Snoop Dogg has announced that he is parting ways with his canine moniker. He has graduated to a far more majestic animal namesake, and will now be known as Snoop Lion. According to MySpace.com, a Rastafarian high priest gave him the new name, which he will use from now on. Snoop said that he has accomplished all that he wants to in rap, and will focus, from now on, on other ventures.
He's far from the only celebrity to go for a mid-career name change. Some other folks who pick new names after they were famous:
Variously known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Sean John, King Combs, Puffy, Poppa Diddy Pop and Swag. Combs changes names more often than most of us change automobiles, so, there will surely be more to come.
Chad Ochocinco Johnson
Johnson announced that he'd be calling himself Ochocinco for his jersey number (85) and to celebrate his Hispanic heritage in October of 2006. He made it official in 2008 when he had his name legally changed to Chad Javon Ochocinco. However, a later change of heart had him reverting, legally, to Johnson. He said that the Johnson name made him feel more connected with his past.
Ol' Dirty Bastard
When he was a member of Wu Tang Clan, Ol' Dirty Bastard said that his name was inspired by the fact that his musical style had no father. In later years, he was alternately known as ODB, Ason Unique, Osirus, and Big Baby Jesus; it's a pretty good bet that the man born as Russell Tyrone Jones was just screwing with us.
One of the earlier high-profile performers to change names, Prince had his legally changed from the single-name moniker to his self-created "love symbol" which initially had no pronunciation. Although he later insisted that he should be called "Love Symbol No. 2," fans and press prefered to call him "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince." He chose the name change mostly to get out of a contract dispute with his label, Warner Bros. When their contract expired, he returned to using Prince. He's also published music under a number of pseudonyms, including "Christopher" (The Bangles' hit Manic Monday) Paisley Park and Alexander Nevermind.
Metta World Peace
Taking a page from Ochocinco's book, Ron Artest picked the name World Peace as an inspiration several years ago. He did not opt for the change, however, until he decided on a fitting first name. He ultimately picked "Metta," which comes from the Hindu practice of loving kindness. World Peace said in a press conference after the court hearing to change his name, "changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world."
It's strange to remember that Ali was known as Cassius Clay when he took home the Light Heavyweight Gold Medal in the 1960 Olympics. His name change did not occur until 1964, when he joined the Nation of Islam. Initially, only a few reporters took the name change seriously. Sports reporter Howard Cosell was among the first to call Ali by his new name, and soon others followed suit.
We caught up with Metta World Peace to talk about his charity work and his favorite artists. Check out the video below: