When introducing yourself to someone, the first things you generally say is “Hello, My name is …” This introduction is very common within the music industry as artists are constantly coming up with ways to reinvent themselves. Artists can either change their sound, their appearance or in some cases they attempt to start another career altogether. In most of the cases, name changes have a positive effect on the career of the artists, while other times it only makes them fall further from the spotlight. Here’s a look at some artists who changed their persona or style and tried the old switch-a-roo in recent years.
7 Artists Who Changed Their Persona & Their Sound
Have you ever heard of Brandy Nu? Don’t worry, not many people did. Better known as Brandy, in 2009, the singer decided she wanted to tap into a Rap career and created the alias Brandy Nu. Despite her amazing singing career, and some support from hit maker Timbaland, the rap game was not for her. Her lyrical capabilities lacked the same presence her “Nu” name did. Brandy hung up the rap gloves shortly after to continue her career as the R&B great that she is.
Cleveland, OH native, Cheri Dennis made herself a household name back in 2008 with the release of her debut album In and Out of Love. The Bad Boy recording artist fell into the “Bad Boy abyss” after her album failed to make a huge dent in the industry. After being released from Bad Boy Records, she decided to reinvent herself under the new name Cheri Coke. She’s released a couple projects with Melo X, but needless to say, things haven’t necessarily panned out.
When thinking about changing names, you cannot forget about the persona-changing king himself, Diddy. Over the past two decades, Diddy has changed his name five times. He has managed to have a successful new venture each time he decided to switch up his name. Diddy or Puff Daddy or P. Diddy or Sean Combs is one of the few artists who can reinvent himself and have people continue to support him without raising too many eyebrows.
In 2012, Rap/Hip-Hop legend, Snoop Dogg announced that he was changing his name to Snoop Lion. He decided on the change after converting to Rastafarianism. Pretty self explanatory but it was still hard to understand how Snoop saw himself changing from a dog to a lion. The name change was important to his religious conversion because it is insulting to refer to oneself as a dog no matter the context. He released an album and a documentary under the Snoop Lion moniker. Fans were confused with the change and still referred to Snoop by his household brand name. In May of 2015, Snoop released an album under the name Snoop Dogg. No matter his religious preference, his fans will always know and follow him as Snoop Dogg.
Tyrese Gibson has been serenading fans since 1998. He decided to introduce his fans to Black Ty on his Alter Ego album, a double disc CD where Black Ty collaborated with Snoop, The Game, Kurupt, Method Man and many more. Black Ty is the rapping, hardcore version of Tyrese from Watts that many of us are not used to. The name has stuck with the singer mostly because of his very dark, rich skin complexion. Tyrese has released countless hits since he introduced Black Ty, and his fans know what to expect when they see and hear his name. Expectations from Black Ty? Not so many.
Prince has managed to change his name twice over the course of his career. For years, he went by a symbol. Everyone knew his name, but the symbol was just as iconic as he was. He later switched his name to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. This change came just before he released a few albums to finish out his contract with Warner Bros. When the contract expired; he went back to using Prince.
Musiq Soulchild released numerous hits like “B.U.D.D.Y,” “Teachme,” “Just Friends” and “Love.” He hasn’t released a solo album since 2011, but recently Musiq took some time to find himself and get back to doing what makes him happy. Musiq created the persona pUrPle wOnDaLuV to showcase a new sound and give fans an opportunity to fall in love with his music and themselves again. After a recent showcase for his new EP titled, The eTeRnAl pEaCe, pUrPle wOnDaLuV is still receiving positive feedback from his fans and is enjoying every moment of the process.
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