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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sean Combs
Combs in 2023
Born
Sean John Combs

(1969-11-04) November 4, 1969 (age 54)[1]
New York City, U.S.
Other names
  • Diddy
  • Puff Daddy
  • P. Diddy
  • Puffy
  • Puff
  • Love
Occupations
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • entrepreneur
  • record executive
  • television producer
Years active1990–present[2]
Works
Partner
Children7
AwardsFull list
Musical career
Genres
Labels
Member ofThe Hitmen
Formerly ofDiddy – Dirty Money
Websitediddy.com

Sean Love Combs (born Sean John Combs; November 4, 1969), also known by his stage name Diddy, formerly Puff Daddy and P. Diddy,[4][5] is an American rapper, record producer and record executive. He is credited with the discovery and cultivation of artists such as the Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and Usher. Combs has won three Grammy Awards from 13 nominations, two MTV Video Music Awards, and a Guinness World Record for "Most Successful Rap Producer" in 1997.

Born in Harlem and raised in Mount Vernon, New York, Combs worked as a talent director at Uptown Records before founding his own record label, Bad Boy Records, in 1993. He embarked on his recording career following the mainstream success of his first signee, the Notorious B.I.G., for whom he served as manager and hype man. Released in the wake and memory of his unsolved murder, Combs' debut studio album, No Way Out (1997), was met with critical acclaim, peaked atop the Billboard 200 and received septuple platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Its two preceding singles, "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" (featuring Mase) and "I'll Be Missing You" (with Faith Evans featuring 112), both peaked the Billboard Hot 100—the latter became the first hip hop song to debut atop the chart. His second and third albums, Forever (1999) and The Saga Continues... (2001), both peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 despite mixed critical reception, while his fourth, Press Play (2006), peaked atop the chart once more. Combs then formed the musical group Diddy – Dirty Money—with R&B singers Kalenna Harper and Dawn Richard—to release the collaborative album Last Train to Paris (2010), which peaked at number seven and was supported by the single "Coming Home" (featuring Skylar Grey). His fifth studio album, The Love Album: Off the Grid (2023), was met with moderate critical and commercial response, and served as his first release without a major label.[6][7]

Outside of music, he has worked in production for other media, including MTV's reality series Making the Band. He launched the clothing retailer Sean John in 1998, for which he won Menswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2004, having previously been nominated in 2000. Combs was the brand ambassador for the vodka retailer Cîroc from 2007 to 2023, and co-founded the television network Revolt in 2013. Zack O'Malley Greenburg estimated Combs' net worth at US$1 billion in 2022, making him one of the wealthiest musical artists.[8][9]

Combs has been the subject of several misconduct allegations, which began in late 2023 after Cassie Ventura, with whom Combs had a long-term relationship, filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against him for sexual assault, which was settled out of court.[10][11] In the following days, three more lawsuits were filed by additional claimants, with similar allegations of misconduct ranging from 1991 to 2003.[12][13] In the wake of the allegations, various companies and brands dissociated themselves from Combs, and an honorary doctorate from Howard University was revoked.[14][15] In March 2024, several properties tied to Combs were raided by the Department of Homeland Security as part of an ongoing investigation.[16][17] In May 2024, surveillance footage of Combs physically assaulting Ventura at a hotel in 2016 was released, and Combs issued a video apology stating his actions were inexcusable.[18]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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Transcription

Early life

Sean John Combs was born on November 4, 1969, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Raised in Mount Vernon, New York,[19] his mother Janice Combs (née Smalls) was a model and teacher's assistant,[20] and his father, Melvin Earl Combs, served in the U.S. Air Force and was an associate of convicted New York drug dealer Frank Lucas.[19][21] At age 33, Melvin was shot dead while sitting in his car on Central Park West, when Combs was two years old.[22] Combs has a sister.[23]

Combs was raised Roman Catholic and served as an altar boy.[24] He graduated from the all-boys Catholic school, Mount Saint Michael Academy in 1987. He played football for the academy, and his team won a division title in 1986.[25] Combs said he was given the nickname "Puff" as a child, because he would "huff and puff" when he was angry.[26]

Combs was a business major at Howard University, but left after his second year.[27] In 2014, he returned to Howard University to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities (revoked in 2024 amid his misconduct scandal)[15] and to deliver the university's 146th commencement address.[28]

Career

1990–1996: Career beginnings

Bad Boy headquarters on Broadway near Times Square. A billboard of Combs is in the distance.

