Sean Love Combs (born Sean John Combs; November 4, 1969), also known by his stage names Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, or Diddy,[6][7] is an American rapper, record producer, record executive and actor. Born in Harlem, Combs worked as a talent director at Uptown Records before founding his own record label, Bad Boy Records, in 1993. Combs is credited with the discovery and cultivation of artists such as the Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and Usher.

Sean Combs
Combs performing in 2010
Born
Sean John Combs

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

As a recording artist, Combs gained mainstream recognition as the Notorious B.I.G.'s label boss and manager. 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" (featuring Faith Evans and 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 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 success and marked his first not to be released by his Bad Boy label imprint.[8][9]

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. Outside of music, he has served as a producer for other media, including MTV's reality series Making the Band. Combs launched the clothing retailer Sean John in 1998, for which he was nominated for the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2000, and won in 2004. He has been the brand ambassador for vodka retailer Cîroc since 2007, and co-founded the television network and news website Revolt in 2013. Through his business ventures, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$1 billion in 2022.[10]

In late 2023, Combs' former girlfriend, singer Cassie Ventura, filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against him for sexual assault, which was settled out of court.[11][12] In the following days, three more lawsuits were filed by three additional claimants, with similar allegations of misconduct ranging from 1990 to 2003.[13][14] In the wake of the allegations, various companies and brands dissociated with his likeness or involvement.[15][16][17]

Early life

On November 4, 1969, Sean John Combs was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Raised in Mount Vernon, New York,[18] his mother Janice Combs (née Smalls) was a model and teacher's assistant,[19] 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.[18][20] At age 33, Melvin was shot dead while sitting in his car on Central Park West, when Sean was two years old.[21]

Combs graduated from Mount Saint Michael Academy in 1987. He played football for the academy, and his team won a division title in 1986.[22] Combs said he was given the nickname "Puff" as a child, because he would "huff and puff" when he was angry.[23]

Combs was a business major at Howard University but left after his sophomore year.[24] In 2014, he returned to Howard University to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities and to deliver the university's 146th Commencement Address.[25]

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.[26][2] While working as a talent director at Uptown, under the guidance of label founder Andre Harrell,[27] he helped develop Jodeci and Mary J. Blige.[28] In his college days, Combs had a reputation for throwing parties, some of which attracted up to a thousand participants.[29] 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.[30]

In late 1992, after being fired from Uptown, Combs established his new label Bad Boy Records, and in 1993, it signed a distribution deal with Arista Records, taking then-newcomer Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G., with him.[31][32] Both Wallace and Craig Mack quickly released hit singles, followed by successful LPs, particularly Wallace's Ready to Die.[31] Combs signed more acts to Bad Boy, including Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, 112, Total,[33] and Father MC.[34] 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.[35]

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.[36] 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.[37][38]

1997–1998: "Puff Daddy" and No Way Out

In 1997, under the name Puff Daddy, Combs recorded his first commercial vocal work as a rapper. His debut single, "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down", spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number one.[39] His debut album, No Way Out, was released on July 22, 1997,[40] 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.[41] 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.[42]

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.[43] 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.[44]

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.[45][46] On September 7, 2000, the album was certified septuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over 7 million copies.[47] 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.[42]

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.[48] 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.[49]

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,[50] 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.[50]

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

Combs changed his stage name from "Puff Daddy" to "P. Diddy" in 2001.[51] 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.[52] 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).[53]

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".[54] He was an opening act for 'N Sync on their Spring 2002 Celebrity Tour,[55] and he signed California-based pop girl group Dream to his record label.[56] Combs was a producer of the soundtrack album for the film Training Day (2001).[57]

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.[32] 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[58][59] and was eventually certified Platinum.[33] 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.[60]

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,[61] Danity Kane,[60] Day26,[62] and Donnie Klang.[63] In 2003, Combs ran in the New York City Marathon, raising $2 million for the educational system of the city of New York.[64] On March 10, 2004, he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the marathon, which he finished in four hours and eighteen minutes.[65] In 2004, Combs headed the campaign "Vote or Die" for the 2004 presidential election.[66] On February 1, 2004, Combs (as P. Diddy) performed at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.[67]

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.[68]

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[69] and the television adaptation that aired in February 2008. In 2005, Combs sold half of his record company to the Warner Music Group.[70] He hosted the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2005 by Time magazine.[71] 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".[72]

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.[73] The two later resolved the feud.[74]

