Kanye West ditches extra syllables, officially changes names to ‘Ye’


Kanye West is now just “Ye.”

Neil Mockford/GC Images

The singer and entertainment entrepreneur known as Kanye West has now embraced a time-honored tradition in popular music: going by a single name. According to Deadline, the Los Angeles Superior Court approved a petition Monday for Kanye West to officially become “Ye.” Just Ye. 

This puts Ye in good company with singers like Cher, Prince, Sting, Tiffany and Bono. Single-name musicians are often using stage names, and not all of them take the extra step of going for a legal name change. That effort signals Ye’s commitment to the single-syllable moniker.

The move isn’t a surprise. Ye filed the documents for the change in August, but had released an album titled simply “Ye” back in 2018 and uses “Ye” on his Twitter profile. In a late 2018 tweet, he referred to himself as “the being formally known as Kanye West” and added “I am YE.”

It’s been a busy year for Ye, who dropped his new album Donda after a year-long delay and will be the focus of a Netflix docuseries called Jeen-yuhs

The new name comes with some historic overtones. It has an archaic meaning of “the,” which shows up in faux-old-timey business names starting with “ye olde…”. It appears quite a bit in the Bible, as Ye noted in a 2018 interview with BigBoyTV. Said Ye at the time, “I’m you. I’m us. It’s us. It went from being Kanye, which means the only one, to just ‘Ye,’ just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. I’m just more of a reflection of who we are.”

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