Combs became an intern at New York's Uptown Records in 1990.[29][2] While working as a talent director at Uptown, under the guidance of label founder Andre Harrell,[30] he helped develop Jodeci and Mary J. Blige.[31] In his college days, Combs had a reputation for throwing parties, some of which attracted up to a thousand participants.[32] Usher, who lived with Combs for a year in New York City when he was 13 years old, told Howard Stern in 2016 that Combs' lifestyle was "pretty wild" during that time.[33] In 1991, Combs promoted an AIDS fundraiser with Heavy D held at the City College of New York (CCNY) gymnasium, following a charity basketball game. The event was oversold, and a stampede occurred in which nine people died.[34]

Shortly after being fired from Uptown in 1993, Combs established his own label Bad Boy Records, which entered a joint venture deal with Arista Records. Combs brought Uptown signee Christopher Wallace (better known as the Notorious B.I.G.) along with him to the newly established label.[35][36] Both Wallace and Craig Mack began recording for the label and yielded mainstream recognition, leading to the former's debut album and the label's first major project, Ready to Die (1994).[35] Combs signed more acts to Bad Boy, including Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, 112, Total,[37] and Father MC.[38] The Hitmen, his in-house production team, worked with Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil' Kim, TLC, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, SWV, Aretha Franklin, and others.[39]

Mase and the Lox joined Bad Boy just as a widely publicized rivalry between the East Coast and West Coast hip hop scenes was beginning. Combs and Wallace were criticized and parodied by Death Row Records cohorts Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight in songs and interviews during the mid-1990s.[40] During 1994–1995, Combs produced several songs for TLC's CrazySexyCool, which finished the decade as number 25 on Billboard's list of top pop albums of the decade.[41][42]

1996–1998: "Puff Daddy" and No Way Out

In 1996, under the name Puff Daddy, Combs released his first commercial vocal work as a rapper.[43] His debut single, "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down", spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number one.[44] His debut album, No Way Out, was released on July 22, 1997,[45] through Bad Boy Records. Originally titled Hell up in Harlem, the album underwent several changes after the Notorious B.I.G. was killed on March 9, 1997.[46] Several of the label's artists made guest appearances on the album. No Way Out was a significant success, particularly in the United States, where it reached number one on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release, selling 561,000 copies.[47]

Combs at the 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The album produced five singles: "I'll Be Missing You", a tribute to the Notorious B.I.G., was the first rap song to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100; it remained at the top of the chart for eleven consecutive weeks and topped several other charts worldwide.[48] Four other singles – "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down", "It's All About the Benjamins", "Been Around the World", and "Victory" – were also released. Combs collaborated with Jimmy Page on the song "Come with Me" for the 1998 film, Godzilla.[49]

The album earned Combs five nominations at the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998, and would go on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.[50][51] On September 7, 2000, the album was certified septuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over 7 million copies.[52] By the late 1990s, he was being criticized for watering down and overly commercializing hip hop, and for using too many guest appearances, samples, and interpolations of past hits in his new songs.[47]

1999–2000: Forever, and Club New York shooting

In April 1999, Combs was charged with assaulting Steve Stoute of Interscope Records. Stoute was the manager for Nas, with whom Combs had filmed a video earlier that year for the song "Hate Me Now". Combs was concerned that the video, which featured a shot of Nas and Combs being crucified, was blasphemous.[53] He asked for his scenes on the cross to be pulled, but after the video aired unedited on MTV on April 15, Combs visited Stoute's offices and injured Stoute.[54]

Forever, Combs' second solo studio album, was released by Bad Boy Records on August 24, 1999, in North America, and in the UK on the following day. It reached number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart,[55] before being ousted the following week by Mary J. Blige's fourth album, Mary. The album received positive to mixed reviews from music critics and spawned three singles that have charted on the Billboard charts. It peaked at number four on the Canadian Albums Chart, Combs' highest-charting album in that country.[55]

2001–2004: "P. Diddy" and The Saga Continues

Combs changed his stage name from "Puff Daddy" to "P. Diddy" in 2001.[56] The gospel album, Thank You, which had been completed just before the beginning of the weapons trial, was due to be released in March that year, but remains unreleased as of 2023.[57] He appeared as a drug dealer in the film, Made, and starred with Halle Berry, Heath Ledger, and Billy Bob Thornton in Monster's Ball (both in 2001).[58]

Combs began working with a series of atypical (for him) artists. For a short period of time, he was the manager of Kelis; they have a collaboration titled "Let's Get Ill".[59] He was an opening act for 'N Sync on their Spring 2002 Celebrity Tour,[60] and he signed California-based pop girl group Dream to his record label.[61] Combs was a producer of the soundtrack album for the film Training Day (2001).[62]

In June 2001, Combs ended Bad Boy's distribution deal with Arista Records, gaining full control of the label, its catalogue, and its roster of artists.[36] The Saga Continues..., released on July 10 in North America, was the last studio album released by the joint venture. The album reached number two on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts[63][64] and was eventually certified Platinum.[37] It is the only studio album under the P. Diddy name, and the first album by Sean Combs not to feature any guest appearances by Jay-Z or Lil' Kim. Combs was executive producer of the reality TV show, Making the Band, which appeared on MTV from 2002 to 2009.[65]

