With the release of MMM, his first album in four years, Hamptonite Sean Combs has shed his P. Diddy moniker and resurrected the name that made him famous — Puff Daddy.
First reported by Radio.com, this recent name change comes almost exactly 13 years after the rapper and producer adopted his “P. Diddy” nickname in 2001, as a way to put an ugly gun possession and bribery trial behind him. But now Combs is saying he is, and has always been, Puff Daddy—the name he was using in 1997, when he was thrust into the public eye after friend and fellow hip hop artist Notorious B.I.G. was murdered.
On Monday, March 24, the newly [and previously] named Puff Daddy, using the Twitter handle “Diddy,” refuted claims that he ever had another name, tweeting, “For the record, I did not change my name. I always have been and always will be PUFF DADDY!” (As seen below…)
In 2001, Combs was singing a different tune when he told MTV News about his second major name change (following the initial move from Sean Combs to Puff Daddy). “No more Puff Daddy — the first week in June, we’re going to have a name-change ceremony,” he told the show, according to quotes in The Daily Mail, which notes that he had already used the name in production work for other artists. “I’m not doing it as serious as Prince. I just want something fresh. I’m rocking with P. Diddy just now.”
Later, on August 16, 2005, Combs told the Today show he was dropping the “P” and simply going by “Diddy.” Unfortunately, his name saga didn’t end there.
In November 2005, London-based DJ Richard Dearlove, who had used the name “Diddy” since 1992, fought for an injunction in London and was able to stop Combs from using the name (sans P.) in the U.K. (where he continued to be P. Diddy — until now), and collect some $110,000 in damages and costs.
Of course, Combs is no fool, and this recent bid to retcon “P. Diddy” from existence has put him squarely in the headlines, just in time for the release of the first single off MMM. “Big Homie” is scheduled to drop on Monday, March 31, but Combs has already released a video teaser (see below) to coincide with his latest name shenanigans.
MMM is being executive produced by Rick Ross and French Montana. It does not yet have a release date.
Combs’ last album Last Train to Paris was released by his group Diddy – Dirty Money in December of 2010.