Jessica Simpson has announced that she is now Jessica Johnson, taking the last name of husband Eric Johnson, the former NFL star. It’s a rare move. Stars rarely change their names after they’re stars. (Though they commonly change their names to become stars–right, Katy Perry, Nicolas Cage, Tony Bennett, Pink, Bob Dylan and Lady Gaga? But that’s something else.) Stars don’t usually change their star names because they build up too much financial equity in them–a brand name is simply worth too much money to change. (Puff Daddy to P. Diddy is one of a handful of exceptions–but there was some negative equity built into Puff.) Fact is it takes a long time and a lot of effort to become Jessica Simpson. Jessica Johnson has to start practically from scratch.
Some stars change their name after marriage–Jennifer (Garner) Affleck comes to mind. But Jennifer didn’t sell, like, a bazillion products a month under the Garner sobriquet. JJ–or Jessica Johnson, née Simpson–was probably just feeling connubial when she posted her alliterative Instagram. Otherwise there are an awful lot of labels to change. Expect the name Jessica Simpson to be around for a long time.