Having an unusual name is one thing, but what about having to share that name with a famous deceased figure? For Kentucky resident Tupac Shakur, it caused no end of bother recently, after his unemployment claim was thought to be a prank by the governor of Kentucky. You might expect that with so many unique celebrity baby names, officials would be used to odd names, but this clearly isn’t the case.
At a press conference on Monday, governor Andy Beshear criticized the “prank”, saying that it was slowing down the process for other claimants. “That person probably felt they were being funny … except for the fact that, because of them, we’ve got to go through so many other claims,” he said at the conference.
The living Tupac Shakur (not the one who definitely died in the 1990s, despite what conspiracy theorists might argue) is actually a newly-unemployed restaurant worker, who uses his middle name Malik, presumably to avoid situations like this occurring on a more frequent basis. He changed his surname because the Arabic definition of ‘Shakur’ is “thankful to God”.
The day after the first press conference, Beshear hosted another at which he explained his mistake:
“I talked to him on the phone today,” he said. “I apologized. I told him how it happened. But it’s my fault. He was gracious. I said I’m sorry if I embarrassed him or caused him any attention he didn’t want. He ended the call ‘God bless.’”
Speaking to local media, Shakur said that he was “shocked” and “embarrassed” at the ordeal, but has buried the hatchet with the governor after the apologetic phone call. As Shakur himself said, “Mistakes happen.”
Another example of somebody sharing a name with a celebrity is Taylor Swift. This Taylor Swift is actually male, and is a photographer based in Seattle rather than one of the world’s most famous singers. He receives fan mail from people who think they’re speaking to the other Taylor, and finds it difficult to find his own business on Google.
If you’re looking for more weird stories, check out the rest of our posts!