Instances of general public/media not going along with s/o's artists'/changed name?

Are there instances where a public figure adopted an artist’s name, or changed his/her real name, to something where a notable part of the public or of the media decided “no, that’s too silly. We won’t go along with that”?

(I recently thought of that when reading a reference to Prince changing his artists’s name to <unpronounceable symbol> in 1993. It seems all media jumped through that hoop then, instead of saying something to the effect of: We referred to this artist by his chosen artist’s name until now as a matter of courtesy, but this is too silly. He is Mr. Nelson to us now.)

Legally speaking, a person can change their name to whatever they want. So if Paris Hilton decided to remake her image by changing her name to Chastity Einstein, then the media should go along with it. The media has an obligation to report the truth, which is that her name was changed.

When Prince changed his name to that little symbol it didn’t change much in the way of ordering/labeling/stocking/displaying his CDs. The distributors stickers still said “Prince” right on them, you looked them up in the system using “Prince” and they were stored-stocked right with all the other Prince CDs.

As a bit of an aside, it’s my understanding that Prince did that specifically because he wanted people not to go along with it. From what I recall reading, his stage name of Prince was contractually owned by the record label he had just left. By going with something unpronounceable, he guaranteed that people would still call him Prince until the terms prohibiting him from using Prince had expired.

In answer to the OP’s question, I would say that “a notable part of the public” has refused go along with Sean John Combs’ whims to be known variously as Puff Daddy, Diddy, P. Diddy, and Puffy whenever the mood strikes him. Who knows what he is today; they’ll call him one of the above.

If you extend to athletes, here in Cleveland we extended all courtesy past the point of tolerance to outfielder Albert Belle, who was known as “Joey” all through the minor leagues; when he got help for anger management and drinking, it was suggested to him that he make a clean start and use his given name, “Albert.” He was embraced by the Cleveland fans, who loved him even though he threw a ball at a fan in the stands; though he chased down trick-or-treaters at his house; though he went after hecklers (granted, one was giving him racial insults); though he took a bat to his teammates’ personal belongings and to the clubhouse thermostat.

When he got traded to the White Sox and came back to play the Indians, his welcome finally wore out. He was taunted with calls of “Joooeey, Joooeey.” And this from a fan base that routinely gives standing ovations to former Indians who come back with other teams to play *against * the Tribe.

Just to clarify: “Prince” has always been his real given name.

The general media style sheet rule is to call a person by the name he or she wishes to be called. Cecil discussed it in respect to Moammar El-Gadhafi, whose preferences in the matter were unknown until he sent a letter to a grade school class.

So if someone changes their name, the media nearly always goes along.

The classic case was Dionne Warwick. She consulted a numerologist who told her that her name needed another letter. So she added an “e” to it: Warwicke. This raised problems with promoting her concerts due to the fear it was someone else. So she was billed as

Dionne Warwicke

Later, she dropped the “e” after discovering her career was hurting after she added it.

And you just know that Chastity Einstein is the hot librarian type who lets down her hair and then blows your mind…

The one instance I really remember is when Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammed Ali. He was in the middle of a number of political controversies and many (although not all) mainstream media continued to refer to him as “Clay.” It took a couple of years for that to fade away.

The other thing I can think of is when an already-known actress adds her husband’s name (e.g., Courtney Cox Arquette, Roseanne Barr Arnold) and most people continue to refer to her by her original name.

There’s been a lot of confusion over the years about famed gamma-ray scientist Robert Bruce Banner. Sometimes he’s called Robert and sometimes Bruce. It appears to make him mad.

The lead singer for “Hootie and the Blowfish” keeps insisting that his name is not “Hootie”. The fact that I cannot remember his real name will give you an indication of how successful he has been so far.

So far as I know, no newspaper refers to Darius Rucker as “Hootie.” It’s neither his real name nor his stage name.

Then there’s Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, formerly Jim McGuinn, who was told by a spiritual advisor that using a name that started with an R would better “vibrate with the universe.” McGuinn came back with a list of names, of which Roger was the winner. This was at the height of the group’s fame, when “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” were topping the charts, so it would have caused much confusion to the media for a sudden name change.

He remains legally James McGuinn, though he changed his middle name legally from Joseph to Roger.

ETA: Back in the day, a lot of people thought Debbie Harry’s name was “Blondie.”

I don’t know that she did anything formally, but Madonna changed her name to Esther. And now it seems that Lindsey Lohan is ‘converting’ to kaballah and changing her name to Rose. I doubt either will be used by the general public.

Especially since his given name is David.

Rosanne [del] Barr[/del], [del]Arnold[/del], has always been referred to by her nom de jour

Of course her real name is Marie Dionne Warrick. Called by her middle name, she found out the record company had mispelled her lastname on her first hit, “Don’t Make Me Over” and decided to keep it.

Buzzz. Wrong. Thanks for playing. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s very simple.

Bruce Banner is a guy who turns into an 10 foot tall 1 ton green monster that can jump a mile and shred an M1 Abrams tank like an empty beer can.

David Banner is a guy who turns into a 6 and half foot tall 300 pound green man that can throw bad guys into piles of empty cardboard boxes in slow motion.

How about when the media insist on noting an artist’s real name instead of just using the stage name they have taken? Seems to happen more often with rap/hip-hop artists.