The show involves interviewing candidates and creating musical acts that would then enter the music business. Acts who got their start this way include Da Band,[66] Danity Kane,[65] Day26,[67] and Donnie Klang.[68] In 2003, Combs ran in the New York City Marathon, raising $2 million for the educational system of the city of New York.[69] On March 10, 2004, he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the marathon, which he finished in four hours and eighteen minutes.[70] In 2004, Combs headed the campaign "Vote or Die" for the 2004 presidential election.[71] On February 1, 2004, Combs performed at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.[72]

2005–2009: "Diddy" and Press Play

Combs performing in 2006

On August 16, 2005, Combs announced on Today that he was altering his stage name yet again; he would be calling himself "Diddy". Combs said fans did not know how to address him, which led to confusion.[73]

Combs starred in the 2005 film Carlito's Way: Rise to Power. He played Walter Lee Younger in the 2004 Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun[74] and the television adaptation that aired in February 2008. In 2005, Combs sold half of his record company to the Warner Music Group.[75] He hosted the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2005 by Time magazine.[76] He was mentioned in the country song "Play Something Country" by Brooks & Dunn: the lyricist says he "didn't come to hear P. Diddy", which is rhymed with "something thumpin' from the city".[77]

In 2006, when Combs refused to release rapper Mase from his contractual obligations with Bad Boy to allow him to join the group G-Unit, 50 Cent recorded a diss song, "Hip-Hop". The lyrics imply that Combs knew the identity of the Notorious B.I.G.'s murderer.[78] The two later resolved the feud.[79]

Combs released his first album in four years, Press Play, on October 17, 2006, on the Bad Boy Records label.[80] The album, featuring guest appearances by many popular artists, debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart[81] with sales of over 173,009. Its singles "Come to Me" and "Last Night" both reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.[82][83] The album became available to preview on MTV's The Leak on October 10, 2006, a week before being sold in stores.[84] Press Play received mixed to positive reviews from critics,[85] and was certified Gold on the RIAA ratings.[37] On September 18, 2007, Combs teamed up with 50 Cent and Jay-Z for the "Forbes I Get Money Billion Dollar Remix".[86]

In June 2008, Combs' representative denied rumors of another name change.[87] Combs ventured into reality television in August 2008 with the premiere of his VH1 series I Want to Work for Diddy.[88] He appeared—credited under his real name—in two episodes of Season 7 of CSI: Miami: "Presumed Guilty" and "Sink or Swim", in the role of lawyer Derek Powell.[89]

2010–2013: Diddy – Dirty Money and acting

Combs performing as part of Diddy – Dirty Money in December 2010

Combs created a rap supergroup in 2010 known as the Dream Team. The group consists of Combs, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Red Café, and Fabolous.[90] Combs made an appearance at comedian Chris Gethard's live show in January 2010 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.[91] In June 2010, Combs played a role (credited as Sean Combs) in the comedy film Get Him to the Greek, as Sergio Roma, a record company executive. An Entourage series representative announced that Combs would guest star on an episode during the 2010 season.[92]

Recruiting singers Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper, Combs formed the female duo Diddy – Dirty Money in 2009. The trio's first and only album, Last Train to Paris, was released by Interscope Records on December 13, 2010. The release was preceded by four singles: "Angels", "Hello Good Morning", "Loving You No More", and "Coming Home", each saw mixed success on the Billboard Hot 100, although the latter peaked at number eleven on the U.S. Hot 100, number four in the UK, and number seven in Canada.[93] Combs produced the group, and often performed with them. On March 10, 2011, Diddy and Dirty Money performed "Coming Home" live on American Idol.[94]

On April 18, 2011, Combs appeared in season one of Hawaii Five-0, guest starring as an undercover NYPD detective.[95] In November 2012, Combs appeared in an episode of the eighth season of the American sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.[96]

2014–2017: MMM and Bad Boy Anniversaries

On February 26, 2014, Combs premiered "Big Homie", featuring Rick Ross and French Montana, as the first single from his mixtape MMM (Money Making Mitch), which was originally scheduled to be released that year.[97] The song was released for digital download on March 24,[98] and two days later the trailer for the music video was released. The full version of the music video was released on March 31. Combs used his former stage name Puff Daddy for the album.[99] MMM was released as a free mixtape album of 12 tracks on November 4, 2015.[100] In July 2014, Combs and Israeli record producer Guy Gerber released the collaborative album, 11:11 as a free download.[101] On June 29, 2015, Combs released the single "Finna Get Loose", which featured vocals and production by Pharrell Williams.[102]

In July 2015, Bad Boy Entertainment signee Gizzle told the press that she was collaborating with Combs on the ultimately-cancelled album No Way Out 2, a sequel to his 1997 debut. She describes the music as unique: "The mindset is to just be classic and to be epic. And to really live up to that ... we know it's a tall order, but we welcome the challenge."[103] In April 2016, Combs announced that after this album and its accompanying tour, he planned to retire from the music industry to focus on acting.[104]

