The Real Reason American Idol's Sophia Wackerman Changed Her Name

American Idol contestant Sophia Wackerman wowed judges with her powerful voice from the very beginning. Katy Perry was so amazed by the UCLA student's vocals during her audition that she encouraged Sophia to change her moniker to something with a bit more star power (via Daily Mail). Sophia's late mother, Naomi Star, used to sing for The Moody Blues, Belinda Carlisle, and more. As an ode to Sophia's mom, Katy suggested the name Sophia Star.

Sophia declined because Wackerman is the name she shares with her brother, James, and her father, Chad, who is a drummer for singer James Taylor. "Although the name 'Sophia Star' was a great suggestion, it just isn't me. 'Naomi Star' was a beautiful name for my mum," the American Idol contestant said on Instagram. "I've thought long and hard about the name 'Sophia Star' and how I could make it work. All the while, my mum's voice has been ringing in my head saying 'stay true to yourself.'"

Sophia James' new name is in honor of her brother

Katy Perry was still persistent about the name change being needed, and told Sophia during one episode, "Listen, I love all the Wackermans. I love all the Wackermans that are here, but every time I see Wackerman, I cross it off."

Sophia announced at the beginning of April that she had chosen a new name. "Drumroll please," she told the American Idol judges (via DailyMail). "Sophia James. Because, you know, my brother's name is James, and it's honoring my favorite person in the entire world." In a previous Instagram post she revealed her brother has Fragile X Syndrome. According to the CDC, the genetic disorder causes developmental delays, learning disabilities and social and behavioral issues.

Sophia's aunt helped her land on her new moniker

"I've attached his name onto my own as an homage to him and to all the things that remind me that life is beautiful," Sophia said on Instagram. "I am still proud to be a Wackerman. I love my family more than anything in the world and I'm proud of the musical heritage that lies behind the name."

She also revealed her aunt helped her come up with her new last name. "It felt so natural, so comfortable, so authentically me. I regret that I didn't think of it before I went on Idol. But believe me, if I had thought of it before, I would've adopted the name in a second," Sophia wrote.