Combs released his first album in four years, Press Play, on October 17, 2006, on the Bad Boy Records label.[75] The album, featuring guest appearances by many popular artists, debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart[76] with sales of over 173,009. Its singles "Come to Me" and "Last Night" both reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.[77][78] The album became available to preview on MTV's The Leak on October 10, 2006, a week before being sold in stores.[79] Press Play received mixed to positive reviews from critics,[80] and was certified Gold on the RIAA ratings.[33] On September 18, 2007, Combs teamed up with 50 Cent and Jay-Z for the "Forbes I Get Money Billion Dollar Remix".[81]

In June 2008, Combs' representative denied rumors of another name change.[82] Combs ventured into reality television in August 2008 with the premiere of his VH1 series I Want to Work for Diddy.[83] 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.[84]

2010–2013: Diddy – Dirty Money and acting

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.[85] Combs made an appearance at comedian Chris Gethard's live show in January 2010 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.[86] 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.[87]

Recruiting singers Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper, Combs formed the female duo Diddy – Dirty Money in 2009. The duo's first album, Last Train to Paris, was released by on December 13, 2010. The release was preceded by four singles "Angels", "Hello Good Morning", "Loving You No More", and "Coming Home", which experienced mixed success on the Billboard Hot 100. "Coming Home" was the most successful of the songs, peaking at number eleven on the U.S. Hot 100, number four in the UK, and number seven in Canada.[88] Combs produced the group, and often performed with them. On March 10, 2011, Diddy and Dirty Money performed "Coming Home" live on American Idol.[89]

On April 18, 2011, Combs appeared in season one of Hawaii Five-0, guest starring as an undercover NYPD detective.[90] In November 2012 Combs appeared in an episode of the eighth season of the American sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.[91]

2014–present

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.[92] The song was released for digital download on March 24,[93] 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.[94] MMM was released as a free mixtape album of 12 tracks on November 4, 2015.[95] In 2014 Combs and Guy Gerber announced that their joint album 11 11 would be available for free download.[96] A new single called "Finna Get Loose" featuring Combs and Pharrell Williams was released on June 29, 2015.[97]

In July 2015, Bad Boy Entertainment artist Gizzle told the press that she is collaborating with Combs on what she describes as his last album, titled 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."[98] In April 2016, Combs announced that after this last album and tour, he plans to retire from the music industry to focus on acting.[99]

On May 20 and 21, 2016, Combs launched a tour of Bad Boy Records' biggest names to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the label.[100] 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.[101] The show toured to an additional twenty venues across the United States and Canada.[102][103]

On November 5, 2017, Combs announced that he would be going by the name Love, stating "My new name is Love, aka Brother Love".[104] 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.[105] The change became official in 2022.[106]

In 2019, Combs announced on Twitter that Making the Band would return to MTV in 2020.[107]

Combs executive-produced Nigerian singer Burna Boy's album, Twice as Tall, released on August 14, 2020.[108]

In 2022, Combs hosted the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. Shortly afterwards, he announced the startup of a new record label, Love Records as a one-album recording deal with Motown.[109]

On August 22, 2023, Combs released a teaser trailer on social media for his sixth studio album The Love Album: Off the Grid, which was released on September 15, 2023.[110]

Business career

Fortune magazine listed Combs at number twelve on their top 40 of entrepreneurs under 40 in 2002.[111] Forbes Magazine estimated that for the year ending May 2017, Combs earned $130 million, ranking him number one among entertainers.[112] In 2022, his estimated net worth was US$1 billion.[113]

Sean John

 
A billboard of Sean John is in the distance on Broadway

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,[114] and won in 2004.[115] California billionaire Ronald Burkle invested $100 million into the company in 2003.[116]

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.[117]

In November 2008, Combs added a men's perfume called "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 advertisements.[118] In early 2016, Sean John introduced the brand's GIRLS collection.[119]

Other ventures

Combs is the head of Combs Enterprises, an umbrella company for his portfolio of businesses.[120] 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;[121] the Atlanta location closed in June 2012.[122] He is the designer of the Dallas Mavericks alternate jersey.[123] In October 2007, Combs agreed to help develop the Cîroc vodka brand for a 50 percent share of the profits.[118] In June 2023, after Ciroc was acquired by Diageo, they ended their partnership with Combs for "refusing to acknowledge or honor his commitments."[124]

Combs acquired the Enyce clothing line from Liz Claiborne for $20 million on October 21, 2008.[125]