On May 20 and 21, 2016, Combs launched a tour of Bad Boy Records' biggest names to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the label.[105] The documentary Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story, covering the two shows at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as well as behind-the-scenes events, was released on June 23, 2017.[106] The show toured to an additional twenty venues across the United States and Canada.[107][108]

2018–present: "Love" and The Love Album: Off the Grid

On November 5, 2017, Combs announced that he would be going by the name Love, stating "My new name is Love, aka Brother Love".[109] Two days later, he told the press he had been joking, but on January 3, 2018, he announced on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he had changed his mind again, and will be using the new name after all.[110] The change became official in 2022.[111]

In 2019, Combs announced on Twitter that Making the Band would return to MTV in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it failed to do so; it was delayed once more for a release in 2021 before its complete cancellation.[112][113]

Combs executive-produced Nigerian singer Burna Boy's album, Twice as Tall, which was released on August 14, 2020.[114]

Combs hosted the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. In May of that year, he announced the startup of a new record label, Love Records as part of a recording contract with Motown. Along with Combs himself, the label's inaugural artist was singer Jozzy, who signed to the label that same month.[115][116] The following June, he released the single "Gotta Move On", which features singer Bryson Tiller and marked his first entry–at number 79–on the Billboard Hot 100 since "Coming Home". It was promoted as the lead single for the album, although it was only included on its expanded edition. On August 22, 2023, Combs released a teaser trailer on social media for his fifth studio album The Love Album: Off the Grid, which was released on September 15, 2023.

Coinciding with its release was the lead single "Another One of Me" (with the Weeknd, French Montana and 21 Savage). The song peaked at number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the album peaked at number 19 on the Billboard 200. Critical responses to both the song and album were mixed to average.[117] Despite Combs' signing with Motown, the album released was independently, with the label's name only present on promotional materials. During an interview with Billboard, Combs stated that:

"[I]’m in a season of total independence. I had an experience with Motown where it was like, 'I’ve come too far to ask somebody that isn’t where I’m from about cultural and artistic things. If I’m going to bet on anybody, I’m going to bet on the people I believe in.' So I decided to go independent with Love Records and Bad Boy. I decided to come back into the game with bolder ideas of ownership, distribution and future manufacturing because those are the things that we as a people are cut out of."[118]

The Love Album: Off the Grid received a nomination for Best Progressive R&B Album at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards; Combs did not attend the ceremony.[119]

Business career

Fortune magazine listed Combs at number twelve on their top 40 of entrepreneurs under 40 in 2002.[120] Forbes magazine estimated that for the year ending May 2017, Combs earned $130 million, ranking him number one among entertainers.[121] He is one of the wealthiest musical artists, with an estimated net worth of US$1 billion by 2022.[122]

Sean John

A billboard of Sean John is in the distance on Broadway, 2011

In 1998, Combs started a clothing line, Sean John. It was nominated for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2000,[123] and won in 2004.[124] California billionaire Ronald Burkle invested $100 million into the company in 2003.[125]

In late 2006, the department store Macy's removed Sean John jackets from their shelves when they discovered that the clothing was made using raccoon dog fur. Combs had not known the jackets were made with genuine fur, but as soon as he was alerted, he had production stopped.[126]

In November 2008, Combs added a men's perfume line "I Am King" to the Sean John brand. The fragrance, dedicated to Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King Jr., featured model Bar Refaeli in its advertising.[127] In early 2016, Sean John introduced the brand's GIRLS collection.[128]

Other ventures

Combs is the head of Combs Enterprises, an umbrella company for his portfolio of businesses.[129] In addition to his clothing line, Combs owned two restaurants called Justin's, named after his son. The original New York location closed in September 2007;[130] the Atlanta location closed in June 2012.[131] He is the designer of the Dallas Mavericks alternate jersey.[132] In October 2007, Combs agreed to help develop the Cîroc vodka brand for a 50 percent share of the profits.[127] In June 2023, after Ciroc was acquired by Diageo, they ended their partnership with Combs for "refusing to acknowledge or honor his commitments."[133]

Combs acquired the Enyce clothing line from Liz Claiborne for $20 million on October 21, 2008.[134]

Combs has a major equity stake in Revolt TV, a television network that also has a film production branch.[135] It began broadcasting in 2014.[136] In February 2015, Combs teamed up with actor Mark Wahlberg and businessman Ronald Burkle of Yucaipa Companies to purchase a majority holding in Aquahydrate, a calorie-free beverage for athletes.[137][138] John Cochran, former president of Fiji Water, is CEO of the company.[139]

In 2019, Combs became an investor in PlayVS, which provides an infrastructure for competitive gaming in US high schools.[140] The company was also backed by Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.[141]

Personal life

Combs with his sons Christian and Justin at the Spider-Man 3 premiere (2007)

Family and relationships

Combs is a father to seven children. His first biological child, a son, was born in 1993 to fashion designer and stylist Misa Hylton. He attended UCLA on a football scholarship and graduated in 2016.[142][143]

