Julian Lennon Explains Why He Legally Changed His Name: 'For Me, It's a Whole Other World'

Julian Lennon speaks candidly about how constantly being called John Lennon during the pandemic impacted him

Julian Lennon officially changed his name to Julian Charles John Lennon in 2020, and is now explaining why he felt that was the best decision for him.

Speaking on the podcast, Word in Your Ear, the son of the late Beatles star turned solo artist John Lennon admitted that the pandemic played a big role.

"It was in 2020, just before we all got locked in a cage that I finally actually decided to legally change my name by default. Because originally my name was John Charles Julian Lennon, and the crap that I had to deal with when traveling and security companies and this and that and the other."

"Whenever you had to present yourself, especially on like boarding passes, just as an example, you know they only use your first name, and so it would always be 'John Lennon, John Lennon," the 59-year-old singer-songwriter explained.

"So I became quite fearful and anxious about those scenarios, because there would always be wise cracks or jokes, and most of the time people didn't even recognize me. So it became really uncomfortable over the years because I've always been known as Julian and so it [being called John] never felt like it was me. So finally I just decided in 2020, 'Yeah, I wanna be me now. This is it, it's time for a change.'"

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Julian Lennon. Gareth Cattermole/amfAR/Getty

But Julian is making sure to still honor his parents, John and Cynthia Powell.

"I want to respect the legacy and the wishes of my parents, but all I did was switch the 'John' and 'Julian' so I'm Julian Charles John Lennon. It's as simple as that, but for me, it's a whole other world, it really is. Not that I'm ashamed or have disrespect. I needed to be me. I needed to finally be heard as Julian. This is what Julian does, not 'John's son,' so that has been a part of the path and...it just made sense for me."

Julian Lennon; Cynthia Lennon; John Lennon
Julian Lennon; Cynthia Lennon; John Lennon. VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images; Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In April, Julian performed John's signature 1971 hit "Imagine" for the first time ever at Global Citizen's televised Stand Up for Ukraine benefit concert, which raised over $10 billion to help refugees. "Why now, after all these years? — I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing 'IMAGINE' would be if it was the 'End of the World,'" he wrote in the clip's YouTube description.

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Julian said the positive reception toward the performance has also altered his feelings toward the experience of being viewed as the son of a Beatle. "I feel, probably for the first time ever, that I can walk around not being afraid with my head held high," he shared during an interview with the iHeartRadio podcast Inside the Studio, recalling awkward stories of being recognized. "You know, on the road in the older days, we'd stop at a diner and they just put Beatles songs on to see if I reacted to see if it was me. 'Really, that's all you've got!? Can't you just come up and say, 'Hey, Julian!'?'"

"I used to have to deal with that crap all the frigging time. It was so frustrating. Anyway, I'm over all of that now," Julian continued. "I think I've laid my foundation on many levels of what I do and I'm proud to be doing everything that I'm doing now. So it's a different world, you know? I'm feeling like maybe just a little bit of an adult now… It's been magical. It's been magical probably for the first time ever."

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