It is more common for people nowadays to change names. Many Korean stars also did that for various reasons.
Actress Lee Da In, who recently married singer-actor Lee Seung Gi, has also changed her name several times. Though she has been active in the entertainment industry under the stage name Lee Da In since her debut, the actress changed her real name from Lim Yoo Kyung to Lee Joo Hee but then renamed herself Lee Ra Yoon. Adding her activity name, Lee Da In has been called by 4 names so far.
Each person has their own story or reason to change their birth name. Some people change their names because they are too common or, on the contrary, too unusual, while others find new names to renew their lives because they don’t do well with the old ones. In some cases, children change their names, especially their surnames, when their parents get divorced.
In fact, changing names is very complicated because it requires ‘renaming’ permission from the court. Still, it has been made easier since 2005 thanks to the Supreme Court decision to allow renaming as long as it respects the naming rights.
As a result, many celebrities have changed their name for professional reasons. Some debuted with completely different names or stage names, while others change their name in the middle of their career.
Actress Han Eun Jung also gave up the name she had been widely known for 19 years to change to the new name Han Da Gam. Making her debut in 1999, Han Eun Jung suddenly declared that she would carry out activities under her new stage name Han Da Gam in 2018.
The actress appeared on MBC’s entertainment program “Radio Star” in 2019 and said, “I wanted to have a special name because my old name was so ordinary”, adding “I chose the name ‘Da Gam’ because it means ‘approaching with kindness and affection’.” Did the new name benefit her? Han Eun Jung revealed that she felt physical changes, such as feeling more comfortable in her mind and warmer in her hands, after using her new name. The actress added that her insomnia also disappeared and her work proficiency improved. In the end, Da Gam is now used not only as her stage but also as her real name.
On the other hand, actress Kim Jung Nan changed her name due to a sad reason.
According to the story she revealed on SBS’s “Strong Heart”, the actress gave up her birth name to pay respects to her parents. On the broadcast, she confessed, “My current mother is still alive, but my biological mother passed away early on. Someone told me that my fate with my parents was not good so I changed my name.”
Kim Jung Nan continued, “I was afraid that unhappy things would happen even with my father”, adding “That person suggested me the names Kim Jung Nan and Kim Jung Rye, and I chose Kim Jung Nan. My original birth name was Kim Hyun Ah”.
In addition, some celebrities because their images and names do not match well. Actor Song Seung Heon’s real name was Song Seung Bok, but he used his stage name Song Seung Heon when making his debut in the entertainment industry because it gives a more sophisticated feeling.
The same happens to Lee Ji Ah. Her real name was Kim Sang Eun, but she changed it to Kim Ji Ah before her debut. It is said that she created her activity name partly based on her American name Shea Lee.
There is also a celebrity with a unique(?) naming story, although her name was not changed.
The name of actress Moon So Ri has a special meaning as it was given by her father to mean “a little child born to the Moon family and the Lee (Ri) family”.
In a past interview with Weekly DongA, Moon So Ri explained, “I was very small when I was young”, adding “My father named me Moon So Ri by putting ‘So’ (small/little) in between Moon and Ri to indicate that I’m a little child born in a family with a Moon father and a Lee (Ri) mother.”
There is another celebrity who uses the name her father gave her with great affection. She’s Heo Yi Jae.
The name of Heo Yi Jae, who debuted in 2000 through the movie “Dakapo” then became famous after starring in “Prince Hours” and “Sunflower”, actually contains her father’s “earnest wish”. In fact, Heo Yi Jae’s father hoped that his daughter would not become a celebrity when she was young.
During an interview during her rookie years, Heo Yi Jae revealed, “After I was born, my father went to a naming agency to name me. There, they said that I would become a celebrity and suggested the name Heo Hwe Ryeong. However, my father didn’t want me to be a celebrity so he asked them to give me a different name. Therefore, they gave me the name Yi Jae, which has a meaning related to studying”. She continued, “When my father left the naming agency with the name Yi Jae, the owner of the agency once again emphasized, ‘But this child will still become a celebrity’. I really became a celebrity and I’m currently called by both names, Yi Jae and Hwe Ryeong, at home.”