Combs had an on-again, off-again relationship with Kimberly Porter (1970–2018), which lasted from 1994 to 2007.[3][144] He raised and adopted Quincy (born 1991),[145] Porter's son from a previous relationship with singer-producer and Combs' rival, Al B. Sure!. Together, they had a son, born 1998, and twin daughters, born 2006.[146] Porter died of pneumonia on November 15, 2018.[147][148]

Five months before the birth of his twins,[146] Combs had a daughter, born to Sarah Chapman. He took legal responsibility for her in October 2007.[144]

Combs was in an eleven-year relationship with Cassie Ventura from 2007 to 2018.[149][150]

Combs' eldest sons both appeared on MTV's My Super Sweet 16. For his oldest son's 16th birthday, Combs presented him with a $360,000 Maybach car.[142][151] Combs threw a celebrity-studded party and gave his second eldest son two cars as his 16th birthday present.[152][153]

Combs' seventh child was born on October 15, 2022, a daughter.[154] Her mother is Dana Tran.[155]

In November 2022, Combs and his second eldest son became the first father-son duo to have simultaneous No. 1 hits. Combs reached the top of the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay chart with "Gotta Move On," while his son under his stage name King Combs, topped Mediabase's US Urban Radio chart with "Can't Stop Won't Stop," featuring Kodak Black.[156]

Combs owns a home in Alpine, New Jersey, which he purchased for $7 million.[157]

Religious views

Combs was raised Catholic and was an altar server as a boy.[158] In 2008, he told The Daily Telegraph that he does not adhere to any specific religious denomination. He said, "I just follow right from wrong, so I could pray in a synagogue or a mosque or a church. I believe that there is only one God."[158]

On July 3, 2020, Combs invited his Twitter followers to view a 3-hour YouTube video posted by Louis Farrakhan.[159] In the video Farrakhan made multiple comments and repeatedly used the phrase "Synagogue of Satan".[160] The video was removed from YouTube for violating its policy against hate speech.[161]

In response to comedian Nick Cannon being fired on July 14, 2020, from ViacomCBS for espousing anti-Semitic views,[162] Combs tweeted that Cannon should "come home to RevoltTv" saying "We got your back and love you and what you have done for the culture."[163]

In a 2023 interview, Combs said he believes that God is a woman.[164]

Charity work and honors

Combs' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Combs founded Daddy's House Social Programs, an organization to help inner city youth, in 1995. Programs include tutoring, life skills classes, and an annual summer camp. Along with Jay-Z, he pledged $1 million to help support victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and donated clothing from his Sean John line to victims. He has donated computers and books to New York schools.[165]

In 1998, he received a Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.[166] Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley named October 13, 2006, as "Diddy Day" in honor of Combs' charity work.[167] In 2008, Combs was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,[168] the first male rapper to be so honored.[169]

In 2014, Combs received an honorary doctorate from Howard University, where he gave the commencement speech for its 146th commencement ceremony. In his speech, Combs acknowledged that his experiences as a Howard student positively influenced his life.[170] In 2016, Combs donated $1 million to Howard University to establish the Sean Combs Scholarship Fund to help students who are unable to pay their tuition.[171]

In 2022, Combs announced during his BET Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech that he will be donating $1 million each to Howard University and Jackson State University.[172]

Legal issues

In 1997, Combs was sued for landlord neglect by Inge Bongo [fr]; Combs denied the charges.[173]

On April 15, 1999, shortly after the music video for Nas' "Hate Me Now" aired on MTV featuring Combs being crucified, he and two others burst into Nas' former manager, Steve Stoute's office and attacked him.[174][175] Stoute sued Combs in June 1999, resulting in Combs paying him an out-of-court settlement of $500,000.[176] Originally charged with assault for the event, Combs pled guilty on September 8, 1999, to a charge of harassment, and was sentenced to spend one day in an anger management class.[177][178]

On December 27, 1999, Combs, his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, and his protégé rapper Shyne were at Club New York in Times Square in Manhattan when gunfire broke out.[179][180] A prosecutor said that the incident was sparked by an argument at the club between Combs and another patron.[179] After a police investigation, Combs and Shyne were arrested for weapons violations and other charges.[181] Combs was charged with four weapons-related charges and with bribing his driver, Wardel Fenderson, to claim ownership of his gun.[182] With a gag order in place, the highly publicized trial began.[182] Combs' attorneys were Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and Benjamin Brafman.[183] Combs was found not guilty on all charges; Shyne was convicted on five of his eight charges[183] and sentenced to ten years in prison. Combs and Lopez broke up shortly after. A lawsuit filed by Fenderson, who said he suffered emotional damage after the shooting, was settled in February 2004. Lawyers for both sides, having agreed to keep the settlement terms secret, said the matter had been "resolved to the satisfaction of all parties".[184]

In 2001, he was arrested for driving with a suspended license in Florida.[185]

