Gorilla Sculpture Removed After Copyright Complaint

July 8th, 2013 3:03pm EDT
Freddie Mercury
A gorilla sculpture painted to resemble rocker Freddie Mercury has been removed from display in the U.K. amid allegations of copyright infringement.

Organizers of art group Go Go Gorillas were forced to take down the piece, called Freddie 'Radio Go Go' Gorilla, from its home outside The Forum venue in Norwich, England after receiving a complaint from executives of the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS awareness charity set up in the Queen singer's name following his death from complications of the disease in 1991.

Charity bosses claimed the yellow jacket the gorilla was painted in, made to l...

Freddie Mercury muses over the Queen anniversary he didn't live to see in lost interview

May 28th, 2013 8:40pm EDT
Freddie Mercury
A lost interview with Freddie Mercury, in which the late rock icon salutes the Rolling Stones on their 20th anniversary, has been unearthed for the new Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl.

The singer, who died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991, sat down with a German film crew in Munich in 1982 for the TV chat over a pint of beer and a cigarette - and mused about his own band's 20th anniversary, which he didn't live to see.

Mercury says, "It would be nice if people still buy our records (in 10 years' time)."

During the eight-minute interview, which features as an added extra on the DVD along...

Freddie Mercury Smuggled A Cross-Dressing Princess Diana Into Gay Bar

April 1st, 2013 10:27am EDT
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury once dressed Princess Diana as a man and smuggled her into a gay bar, it has been claimed.

The late Queen rocker and comedian Kenny Everett reportedly gave the British royal - who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 - an army jacket, cap and sunglasses to wear for a night out in South London homosexual haunt the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in the 1980s, according to comedienne Cleo Rocos.

A piece in Cleo's new memoir The Power of Positive Drinking - which is serialized in the Sunday Times newspaper - explains: "Freddie told her we were going to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a not...

Friend Will Never Reveal Location Of Freddie Mercury's Ashes

March 31st, 2013 7:07pm EDT
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury's longtime confidante is adamant she will never confirm the star's final resting place after quashing rumours suggesting his ashes were interred at a London cemetery. 

The Queen frontman's loyal friend and former lover Mary Austin was entrusted with his remains after his death from an AIDS-related illness in 1991, but she has never confirmed where the ashes were scattered. 

Rumors had previously suggested she had picked Zanzibar, the country of Mercury's birth, or Lake Geneva in Switzerland, where he owned an apartment, but the recent discovery of a bronze plaque at a ceme...

Blake Lively In Talks For Freddie Mercury Movie

March 25th, 2013 12:49pm EDT
Blake Lively
Blake Lively is rumored to be playing Freddie Mercury's former girlfriend Mary Austin in the upcoming biopic about the late Queen singer.

The Gossip Girl actress is expected to play the iconic Queen singer's former girlfriend Mary Austin opposite Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen, according to The Sun newspaper.

The couple were inseparable in the early 1970s after being introduced by Queen's guitarist Brian May, until Freddie had an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records.

However, they remained close friends until his death in 1991, aged just 45, from a long battle w...

Sacha Baron Cohen Takes Singing Lessons To Prepare For Freddie Mercury Role

March 25th, 2013 9:02am EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen is reportedly taking singing lessons to prepare himself for his role as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

It isn't the first time the comedian has showed off his vocal skills on the big screen. He also sang in movie musicals "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" and "Les Miserables."

Filming on the untitled biopic is expected to begin this spring, and Cohen is reportedly training with a vocal coach to make sure he can hit the high notes just like the late superstar.
A source told British newspaper The Sun, "Sacha is a huge Queen fan and is focused on getting F...

Brian May Still Searching For Freddie Mercury's Stolen Guitar

September 1st, 2012 2:33pm EDT
Brian May has called for the safe return of Freddie Mercury's white Telecaster guitar after recalling it was stolen from Queen's storage facility in a new video DVD compilation.

May and bandmate Roger Taylor offer up audio commentary on new promo package Queen Greatest Video Hits and while chatting about the band's hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", May remembers a missing guitar, which Mercury played on the track.

He says, "It disappeared after we stopped touring. Some place out in the world is Freddie's white Tele... It was stolen from our warehouse in the dark years."

And the guita...

Spice Girls, The Who & More U.K. Acts Close London Olympics

August 13th, 2012 8:42am EDT
Victoria Beckham
Last night's London Olympics closing ceremony included performances by The Who, the reunited Spice Girls, Muse, One Direction and Queen guitarist Brian May.

Composer David Arnold and Kim Gavin's "A Symphony of British Music" extravaganza kicked off with Scottish singer Emeli Sande performing "Read All About It" to a stadium packed with fans.

Madness, the Pet Shop Boys, One Direction and The Kinks frontman Ray Davies also performed before the 10,800 athletes of the Games marched into the arena.

George Michael, the Kaiser Chiefs, Annie Lennox and Fatboy Slim also took the stage, as did Ed ...

Kate Beckinsale: 'I Would Like To Play Freddie Mercury'

August 2nd, 2012 3:21pm EDT
Kate Beckinsale
Actress Kate Beckinsale has set herself a real movie challenge - she wants to portray Freddie Mercury on film.

The sexy Underworld star has revealed that playing the late Queen frontman is a role she'd relish - and she thinks she'd look good as a man.

She tells WENN, "I would like to play a big concert as Freddie Mercury. I can't sing that great... but I quite fancy having a moustache like that."

"He was such a great showman and I think that would be good - I'd quite like to do that."

The odd casting idea might be some way off, however, because funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen is reported...

