Diddy’s Different Names Through the Years: Puffy, P. Diddy and More

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… ??✨⚡️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 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.

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