In 2003, the National Labor Committee revealed that factories producing the Sean John clothing brand in Honduras were violating Honduran labor laws.[186] Among the accusations were that workers were subjected to body searches and involuntary pregnancy tests. Bathrooms were locked and access tightly controlled. Employees were forced to work overtime and were paid sweatshop wages.[187] Charles Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee told The New York Times that "Sean Puff Daddy obviously has a lot of clout, he can literally do a lot overnight to help these workers."[186] Combs responded with an extensive investigation, telling reporters "I'm as pro-worker as they get".[188] On February 14, 2004, Kernaghan announced that improvements had been implemented at the factory, including adding air conditioning and water purification systems, firing the most abusive supervisors, and allowing the formation of a labor union.[189]

Also in 2003, Kirk Burrowes sued Combs, claiming that he had forced him to give up his shares in Bad Boy Records through threats of violence. In 2006, the case was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.[23]

In November 2005, London-based musical artist and DJ Richard Dearlove, who had been performing under the name "Diddy" since 1992 – nine years before Combs started using even "P. Diddy" – sought an injunction in the High Court of Justice in London. He accepted an out-of-court settlement of £10,000 in damages and more than £100,000 in costs. Combs can no longer use the name Diddy in the UK, where he is still known as P. Diddy.[190][191]

An assault charge against Combs filed by Michigan television host Rogelio Mills was resolved in Combs' favor in 2005.[192]

In August 2007, Gerard Rechnitzer sued Combs for battery after claiming Combs had punched him outside a Hollywood nightclub.[193] Rechnitzer claimed he was attacked after he approached Combs while the rap mogul was talking to his girlfriend.[193] Combs settled the lawsuit for undisclosed terms in March 2008.[194]

In March 2008, the Los Angeles Times claimed that the Notorious B.I.G. and Combs orchestrated the 1994 robbery and shooting of Tupac, substantiating the claim with supposed FBI documents; the newspaper later retracted the story, acknowledging that the documents had been fabricated.[195] Dexter Isaac, an associate of record management executive Jimmy Henchman, confessed in 2012 that he had shot Tupac on Henchman's orders.[196][197]

In June 2015, Combs was arrested for aggravated assault after an altercation with his son's football coach at University of California, Los Angeles.[198] On July 2, the assault charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.[199]

On February 6, 2021, Combs filed a $60 million lawsuit against the new owners of Sean John, claiming the firm used his likeness without his permission and fabricated quotes endorsing their new product line.[200][201]

In June 2023, Combs filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Diageo, claiming that the spirits company deliberately "knee-capped" the marketing and sales of his Cîroc vodka and DeLéon tequila labels. In January 2024, Combs voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit with prejudice, and also severed the business relationship.[202]

On March 4, 2024, music producer Rodney "Lil Rod" Jones, who was already suing Combs for sexual assault, filed a lawsuit against Combs and his son Justin, alleging that they engaged in a "massive" cover-up of their involvement in the shooting of a 30-year-old man at a "writers and producers camp" that was held at Combs' Chalice Recording Studio in Los Angeles in September 2022.[203][204]

On March 25, 2024, former Syracuse University basketball player and Combs associate Brendan Paul was arrested at the Opa Locka Airport in Miami-Dade County, Florida on two charges of cocaine and controlled substance possession; he was released the next day after posting a $2,500 bond.[205] Lil Rod has accused Paul of being Combs' "drug mule" in court documents.[205][206]

Sexual misconduct allegations and lawsuits

In May 2017, Cindy Ruela, who previously served as Combs' personal chef, filed a lawsuit against Combs in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming, among other things, sexual harassment and retaliation.[207] The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in February 2019.[208]

On November 16, 2023, Cassie Ventura, with whom Combs had a long-term relationship, filed a lawsuit against him accusing him of rape, sex trafficking, and physical abuse.[10] The lawsuit also suggested that Combs was responsible for blowing up Ventura's then-boyfriend Kid Cudi's car.[10][209] Combs and Ventura reached an undisclosed settlement the following day, and the lawsuit was dismissed.[210] On May 17, 2024, CNN released surveillance footage of Combs physically assaulting Ventura at a hotel in Century City, Los Angeles on March 5, 2016. This incident was among the allegations made in the lawsuit.[211] On May 19, 2024, Combs issued a video apology on Instagram and Facebook, stating he was "truly sorry" and that his actions were "inexcusable."[18]

On November 23, 2023, two further lawsuits were filed against Combs by two additional complainants, alleging sexual assault and revenge porn.[212][213] One of the lawsuits claimed that in 1990 or 1991, he and Aaron Hall had sexually abused a woman, with Combs recording the incident.[13][214]