Snoop Lion And 10 Other Celebrity Name Changes

August 1st, 2012 4:07pm EDT
Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg has traded a canine for a feline, claiming he has taken up the moniker Snoop Lion following his conversion to Rastafarian. But he's far from the first celebrity to change his name. Here are our Top 10 Celebrity Name Changes:

Carlos Irwin Estevez - Charlie Sheen. Charlie took the esteemed stage name of his father Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez (Martin Sheen). His brother, Emilio, kept his real name because it sounded better than "Emilio Sheen."

Farrokh Bulsara - Freddie Mercury: You can understand why Queen's lead singer changed his name. After living in Zanzibar, his famil...

Katy Perry Squelches Rumors She's Set To Play Freddie Mercury's Girlfriend

June 27th, 2012 6:26pm EDT
Katy Perry
Katy Perry hasn't been asked to play Freddie Mercury's girlfriend in Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming biopic about the flamboyant singer.

Reports suggested Perry was being lined up to play Mary Austen opposite comedian Cohen, who has signed on to play the Queen frontman.

Even though Perry would love to tackle the role, she insists speculation about her involvement in the planned project is premature.

She told, "There's something about the Internet that's sort of funny - it's that nothing is true on there. There's been no formal offer. Although I do like the association and I like...

Chris Brown's Billboard Performance Is Latest Music Lip-Sync Blunder

May 22nd, 2012 1:07pm EDT
Chris Brown
Chris Brown is taking plenty of heat from fellow musicians for miming a song on stage at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. P!nk tweeted about the performance, "one day if i lipsync (sic), i hope i do it as well as him..." But he's far from being the first caught for not providing vocals live.

At the BET awards in 2007, 50 Cent was caught when his track played an instrumental version of his hit Amusement Park. That sounds correct, but apparently 50 Cent thought he wouldn't have to rap that night, so the crowd was treated to the beat without any words... and a wondering, awkward 50 Cent.


Brian May 'Annoyed' By Tupac Hologram, Different Technology Used For Freddie Mercury Appearance

May 14th, 2012 4:07pm EDT
Brian May of Queen
Brian May has confirmed that Freddie Mercury will return via hologram for a special performance of the Queen musical "We Will Rock You." May also says that he has been working on the idea for quite a while, and was annoyed when Tupac returned to the stage first.

May told BBC he was hoping to surprise the audience with Mercury's arrival, "People will come out saying, 'Did we actually see Freddie?' It's a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we've been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while. (That technique) is something we've looked at ourselves, but I ...

Queen's Roger Taylor Says He Won't Perform With Freddie Mercury Hologram

May 1st, 2012 8:05am EDT
Roger Taylor
Queen's drummer Roger Taylor has no plans to follow the holographic craze by performing with an image of late singer Freddie Mercury, insisting, "It's the real one or no hologram for me."

Since deceased rapper Tupac Shakur sensationally appeared as a hologram at last month's Coachella festival, there have been reports of other late music stars set to receive the same technological treatment - including TLC star Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes.

However, drummer Taylor isn't resurrecting his flamboyant former frontman, who died in 1991.

Taylor tells Billboard, "I don't think I want to. Were someb...

Adam Lambert To Join Queen On Tour

February 3rd, 2012 8:30am EST
Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert has confirmed he is set to join Queen as the band's new frontman for a tour this summer.

The star was joined by original group members Brian May and Roger Taylor during his final performance on 2009's American Idol, and the trio teamed up once more at the MTV European Music Awards in November .

The collaborations led to speculation that Lambert would be stepping in to take the place of late singer Freddie Mercury in an upcoming trek, and Taylor fuelled the reports, saying in December, "He has grown into a really great performer with an astonishing voice... We would like to ...

Happy 40th Birthday, Sacha Baron Cohen!

October 13th, 2011 8:53am EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has every reason to celebrate on Thursday - he turns 40.

The funnyman is famous for creating comedy characters Ali G, Borat, and Bruno - and between his alter-egos he's pulled pranks on stars including David Beckham, Eminem and Paula Abdul.

Cohen, who's married to actress Isla Fisher, keeps his personal life private, but there's no hiding his big day.

To mark Cohen's 40th, WENN has compiled 10 fascinating facts about the star. Happy birthday, Sacha!

- Born in London in 1971, Cohen was raised in a Jewish family and attended the U.K.'s prestigious Univer...

Lady Gaga In Talks To Become New Singer Of Queen?

October 6th, 2011 8:32am EDT
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is in talks with Queen guitarist Brian May to take over as the band's new lead singer.

Original frontman Freddie Mercury died in 1991 and Paul Rodgers took on vocal duties for the group for five years from 2004. The collaboration ended in 2009 and now the rockers are looking for another singer to complete their line-up so they can go back on the road.

May is hoping Gaga, whose stage name is inspired by their hit song Radio Ga Ga, will accept an offer to sing for them.

He tells Britain's Daily Express, "We talk about going out on the road all the time but there's a bit of a s...

Queen Honored With Icon Award At BMI Awards

October 5th, 2011 8:49am EDT
British rockers Queen were honored with the coveted Icon Award at the BMI Awards in London on Tuesday night.

Bandmembers Brian May and Roger Taylor were on hand to collect the trophy at the event, held at the Dorchester Hotel, which celebrates U.K. musicians whose songs have been performed in America over the last year.

The honor comes within weeks of what would have been late frontman Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday last month, while the group also celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

May tells BBC 6 Music, "I'm very, very happy. It means a lot I think especially because it is ...

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