August 18, 2005

Hip-hop star drops P., declares ‘age of Diddy’

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hip-hop impresario and fashion
designer Sean "P. Diddy" Combs wants to make it easier for fans
to shower him with adoration -- so he's dropping the "P." from
his stage name.

From now on, it's just Diddy.

"We are entering into the age of Diddy. It's a new era,"
the rap star formerly known as Puffy and Puff Daddy told the
syndicated TV show "Access Hollywood" this week.

In a recent round of interviews hyping his upcoming role as
host of the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, Combs, 35, has
said he wanted to "simplify" his image and felt that the P.
"was getting between me and my fans."

During concert appearances, for example, he noticed "half
the crowd saying, 'P. Diddy' and half the crowd chanting,
'Diddy.' Now everybody can just chant, 'Diddy,"' Combs
explained during an appearance on NBC's "Today" show.

Political humorist Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" on
cable TV's Comedy Central network, had his own take on the P.
Diddy phenomenon.

"Getting between him and his fans -- I don't think it's the
P. I think it's the bodyguards," Stewart joked at the top of
his broadcast on Tuesday night.

In a New York Post interview earlier this week, the newly
P-less Diddy said the name change was not the only remake he
had under way -- he also is adopting what he calls a more "rock
'n' roll" look to his personal fashion choices.

"It's not going to be costume-y, it's more about creative
styling," Combs said, citing such rock icons as Mick Jagger and
David Bowie as his inspiration.