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Why the Oscars awarded the Best Song honor to "Lonnie Lynn" instead of Common

Common and John Legend perform 'Glory' during the 2015 Oscars.
Common and John Legend perform 'Glory' during the 2015 Oscars.
(Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty)

It was no surprise that "Glory" from Selma took the Oscar for Best Original Song. What was surprising, however, were the names that were announced as winners:

John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn.

Stephens and Lynn are actually, respectively, Legend's and Common's birth names. And, as Bustle points out, the Academy is a sucker for formalities, so it makes sense they would go with the names on the artists' birth certificates. The two most likely submitted themselves to the Academy with their legal names, since both Legend and Common are registered with the ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) under their birth names.

As for how the performers got their names: Legend's comes from his college days at the University of Pennsylvania, and Common's is a shortened version of his original stage name, Common Sense.