These alter egos presented to the public and brought to life by the celebrities have started to become a common occurrence. Many artists will create hilarious, and inventive characters that bring a dynamic change to their show. Fans and spectators become awed at the transformation and will either find the creation a great change of pace, or ask: “What the heck just happened?” Crazily enough, many of these fictional twins become more popular than the actors/singers/dancers themselves. So welcome to the list of top 11 celebrities with self-made doppelgangers that seriously has our attention.
11 Sacha Baron Cohen
He is more known for his roles in his movies than he is as an actor, but his interpretation of the characters he was portraying quickly made him famous. Cohen is responsible for bringing to life the characters of Borat Sagdiyev, Bruno Gehard, Ali G, and Admiral General Aladeen. Starting with Da Ali G Show, Cohen starred as Ali G, a gangster-like talk show host. The show also contained cameo appearances by Borat and Bruno. Both Bruno and Borat got their own feature films, and Cohen continued on to have the lead in The Dictator. His ability to convincingly portray 4 completely different personas is what made this actor so well known. However, you tend to hear “the Borat guy” more often than his actual name.
10 Lady Gaga
Originally just someone that was created to see how much she and Nick Knight could get away with, Jo Calderone was developed for the modeling world. Appearing in Vogue Hommes Japan, Calderone made a huge impression, especially since his biological gender was omitted when the photographs were sent. By doing this Gaga and Nick had successfully managed to convince the editors that Jo was a male model. His looks were sold as the next big thing and went on to have a cover in the magazine. Afterwards, Nick Knight persuaded Lady Gaga that Jo Calderone should also be able to sing, and so he did; his first performance being at the 2011 VMA’s.
Why would someone with so much stage presence, feel that it would be necessary to separate herself from her job by creating an entirely new person for her job? According to Beyonce, her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, was created to be the stage performer that Beyonce’s conscience just couldn’t let her be. Fierce, as the name states happens to be the exact opposite of the bubbly character that everyone loves, and instead possesses the nature of a strong woman that takes no sass from anyone. While at work, Sasha Fierce is responsible for making the money, and once the job is done, Beyonce makes her appearance. By creating Sasha, Beyonce can completely separate her work life from her personal life, and while she strongly dislikes her own self-made alter ego, Beyonce has thanked her other self. She has even recently made the move to completely combine the two personas into one single amazing artist.
Eminem, in the past few years, has made a complete 180 in his music and subject matter. Beginning with his debut in 1996 and the birth of Slim Shady with his Slim Shady LP, Eminem made an intense entrance into a dominantly black culture. While Slim Shady was the source of controversy and showed Eminem’s abilities with wordplay, the artist’s other ego, Marshall Mathers, sheds some light on the inner demons and sensitivity that plagued the other side of Eminem’s subconscious. Slim Shady was the barricade between the world and the hip-hop artist’s feelings, and Mr. Mathers was the wound that remained forever open, allowing his feelings to spill out into the incredibly haunting album, The Marshall Mathers LP. In 2004 Eminem came out with Encore, which has been named the mark of his downfall, as the album was dominated by his Slim Shady persona, and contained songs that were nothing but bland. After 5 years, the two-part album, Relapse and Recovery, marked the rebirth of Eminem, with Recovery topping the music charts, and Eminem essentially killing off Slim Shady.
7 Miley Cyrus
The dream of teenage girls everywhere: being famous for singing while also having a normal life. Rather than starting her career by being herself on stage, Miley Cyrus became known for being Hannah Montana, the blonde 14 year old who could own the stage. The alter ego was started for the Disney show of the same name, but was later inducted into Miley Cyrus’ concert performances, most notably for her Best of Both Worlds tour. Hannah Montana was meant to be the pop-superstar to Cyrus’ down-to-earth personality. Miley Cyrus officially killed off her alter ego in 2013 with her We Can’t Stop music video, marking the end of her loveable tween image.
