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Today in Hip-Hop: Puff Daddy Changes Name To P. Diddy

On this day, March 28, in hip-hop history…


2001: Sean “Puffy” Combs officially changes his name to P. Diddy on March 28, 2001. Following his acquittal of five counts of bribery and criminal possession of a weapon in 1999 – the same case that led to former Bad Boy rapper Shyne‘s incarceration – Combs announced that he would officially change his name to P. Diddy.

In his first interview since the acquittal with Sway, Puff made the announcement. “No more Puff Daddy — the first week in June we’re gonna have a name change ceremony. 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.”

Shyne ended up spending eight years in prison for that shooting. At the time, Diddy said, “He’s young, very talented. He’s definitely somebody whose life shouldn’t be wasted.” He also insinuated to Sway that Bad Boy would support Shyne. “I don’t abandon anybody,” said Puff.

This wouldn’t be the last time Combs would change his music moniker, however. In 2005, he shortened his name to “Diddy,” and in 2011, he briefly changed his name to “Swag.” These days, the hip-hop world knows Sean Combs by many stage names, though Diddy remains most popular.

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