On December 6, 2023, a lawsuit was filed in Manhattan district court by a woman who alleges that Combs raped her in 2003 when she was 17 years old.[215] That same day, Combs posted a response via social media, denying the allegations.[216] In February 2024, a fifth lawsuit was brought against Combs when he was sued by music producer Rodney "Lil Rod" Jones. The case alleges that Combs drugged and sexually assaulted Jones, and also forced him to have sex with sex workers.[217][218] A lawyer for Combs described the allegations as "pure fiction."[218] Combs' adult son Justin, his chief of staff Kristina Khorram, Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, and former Motown Records CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam were also named as defendants in Jones' lawsuit.[217] On March 1, 2024, the plaintiff who sued Combs for the 2003 incident was ordered to disclose her identity.[219][220] On May 13, 2024, Universal Music Group and CEO Lucian Grainge were removed from the lawsuit after Jones' lawyer, Tyrone Blackburn, asked that they be dismissed immediately and with prejudice.[221][222]

On March 25, 2024, properties tied to Combs in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami were raided by the Department of Homeland Security using a Southern District of New York search warrant related to an unspecified ongoing investigation.[17][223] The BBC reported that the federal agents seized computers and other electronic devices.[23]

The Miami Herald reported that federal agents questioned Combs at the Opa-Locka Airport on March 25. The agents confiscated a number of electronic devices and cleared him to leave for a planned vacation to Antigua and Barbuda.[23][224]

On March 27, 2024, documents obtained by USA Today stated that Lil Rod, who amended his lawsuit on March 26, accused Combs of paying to keep sex workers.[206] Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. was also named as a lawsuit co-defendant.[206] Prince Harry and other famous figures were implied in the lawsuit to be associated with Combs to draw guests to his parties, but were not accused of any wrongdoing.[225][226]

On April 4, 2024, Combs and his son Christian were named as defendants in a lawsuit where a former employee, Grace O'Marcaigh, alleged that Christian sexually assaulted her in December 2022 while she was employed as a steward on a yacht chartered by Combs. O'Marcaigh accused Christian of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and infliction of emotional distress.[227] Sean Combs was included in the lawsuit, which alleged that he aided and abetted his son in the assault, paid to cover it up afterward, and had premises liability for chartering the yacht where the alleged sexual assault took place.[228]

On May 23, 2024, Combs was named as a defendant in a lawsuit by a former New York Fashion Institute of Technology student, April Lampros, accusing Combs of four instances of sexual assault from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. The suit further accuses Combs of assault, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and violation of the victims of gender-motivated violence protection law.[229]

Industry and company responses

On November 24, 2023, Macy's announced that they were pulling all Sean John clothing from their department and online stores, effectively ending their partnership with Combs.[230] Four days later, Combs stepped down as chairman of Revolt TV.[231] Tsuri, Nuudii System, Fulaba, and House of Takura all ended their affiliations with Combs' e-commerce business, Empower Global.[232][233][234]

Hulu cancelled production for a planned reality series that centered on Combs and his family. A spokesperson for Hulu's parent, The Walt Disney Company, said "the show was in the nascent stages and is not currently in production".[235] On December 23, 2023, the Recording Academy decided to "re-evaluate" Combs' invitation to the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024.[236] He was nominated for Best Progressive R&B Album for Love Album: Off the Grid, but did not to attend the ceremony.[237][238]

During a live performance in November 2023, Kesha changed the opening lyric of her 2009 hit "Tik Tok" from "wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy" to "wake up in the morning feeling like just me." At a Coachella performance with Reneé Rapp in April 2024, Kesha changed the lyric to "wake up in the morning like fuck P. Diddy."[239]

On June 7, 2024, Howard University announced that it was revoking Combs' honorary doctorate. They also returned his $1 million donation and terminated his pledge agreement.[15]

Discography

Studio albums

Collaborative albums

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Made Ruiz
Monster's Ball Lawrence Musgrove
2003 Death of a Dynasty Himself
2005 Carlito's Way: Rise to Power Hollywood Nicky Video
2008 A Raisin in the Sun Walter Lee Younger TV movie
2010 Get Him to the Greek Sergio
I'm Still Here Himself
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Himself
Draft Day Chris Crawford
2017 Girls Trip Himself

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1992 In Living Color Himself Episode: "Episode #3.27"
1997 The Steve Harvey Show Himself Episode: "I Do, I Don't"
1997–01 Showtime at the Apollo Himself Recurring Guest
1999 Videotech Himself Episode: "Episode #1.136"
The Priory Himself Episode: "Episode #1.3"
1999–01 Behind the Music Himself Recurring Guest
2000 Top of the Pops Himself Episode: "Episode #37.11"
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Himself/Contestant Episode: "Episode #1.172" & "#1.174"
2001 Say It Loud: A Celebration of Black Music in America Himself Episode: "Express Yourself"
Jackass Himself Episode: "Beard of Leeches"
Journeys in Black Himself Episode: "Johnnie Cochran"
2002 All That Himself Episode: "P. Diddy"
Anatomy of a Scene Himself Episode: "Monster's Ball"
The Nick Cannon Show Himself Episode: "Nick Takes Over Style"
MTV Europe Music Awards Himself/Host Main Host
Top Ten Himself Episode: "Camp Pop"
2004 The Ashlee Simpson Show Himself Episode: "Ashlee Goes Platinum"
Style Star Himself Episode: "Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs"
2005 MTV Video Music Awards Himself/Host Main Host
2009 CSI: Miami Derek Powell Episode: "Presumed Guilty" & "Sink or Swim"
2010 Entourage Himself Episode: "Tequila and Coke"
2011 Hawaii Five-0 Reggie Cole Episode: "Hoʻopaʻi"
2012 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Dr. Jinx Episode: "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer"
2015 Black-ish Elroy Savoy Episode: "Pops' Pops' Pops"

