Earlier this week, the blonde pop duo Aly & AJ announced that they had changed their name to 78violet. (”Fyi…..u pronounce #78violet as seventy eight violet:),” they helpfully added.) The sisters are calling their renaming “an exciting new beginning,” although given that they’ve already achieved some chart success under their old name, one wonders if this change might hurt their fledgling pop career more than it helps. As a way to assist these young ladies through this crucial stage in their career, Idolator presents a few stories of artists who changed their names—and how their careers fared once all the paperwork with the local DMV had been signed.
THE OLD NAME: Green Jellö.
THE NEW NAME: Green Jellÿ (but it’s pronounced “green jello”).
THE REASONING: Let’s just say that Jell-O makers Kraft Foods weren’t so keen on their signature gelatin being branded with the gross-out rockers, who came to fame in the early ’90s with their retelling of the old fairy tale “Three Little Pigs.”
THE RESULT: The band kept at it after “Pigs,” opening an audio-visual production agency and covering Gary Glitter’s “Leader Of The Gang” with Hulk Hogan. After splitting up in 1995, they returned in 2008 for a brief roll in the reunion-tour mud.
THE OLD NAME: John Cougar.
THE NEW NAMES: John Cougar Mellencamp; John Mellencamp.
THE REASONING: Flush from the success of “Jack & Diane,” John managed to get enough clout to force his record label to re-add his surname to his feline stage name, which he claimed was forced on him by the suits. He eventually dropped the “Cougar” for good in 1991.
THE RESULT: His songs from all three eras are still ubiquitous on classic-rock radio, which is a sign that when one fights authority, authority might not always win.