A Tale of Two Name Changes

By Burt Alper

August 22, 2005

Remember Sean Combs and Jennifer Lopez? These names have seemed to fade from memory, replaced by more catchy nicknames. Most recently, Sean aka P. Diddy has announced a new monicker: Diddy.

That’s right, he dropped the “P.” for a shorter, more time-sensitive version.

According to the star, the change is to ease the confusion of his concert goers who don’t know whether to chant “Diddy” or “P. Diddy.” Apparently, the “P.” was getting between Diddy and his fans and now they’re all that much closer. (That pesky “P.”!!)

Let’s take a look back at the name change history of Mr. Diddy, or is it just Diddy?

1969 Born Sean John Combs
1994 Sean “Puffy” Combs becomes a record exec.
1995 Puffy goes by the name “Puff Daddy” as he begins to perform with Notorious B.I.G. and Mase
2001 In an attempt to shake the bad press of a trial and a breakup from Jennifer Lopez, Puff Daddy reinvents himself as “P. Diddy”
2005 To reinsert himself in the media spotlight, the P. is dropped.

And what about Ms. Lopez? She sports quite a history of name changes herself.

1969 Born Jennifer Lopez
2001 Decides to go by “J. Lo” to distance herself from her recent ex-boyfriend and his scandal
2002 Known to the tabloids as Bennifer as she and actor Ben Affleck start dating
2003 Quoted as saying she will be known both privately and professionally as “Jennifer Affleck” after her marriage to Ben
2005 Rumor has it that J. Lo will now be known as “Jennifer Anthony” after her marriage to actor/singer Marc Anthony

It’s interesting that these two stars have capitalized on the fact that a name change generates a good deal of press. For hollywood-types, this certainly is a way to keep your name in the headlines. The question is: how much is too much? When will the media and fans just tune out the name change stories? My guess is, with Diddy and perhaps even Mrs. Anthony, the fans already have.

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