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Ron Artest Changes Name to Metta World Peace

The Los Angeles Lakers star is expected to explain his decision on Monday's premiere of "Dancing With the Stars."

Ron Artest Metta World Peace - P 2011
Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Activision

Los Angeles Lakers star Ron Artest has officially changed his name to Metta World Peace.

"Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world," World Peace said in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times. "I'm glad that it is now official."

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His publicist, Courtney Barnes, told the Times that he had been thinking about chaining up his moniker for awhile but "but it took many years of research and soul-searching to find a first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational."

To Buddhists, Metta means loving kindness and friendliness toward others.

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His daughter, Diamond, 8, will also adopt "World Peace" as her surname, his publicist says.

World Peace had hoped to change his name last month, but the court would not accept his paperwork until he paid an outstanding traffic tickets for driving without a license.

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Barnes says World Peace will explain his name change on Dancing With the Stars' premiere Monday.

He was due in court Friday morning, but had to skip the hearing. "He's got a jam-packed schedule based on Dancing With the Stars," his publicist says.

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