6 Nicki Minaj
The artist is truly a master of creation, with a taking on more than 10 different alter egos. Her most note worthy and most utilized in interviews and music, would be The Harajuku Barbie and Roman Zolanski. Others include Martha Zolanski- the mother of Roman as well as the Godmother in her music video Moment 4 Life- and Nicki Lewinsky, who was primarily active when Minaj was an underground artist. Her creations are often for the roles needed in her music videos, or if she feels like the situation calls for it. Rosa, who is Minaj’s Spanish alter ego, was created for an interview on Lopez Tonight because of the Mexican origins of the host.
5 Christina Aquilera
In 2002, Aguilera decided to rid herself of her wholesome image, releasing an album rightly named Stripped. The album marked the birth of her alter ego Xtina, who did away with the majority of her clothes and instead added a whack load of piercings. The drastic image change in character shocked fans and left them with mixed feelings. Dirrty, the top song on the album was considered not her best, while the music video completely did away with the underperformance of the song, and made it skyrocket straight to being too much ‘sex’. The failure of the album led to the making of Back to Basics and Bionic, both attempts to make everyone happy, but left fans feeling a little bored. Christina Aquilera considers Xtina to be more of her true personality, and went so far as to tattoo her alter ego’s name onto the back of her neck.
4 Mariah Carey
Instead of creating a persona that was completely different from what the public perceives the celebrity to be, Carey introduced the public to Mimi- her childhood nickname ad what she considers to be closer to who she truly is. Although her earlier two albums failed to perform the way that had been hoped, with the public showing of a new playful side of Mariah Carey, the album The Emancipation of Mimi, brought new life to her music.
3 David Bowie
Unleashing his acting and performing talents, David Bowie has introduced the world to a number of alter egos. His characters ranged from the androgynous and colourful alien Ziggy Stardust, to the transitioning persona of Aladdin Sane, to the suave Thin White Duke. Once Ziggy Stardust lost his sparkle in 1974, Ziggy made the move to Aladdin Sane, which Bowie called "Ziggy in America". The Thin White Duke made his debut in 1976, seeming far more normal than Bowie’s other creations. His stylish, smart, cabaret-style looking wardrobe hid his alarming personality, which had been heavily influenced by the amount of cocaine that David Bowie had been introducing into his system. Bowie went through a few more alter egos and music styles before he managed to get to where he is today with his newest album being The Next Day.
2 Garth Brooks
Considered one of the boldest career moves in rock history, country musician, Garth Brooks, made the shocking change to alternative rock artist Chris Gaines. Originally, the character of Gaines was written for the movie, The Lamb, that Brooks was supposed to star in, but due to his tiredness of his 90’s country stardom, Garth Brooks decided to write an album entirely as Chris Gaines. The artist went so far as to create an entire backstory for his alter ego. Unfortunately, though the album didn’t sell terribly, the movie was scrapped due to the poor response from the public. The alter ego was also tossed aside soon after.
1 Steve Coogan
Alan Partridge was born in 1991, a sports commentator who knew nothing about sports, but had the ability to catch the ear of everyone who heard, with his hilarious inanity. Beginning with the radio show On the Hour, within a year Partridge and the radio show had completely changed to fit the small screen on The Day Today. By 1994, Partridge had evolved into the careless, awkward, chronically self-unaware broadcaster that we all know today. Steve Coogan had gotten to the point where people would go “Ah Hah!” when they saw him on the street, recognizing him as only Alan Partridge and not Coogan himself. The actor had developed a strange love-hate relationship with his alter ego, and went on to act amazingly in many other films including Night at the Museum, Our Idiot Brother, and Hamlet 2. Alan Partridge continues to make appearances in movies and TV shows.
Alter egos can be used to protect our actual personalities from the scrutiny of the public eye, as well as help separate two parts of our lives. Other times, they are meant to show off our amazing creativity and imagination, and keep our lives fresh and interesting. Many other celebrities have brought to life new characters for a new twist in their work including, Katy Perry, Barry Humphries, and Leigh Francis, these and many more, creating new personas to show off their amazing talents.
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