7 Celebrities Who Changed Their Names After They Became Famous

From 'Ye' to 'The Artist Formerly Known as Prince,' these celebrities changed their names after they hit it big 

01 of 07

Kanye West

Kanye West
Robin Marchant/Getty

Changed His Name to: Ye

In 2018, Kanye West announced on Twitter he would be changing his stage name to Ye — following the release of his Ye album.

He said of the name switch at the time, "I believe 'ye' is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible, it means 'you.' So I'm you, I'm us, it's us. It went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just Ye — just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confusion, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are."

Three years later, West applied to change his legal name from Kanye Omari West to Ye — according to documents PEOPLE obtained in August 2021.

West said in the documents that his decision was for "personal reasons" — and provided no further explanation.

The petition was approved by a judge in California that October, making the move legal.

02 of 07

Prince

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US singer Prince performs on October 11, 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris. Prince has decided to give two extra concerts at the Grand Palais titled "All Day/All Night" after he discovered the exhibition hall during Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel fashion show. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images). Prince

Changed His Name to: The Love Symbol, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince

In 1993, on his 35rd birthday, Prince announced that he would be changing his name to the "Love Symbol."

At the time, the artist said in a statement, "It is an unpronounceable symbol whose meaning has not been identified. It's all about thinking in new ways, tuning in 2 a new free-quency."

Because it was, as the late artist pointed out, unpronounceable, he became known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince before changing back to simply Prince in 2000.

03 of 07

Diddy

Sean "Diddy" Combs
Sean "Diddy" Combs. John Shearer/Getty

Changed His Named to: Puffy, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Sean Jean, Brother Love, Sean Love Combs

The rapper, who was born Sean Combs, was known as Puffy and Puff Daddy early in his career. In 2001, he announced that he would be changing his name to P. Diddy. In 2005, he changed his moniker once more, dropping the P and going by Diddy.

That wasn't it for the rapper's name changes. In 2008, he announced he would be going by Sean Jean. Then in 2011, he changed his name for just a week to Swag.

In 2017, the rapper announced that he would be going by the name Brother Love. Though he said days later that he was joking, he filed to legally change his middle name in 2019, and in May 2021, he announced that he had officially changed his middle name from "John" to "Love," sharing a photo of his driver's license on Instagram with the caption, "Look what I just got in the mail today... 🖤💫✨⚡️. IT'S OFFICIAL!!! WELCOME TO THE LOVE ERA."

04 of 07

Jonathan Cheban

Jonathan Cheban
Jonathan Cheban. Bennett Raglin/Getty

Changed His Name to: Foodgod

In October 2019, Cheban, who frequently appeared on Keeping Up with the Kardashians with his best friend, Kim Kardashian, legally changed his name to Foodgod to align with his restaurant-focused Instagram account, according to documents obtained by TMZ. The circuit judge, Peter Holden, signed the documents and approved of the name change.

05 of 07

Lisa Bonet

Premiere Of Warner Bros Pictures "Joker" - Arrivals
Rich Fury/Getty

Changed Her Name to: Lilakoi Moon

Though she still goes by Lisa Bonet professionally, the actress changed her name in 1995, following her split from Lenny Kravitz, to Lilakoi Moon.

06 of 07

Drake

drake
Drake. Rich Fury/Getty

His Name Was: Aubrey Graham

Before he was a Grammy Award-winning rapper, he had us all in our feelings as Aubrey Graham on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Drake changed his name in 2009, using his middle name to release his first album in 2010. Started from Degrassi, now he's here!

07 of 07

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg
Gary Miller/Getty Images

Changed His Name to: Snoop Lion, Snoopzilla

In 2012, Snoop Dogg surprised the world when he announced that he would be changing his name to Snoop Lion. One year later, ahead of an album with Dam-Funk, he changed his name briefly to Snoopzilla.

These days, he once again goes by Snoop Dogg.

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