10 Acts Who Changed Their Names Mid-Career

Houston band Young Mammals, formerly known as the Dimes.
When picking a band name, you have to be damn sure you want to be called that for the rest of your career. Sure, calling yourself "Ass Face" sounds funny now, but when you're 40 and still touring under it because it's the only name anyone knows you by, you won't be laughing anymore.

You also have to make sure nobody else is using the name, which is easier than ever now thanks to Google. It didn't use to be that simple, as legal threats led to a lot of name changes right as bands started taking off.

These ten bands made their new names work for them, but let them serve as cautionary tales of how important it is to think your band name over carefully and never let lawyers get you down.

10. OCS/The OhSees/Thee Oh Sees
Though most famous under their third name, Thee Oh Sees have recorded under three different variations on the same name throughout their long indie-rock career. Why they've continually changed the name is sort of unclear, but it's best not to question what this weird band does and to just enjoy the music.

9. Fear Before the March of Flames/Fear Before
Post-hardcore band Fear Before the March of Flames had a pretty long band name, and for the most part we all called them Fear Before long before they ever shortened it. Nevertheless, they decided to finally cut off the "March of Flames" part by the time of 2008's final, self-titled album Fear Before. Unfortunately, they broke up shortly afterward.

8. Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell
Black Sabbath by any other name is still Black Sabbath, at least that's what former front man Ronnie James Dio said when they reunited as Heaven and Hell in 2006. The name change was for a few reasons, mostly rumored to be centered around current and previous front man Ozzy Osbourne's complaints over the band reuniting with Dio and touring/recording without Osbourne.

7. Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy
Not a band, although he did briefly front Diddy Dirty Money, Sean Combs has changed his rap monicker enough to be the butt of many jokes. Most recently he's switched back to his original one, Puff Daddy, and a great Twitter war ensued.

6. Snoop Doggy Dogg/Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion
Snoop Dogg has also become the butt of jokes over his repeated name changes, although his transformation into Snoop Lion at least made some sort of sense given his conversion to Rastafarianism and his switch in musical style. He's back to rapping and being Snoop Dogg for the time being, though.

5. Chicago Transit Authority/Chicago
When starting out in 1969, Chicago was known by the elongated name of Chicago Transit Authority. Their first, self-titled album took off in a big way immediately with the track "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" but it caught the attention of the real Chicago Transit Authority, which threatened legal action. The name was then shortened for the rest of the group's career. The classic band hits Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on August 29 with REO Speedwagon.

List continues on the next page.

Location Info


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX

Category: Music

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