Documentary

Year Title
1995 The Show
1998 Where It's At: The Rolling Stone State of the Union
2002 Street Dreams
2004 Fade to Black
2005 Seamless
2017 Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story
The Defiant Ones
2021 Mary J. Blige's My Life

Tours

Awards and nominations

Combs is listed as having a Guinness World Record for "Most Successful Rap Producer" in 1997, as he was producer of singles that charted for 36 consecutive weeks in 1997.[244] In 2021, Combs was among the inaugural inductees into the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame.[245] In June 2022, Combs received the BET Lifetime Achievement Award.[246] In September 2023, Combs was awarded the key to New York City by Mayor Eric Adams.[247][248]

Awards and nominations received by Sean Combs
Award Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
BET Awards 2002 "Bad Boy for Life"
(featuring Black Rob & Mark Curry)
Video of the Year Nominated
"Pass the Courvoisier, Part II"
(with Busta Rhymes & Pharrell Williams)
Won
2003 "Bump, Bump, Bump" (with B2K) Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award Won
2007[249] "Last Night" (featuring Keyshia Cole) Best Collaboration Nominated
Diddy Best Male Hip-Hop Artist Nominated
2010 Diddy – Dirty Money Best Group Nominated
2011 Won
2012 Nominated
2016 Puff Daddy and the Family Nominated
BET Hip Hop Awards 2008 "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)..." Track of the Year Nominated
Sean Combs Hustler of the Year Won
2009 Nominated
2010 "All I Do Is Win (Remix)" Reese's Perfect Combo Award Nominated
"Hello Good Morning (Remix)" Nominated
Best Club Banger Nominated
Sean Combs Hustler of the Year Won
2011 Nominated
2012 "Same Damn Time (Remix)" Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse Nominated
2013 Nominated
Sean Combs Hustler of the Year Nominated
2017 Nominated
Grammy Awards 1998 Puff Daddy Best New Artist Nominated [50]
[250]
No Way Out Best Rap Album Won
Life After Death (as producer) Nominated
"Honey" (as songwriter) Best Rhythm & Blues Song Nominated
"I'll Be Missing You" (featuring Faith Evans & 112) Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Won
"Mo Money Mo Problems" (with the Notorious B.I.G. & Mase) Nominated
"Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" (featuring Mase) Nominated
2000 "Satisfy You" (featuring R. Kelly) Nominated [251]
2002 "Bad Boy for Life" (with Black Rob & Mark Curry) Nominated [252]
2003 "Pass the Courvoisier, Part II" (with Busta Rhymes & Pharrell) Nominated [253]
2004 "Shake Ya Tailfeather" (with Nelly & Murphy Lee) Won [254]
2016 "All Day" (as songwriter) Best Rap Song Nominated [255]
2024 The Love Album: Off the Grid Best Progressive R&B Album Nominated [256]
MTV Europe Music Awards 1997 "I'll Be Missing You" MTV Select Nominated
Best Song Nominated
Sean Combs Best New Act Nominated
Best Hip-Hop Nominated
1998 Best Male Nominated
Best Hip-Hop Nominated
1999 Nominated
2001 Nominated
2002 Nominated
2006 Nominated
2011 Diddy – Dirty Money Best World Stage Performance Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards 2018 Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story Best Music Documentary Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards 1997 "I'll Be Missing You" Best R&B Video Won[51]
Viewer's Choice Nominated
1998 "It's All About the Benjamins" (Rock Remix) Video of the Year Nominated
Viewer's Choice Won[51]
"Come with Me" (from Godzilla) Best Video from a Film Nominated
2002 "Bad Boy for Life" Best Rap Video Nominated
NAACP Image Awards 2009 A Raisin in the Sun Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie,
Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Won[257]
2011 Diddy – Dirty Money Outstanding Duo or Group Nominated
Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Rank Artist Albums executive produced by Sean Combs Year
134[258] The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die 1994
281[259] Mary J. Blige My Life 1994
476[260] The Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death 1997

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Sources

  • Harrison, Thomas (2011). Music of the 1990s. American History Through Music. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-37942-0.
  • Jones, Jen (2014). Sean "Diddy" Combs: A Biography of a Music Mogul. African-American Icons. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow. ISBN 978-0-7660-4296-4.
  • Traugh, Susan M. (2010). Sean Combs. People in the News. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent Books. ISBN 978-1-4205-0237-4.

External links

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