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7 Artists Who Changed Their Stage Names

Ashley Hawkins |
March 12, 2014 | 4:05 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Kesha survived rehab, leaving on March 7. (Photo via @KeshaRose)
Kesha survived rehab, leaving on March 7. (Photo via @KeshaRose)
After entering rehab in January for an eating disorder, Kesha is finally out and ready for a fresh start in many ways. In addition to her healthier lifestyle choices, Kesha also opted for a subtle change in her stage name: replacing the $ with an “s.”

Compared to the other recent changes in her life, does the removal of the dollar sign even really matter? Probably not, especially because her name is pronounced the same way as before (and some people probably did not even know she did actually spell her name with the symbol). 

However, for many artists, a stage name is an important aspect of one’s character – both on and off the stage – and changing that name, even if the change is seemingly insignificant, is a concrete step in reinventing one’s persona, something Kesha clearly has in mind. Although most artists keep the same stage name forever, Kesha is accompanied by these other performers who also altered their stage names after already achieving fame.


Perhaps the most notorious artist for changing his stage name, Sean Combs a.k.a. Diddy (which may or may not even be his current stage name) has also gone by Puff Daddy, Puffy, and P. Diddy. He even released an album in 2010 under the umbrella of Diddy – Dirty Money, which – although not a stage name – just adds more confusion to his name situation.


Eminem’s name situation is somewhat unclear, as Eminem may actually be his only stage name. However, commonly referring to himself as Slim Shady and using his birth name, Marshall Mathers, as the title of not one but two of his albums, Eminem obviously goes by various names. 

The rapper transformed into Snoop Lion. (Photo via @snooplion)
The rapper transformed into Snoop Lion. (Photo via @snooplion)
Snoop Dogg

Originally called Snoop Doggy Dogg or the shorter Snoop Dogg, the rapper mystified fans in 2012 when he converted to Rastafarianism and renamed himself Snoop Lion. Oh, and he also goes by Snoopzilla in the band 7 Days of Funk. Admittedly, stranger things have happened in the world of music…

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince

This is probably the strangest of the “stranger thing” I mentioned above. Rejecting a conventional name altogether, the musician changed his name to the love symbol and officially goes by “The artist formerly known as Prince.” 

Jay Z

In a move comparable to Kesha’s comparable name change, Jay Z officially dropped the hyphen in his name a few albums ago, but he did not make a big deal about it until last summer. Obviously, Jay-Z is not the same as Jay Z.


Although the singer always publically used the name Beyoncé, she apparently also had an alter ego named Sasha Fierce that provided inspiration for the album “I Am… Sasha Fierce.” 

Reach Staff Reporter Ashley Hawkins here.



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