Even for an industry that thrives on the baffling and the bizarre, Snoop Dogg's recent announcement that he is Bob Marley reincarnated and is changing his name to Snoop Lion is one of the weirder things you're likely to hear in music.
But Snoop is not the first and certainly won't be the last celebrity to transform his image and develop an alter-ego. Musicians are notorious for their reason-defying epiphanies that are usually indicative of either groundbreaking creativity or mid-career slumps.
Here are seven more wacky, wonderful celebrity musician transformations.
David Bowie made a career out of defying audience expectations through his bizarre ensemble of alter-egos and jumpsuits. With Ziggy Stardust and its associated album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Bowie became a sex-crazed rock star from Mars and his popularity hit stratospheric levels.
Phoenix went from being that strangely handsome, Oscar-nominated film star of Gladiator and Walk the Line to being the punchline of every talk show host in Hollywood after his unexplainable foray as a distinctly unshaven rapper as part of mockumentary, I'm Still Here.
Bob Dylan's infamous turn as a born again Christian seemed to split fans right down the middle. While Grammys and fawning critics continued to flow, his mid-show preaching and refusal to play any of his old "atheist" music wore thin pretty quickly.
Katy Hudson was the clean-cut gospel singer, raised by preacher parents and forbidden from listening to "secular" music. In a drastic sexformation she then kissed a girl, married a sex addict and the rest, as they say, is history.
Country musician Garth Brooks was not satisfied with multi-platinum success and decided to channel his emo tendencies into his alter-ego, Chris Gaines. After a combination of utter bemusement followed by wild laughter from critics and fans alike, the Gaines experiment was (mercifully) shelved for good.
After meat dresses and gratuitous nudity it's pretty hard to be surprised by Lady Gaga anymore. But appearing at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards dressed as a bloke named Jo Calderone and looking distinctly like John Travolta in Grease was pretty weird, even for her.
Pop music's newest pin-up girl, bringing wide-eyed, vacant heartbreak to the masses, started her career as Lizzy Grant and the far less headline-grabbing stage name, Sparkle Rope Jump Queen. One failed album and a sleepily seductive YouTube clip later, pop-music juggernauts Stranger Records scooped her up and transformed Lizzy into Lana and had radio stations across the globe gossiping about her ad nauseam.
August 13, 2012 by Sean Robertson