We recently learned that the Jiggaman, Jay-Z, has officially dropped the hyphen from his name, probably because hyphens are really annoying to type, amirite? Though the change apparently happened a few albums ago, a hyphen-less Jay Z is news to us.
Getting used to typing Jay Z without the hyphen is going to take some practice. How do we know this? Because we're still calling Lily Rose Cooper "Lily Allen," and because we never indulged Prince on that whole "Love Symbol #2" thing.
Take a look at our list of some other artists who made big name changes during their career. It worked for some (Diddy) while others are still trying to get us to make the big switcheroo (sorry, Snoop Lion).
Born Sean Combs, Puff Daddy first hit it big in 1997 with his debut single "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down." By 2001, he was sick of that moniker so he adopted P. Diddy. And by 2005, he was down to just Diddy.
OG fans might remember the rapper's 1993 debut album Doggystyle. His stage name then, Snoop Doggy Dogg, was later shortened to Snoop Dogg until 2012 when he discovered the Rastafari movement and began referring to himself as Snoop Lion. The funny part: Most people just call him Snoop.
Jayceon Terrell Taylor got his stage name, The Game, from his grandmother—she said that he was game for anything. In 2009 he dropped the "the," mostly because everyone was texting by then, and who wants to type out three extra letters?*
*We made that up. No explanation was given to the name change.
Iconic folk singer Cat Stevens converted to Islam in 1977 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam the following the year. His name is still Yusuf Islam, but he prefers Yusuf as his stage name now.
By the time 2003 hit and he was about to release his third album, Lil Bow Wow was no longer little. (FYI, being 16 means you're no longer little.) Today the 26-year-old dad goes by Bow Wow, because how embarrassing would it be if your dad's rap name had the word "Lil" in it?
When Master P's son Lil Romeo first hit the scene in 2001, he was an adorable 12 years old. But these days, the 23-year-old rapper is a stud. He now goes by Romeo Miller. He also models.
Though he's always been a part of the Muslim faith, Mos Def didn't start going by Yasiin Bey until 2011, 20 years into his rap career.
Word is Prince was fed up with his label, Warner Bros., when they wanted him to release fewer CDs so as not to flood the market. In order to get around that, in 1993, he changed his name this symbol ("Love Symbol #2"), but most journalists ended up calling him "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince." All of these things take much longer to type than "Prince," which might explain why he's back to his original name.
Dropping the exclamation point from their name wasn't supposed to be a big deal. But after having to explain over and over why they did it—guitarist Ryan Ross told MTV that "it got a little bit annoying to try to write that every time you're typing the name"—Panic! at the Disco eventually just added it back. Better luck on the next name change, guys.
Six years after the release of her debut single, "Smile," Lily Allen changed her name to Lily Rose Cooper, which is actually just a shortened version of her birth name, Lily Rose Beatrice Cooper.
When he first started out in the '70s, rocker John Cougar Mellencamp originally went by "Johnny Cougar" because his very German last name was too hard to market. By 1983, with enough commercial success under his belt, he added "Mellencamp" back to his stage name. He removed "Cougar" in 1991, and we think he's done now.
According to Rap-Up, the "1 Thing" singer added an extra "i" to her name to "reflect positivity." Sure. Why not?
You might remember Holly Brook from her guest vocals on Fort Minor's "Where'd You Go?" By 2010, she changed her name to Skylar Grey because "it represents the unknowns in life," she told EW.
Born Santi White, Santigold's original stage name was Santogold. Though she never officially addressed the name change, Santi was sued by jeweler Santo Gold, so that might explain things.