Five male celebrities who took their wives’ last names, from John Lennon to Jack White

On 6 February, Priyanka Chopra opened up about her much-publicised wedding to singer Nick Jonas while on Jimmy Fallon‘s nighttime talk show.

During her appearance, the actor explained she’d chosen to change her name to Priyanka Chopra Jonas as she’s “a little traditional and old school”, adding that doing so doesn’t take away from her identity. “He gets added to who I am,” she said.

While some have described The Jungle Book star’s admission as “adorable”, others have questioned why it’s often still expected of women in heterosexual relationships to take the surname of their husband when they marry, rather than vice versa.


A 2016 survey conducted by YouGov found that a majority of men (61 per cent) and women (59 per cent) would still prefer for a woman to take her husband’s surname.

The notion of men taking their wives’ surnames has been gaining traction in recent years. 

In November 2017, a survey published by the London Mint Office found that one in 10 men aged between 18 and 34 are now opting to forego their last names in favour of their spouse’s.

From Jay-Z to John Lennon, here are five male celebrities who broke away from tradition by taking their wives’ last names:

Marco Perego-Saldana, husband of Zoe Saldana-Perego

Couple Zoe Saldana-Perego and Marco Perego-Saldana (Getty Images)

Zoe Saldana, famous for her portrayals of lethal warrior Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy and wise Neytiri in Avatar, married artist Marco Perego in 2013 in a private ceremony, only a few months after the pair had started dating.

Two years after their wedding, Saldana revealed Perego had decided to depart from tradition by taking her name when they married.

The actor stated that she’d feared her husband would be shunned by his peers for doing so.

“I tried to talk him out of it,” Saldana told Us Weekly. “I told him, ‘If you use my name, you’re going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.

“Marco looks up at me and says, ‘Ah, Zoe, I don’t give a s***.’”

Jack White, ex-husband of Meg White

Jack White and Meg White (Getty Images)

Rock band The White Stripes, formed in 1997 and disbanded in 2011, consisted of husband-and-wife duo Jack and Meg White.

Despite presenting themselves as siblings as part of their musical act, the pair were in fact not brother and sister, and married a year before launching the band.

Jack White, born John Anthony Gillis, took Meg White’s last name when they wed in 1996.

The couple divorced in 2000, both going on to marry new partners while making music together.

Jack White still goes by the same name professionally.

John Ono Lennon, husband of Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono and John Ono Lennon (Getty Images)

When John Lennon and Yoko Ono married in 1969 in Gilbraltar, the Beatles bandmember decided to alter his name in honour of his wife.

Rather than change his surname, Lennon instead adopted “Ono” as a middle name.

“Yoko changed her name for me. I’ve changed mine for her. One for both, both for each other,” he said.

“She has a ring. I have a ring. It gives us nine ‘O’s between us, which is good luck. 10 would not be good luck.”

This statement made by Lennon was partially incorrect, as with his other middle name “Winston”, he and Yoko Ono Lennon did indeed have 10 “O”s between them.

Jay-Z (Shawn Knowles-Carter), husband of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Jay-Z and Beyoncé (Getty Images)

Some may be forgiven for not realising Jay-Z may have taken Beyoncé’s last name after they wed, considering the pair are commonly referred to as “the Carters”.

Born Shawn Carter, it was reported that Jay-Z changed his name to Shawn Knowles-Carter when he tied the knot with Beyoncé in 2008.

The “Run The World (Girls)” singer reciprocated by changing her name to Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

In 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z renewed their wedding vows in a ceremony attended by the couple’s three children, seven-year-old Blue Ivy and one-year-old twins Rumi and Sir.

Carlos PenaVega, husband of Alexa PenaVega

Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega (Getty Images)

In 2014, Spy Kids star Alexa Vega married Grease: Live actor Carlos Pena Jr in Mexico, just under a year after announcing their engagement.

Rather than either of them dropping their surnames, the couple went a step further by combining their last names to create an entirely new one: PenaVega.


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The PenaVegas’ first child, a son called Ocean, was born in December 2016.

On 17 January 2019, they announced they’re expecting their second child.

The Independent’s Millennial Love group is the best place to discuss to the highs and lows of modern dating and relationships. Join the conversation here.​

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