How did Creed get their band name?

Because, on the face of it, the archetypical post-grunge act who ruled the ’90s and early 2000s with their hit alt-rock anthems have a name that can seem a little simple — or simply plucked from the dictionary.

The word Creed means a system or set of beliefs, or a statement proclaiming those beliefs. So does the Creed band name point to the Scott Stapp-led group’s seeming Christian rock leanings, especially early on? (The singer has claimed they’re not a Christian band.)

No, actually. The hit-making Creed — the band also includes guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips — didn’t get their name out of the dictionary, nor from a faith-based perspective, according to the official line.

And the questionable band name they had before Creed gives a little bit of an odd twist to the story.

READ MORE: All Creed Singles Ranked

How Did Creed Get Their Band Name?

When Creed first came together as a performing unit in the mid-’90s, they initially went under the name Naked Toddler, as Rolling Stone reported.

Tremonti had shown his bandmates a newspaper clipping that he kept in his wallet about an abducted “naked toddler,” and he convinced them it would make a good name for their group.

Creed In Concert

Fernando Leon, Getty Images


Where’d Creed Get Their Name?

However, the band eventually gave that up and took the name Creed as a shortened form of the name of Marshall’s previous band, Mattox Creed. That’s probably a better choice than Naked Toddler, as Stapp later attested.

“The name didn’t go over well,” the singer recalled of the Naked Toddler moniker in his autobiography. “Girls hated it and said it made them think of pedophilia.” (Creed acknowledge their old name in a bit of fan trivia for a 2012 Facebook post.)

Creed Band History

After forming in 1994 and releasing the era-defining albums My Own Prison (1997), Human Clay (1999) and Weathered (2001), Creed broke up in 2004.

They reunited in 2009 and released that year’s Full Circle. But they again called it a day in 2012. In 2023, the original Creed quartet got back together once again.

Over their history, Creed achieved substantial commercial success, particularly with their debut album, and they helped crystallize the post-grunge movement that evolved from the grunge era of the early ’90s.

Their often spiritual or introspective music, infused with soaring guitars and catchy melodies, made them a staple on rock radio stations. Their success contributed to the popularity of that specific sound and influenced a generation of radio-friendly rock bands.

The Creed Name

Now you know where Creed got their band name — in case you didn’t already! And as a household name representing a particular kind of grungey hard rock, it’s probably for the best they aren’t known as Naked Toddler!

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Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (Music Video)

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Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita