Friday, May 7

Every Name Diddy Has Gone by Over the Years

Diddy has debuted yet another name change, and this one is legally binding.

The rapper, 51, announced that he is no longer Sean John Combs because he legally changed his name to Sean Love Combs. The New York native shared an image of his Florida driver’s license with the name as well as what appears to be the legal paperwork for the switch.

“Look what I just got in the mail today… Every Name Diddy Has Gone by Over the Years kacey-musgraves-ex-ruston-kelly-marks-2-years-of-sobriety-after-split Every Name Diddy Has Gone by Over the Years _421_meghan-king-shades-jim-edmonds-after-he-claims-she-left-the-house-dirty Every Name Diddy Has Gone by Over the Years khloe-kardashian-teaches-true-the-importance-of-giving-back-by-donating-toys Every Name Diddy Has Gone by Over the Years jennifer-lopez-and-alex-rodriguez-get-cozy-after-split-rumors-photo IT’S OFFICIAL!!! WELCOME TO THE LOVE ERA,” he captioned the photo of his license in May 2021.

In a separate post, he shared the court order declaring his name change. “Imma need y’all to take me seriously on this one!!!” he wrote with the hashtag “The Love Era.”

The artist first announced his new name in November 2017.

“I’ve been praying on this and I know it’s risky because it could come off corny to some people, but I’ve decided to change my name again,” he revealed in a video on social media at the time. “I’m just not who I [was] before. I’m something different. So my new name is ‘Love’ — aka ‘Brother Love.’”

He added that his past names are going out the window. “I will not be answering to Puffy, Diddy, Puff Daddy, or any of my other monikers but ‘Love’ or ‘Brother Love,’” he said.

Fans know that this isn’t his first or even second time that the artist formerly known as Diddy has changed his stage name, though it may be his first legal name swap.

Puffy started out as a childhood nickname for Love. He used to “huff and puff” when he lost his temper, and the moniker caught on. He even used it on his earliest musical releases, Complex reports.

Though he was credited as Puffy in the early ‘90s, he was also being credited as Puff Daddy on certain albums. By his own official timeline posted to Instagram in May 2021, he considers 1995 the Puffy era and 1996 the beginning of the Puff Daddy era.

After releasing 1997’s No Way Out and 1999’s Forever as Puff Daddy, it was time for something different.

“No more Puff Daddy — the first week in June we’re gonna have a name change ceremony,” he told MTV in March 2001. “I’m not doing it as serious as Prince [but] I just want something fresh … I’m rockin’ with P. Diddy now — my man Biggie gave me that name.”

After becoming P. Diddy, the performer noticed fans weren’t chanting his name in unison, so he wanted to make their lives easier.

“I felt the ‘P’ was getting in between me and my fans,” he explained on Today in 2005. “We had to simplify it. It was, you know, doing concerts and half the crowd saying, ‘P. Diddy,’ half the crowd chanting ‘Diddy.’ Now everybody can just chant ‘Diddy.’”

The name stuck, but he couldn’t legally release albums under Diddy. He had to release 2006’s Press Play as P. Diddy after a lawsuit from DJ Richard “Diddy” Dearlove.

While stage names are used in his music career, the artist’s clothing line is Sean John, named for his first and middle names. It isn’t clear if the lifestyle company could rebrand as Sean Love.

Check out all of Diddy’s names below:

Every Name Diddy Has Gone by Over the Years every-name-diddy-has-gone-by-over-the-years
Puffy, 1995

Puffy was how Sean Combs got started in the music industry, using the name he was given as a kid on his early work.


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Puff Daddy, 1996

The producer would switch between Puffy and Puff Daddy when credited throughout the early 90s. When he started recording more commercial music, he decided on Puff Daddy.

Richard Young/Shutterstock

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P. Diddy, 2001

The rapper said this name change was because The Notorious B.I.G. had given him the nickname. However, many believe that Combs was trying to distance himself from his past. He’d just been acquitted of gun-possession and bribery charges in connection to a December 1999 shooting at Club New York.

Charles Sykes/Shutterstock

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Diddy, 2005

The clothing designer wanted to make his name easier for fans to scream during concerts. While it largely stuck when he made appearances on Making the Band and on red carpets, he couldn’t legally release an album under the name.

Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

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Love, 2021

Though he adopted the stage name in 2017, Love became a legal part of his name in 2021.

Courtesy Diddy/Instagram

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