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L.A. Lakers' Ron Artest Now Officially Known as Metta World Peace

USMagazine, Friday, September 16, 2011, 2:21pm (PDT)

Peace, man!

Three months after Los Angeles Laker Ron Artest asked to legally change his name to Metta World Peace, his request was approved by an L.A. Superior Court commissioner Friday.

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Though the athlete -- who will hit the floor as one of the celebrity competitors on Dancing With the Stars Monday -- was not present for the hearing, his attorney petitioned to commissioner Matthew C. St. George on his behalf.

Requesting to change his name for "personal reasons," Artest's initial inquiry was delayed after he failed to pay an outstanding parking ticket.

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"Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world," he told E! News in a statement Friday. "After this short delay, my tickets have been paid and I'm glad that it is now official."

Despite his moniker -- which means loving kindness -- becoming official, Artest's rep told E! News it won't be all fans will hear on Monday's Dancing With the Stars premiere.

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"They will ease into it, and not just blast off into his new name during the course of the show on Monday," his rep, Courtney Barnes, said.

ESPN.com reports that the athlete's family has more than accepted his new name. In fact, his 8-year-old daughter, Diamond, also plans to change her surname to World Peace just like her dad.

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