Combs has a major equity stake in Revolt TV, a television network that also has a film production branch.[126] It began broadcasting in 2014.[127] 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.[128][129] John Cochran, former president of Fiji Water, is CEO of the company.[130]

In 2019, Combs became a major investor in PlayVS, which provides an infrastructure for competitive gaming in US high schools.[131] The company was also backed by Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.[132]

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; he graduated in 2016.[133][134]

Combs had an on-again, off-again relationship with Kimberly Porter (1970–2018), which lasted from 1994 to 2007.[3][135] He raised and adopted Quincy (born 1991),[136] 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.[137] Porter died of pneumonia on November 15, 2018.[138][139]

Five months before the birth of his twins,[137] Combs had a daughter, born to Sarah Chapman. He took legal responsibility for her in October 2007.[135]

Combs was in an eleven-year relationship with Cassie Ventura from 2007 to 2018.[4][5]

Combs' eldest sons both appeared on MTV's My Super Sweet 16. Combs threw a celebrity-studded party and gave his second eldest son two cars as his 16th birthday present.[140][141] For his oldest son's 16th birthday, Combs presented him with a $360,000 Maybach car.[133][142]

Combs' seventh child was born on October 15, 2022, a daughter.[143] Her mother is Dana Tran.[144]

In November 2022, Combs and his second eldest son became the first father-son duo to have simultaneous #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.[145]

Combs owns a home in Alpine, New Jersey, which he purchased for $7 million.[146]

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.[147]

In 1998, he received a Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.[148] Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley named October 13, 2006, as "Diddy Day" in honor of Combs' charity work.[149] In 2008, Combs was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,[150] the first male rapper to be so honored.[151]

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.[152] 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.[153]

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.[154]

Religious views

Combs was raised Catholic and was an altar server as a boy.[155] 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."[155]

On July 3, 2020, Combs invited his Twitter followers to view a 3-hour YouTube video posted by Louis Farrakhan.[156] In the video Farrakhan made multiple comments and repeatedly used the phrase "Synagogue of Satan".[157] The video was removed from YouTube for violating its policy against hate speech.[158]

In response to comedian Nick Cannon being fired on July 14, 2020, from ViacomCBS for espousing anti-Semitic views,[159] 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."[160]

Legal issues

In 1997, Combs was sued for landlord neglect by Inge Bongo [fr]; Combs denied the charges.[161]

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.[162][163] Stoute sued Combs in June 1999, resulting in Combs paying him an out-of-court settlement of $500,000.[164] 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.[165][166]

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.[167][168] A prosecutor said that the incident was sparked by an argument at the club between Combs and another patron.[167] After a police investigation, Combs and Shyne were arrested for weapons violations and other charges.[169] Combs was charged with four weapons-related charges and with bribing his driver, Wardel Fenderson, to claim ownership of his gun.[170] With a gag order in place, the highly publicized trial began.[170] Combs' attorneys were Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and Benjamin Brafman.[171] Combs was found not guilty on all charges; Shyne was convicted on five of his eight charges[171] 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".[172]

In 2001, he was arrested for driving with a suspended license in Florida.[173]

In 2003, the National Labor Committee revealed that factories producing the Sean John clothing brand in Honduras were violating Honduran labor laws.[174] 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.[175] 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."[174] Combs responded with an extensive investigation, telling reporters "I'm as pro-worker as they get".[176] 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.[177]

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.[178][179]

An assault charge against Combs filed by Michigan television host Rogelio Mills was resolved in Combs' favor in 2005.[180]

In August 2007, Gerard Rechnitzer sued Combs for battery after claiming Combs had punched him outside a Hollywood nightclub.[181] Rechnitzer claimed he was attacked after he approached Combs while the rap mogul was talking to his girlfriend.[181] Combs settled the lawsuit for undisclosed terms in March 2008.[182]

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.[183] Dexter Isaac, an associate of record management executive Jimmy Henchman, confessed in 2012 that he had shot Tupac on Henchman's orders.[184][185]

In June 2015, Combs was arrested for aggravated assault after an altercation with his son's football coach at University of California, Los Angeles.[186] On July 2, the assault charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.[187]

On February 6, 2021, he 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.[188][189]

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.[190]

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.[191] The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in February 2019.[192]

On November 16, 2023, Combs' former partner Cassie Ventura filed a lawsuit against him accusing him of rape, sex trafficking, and physical abuse.[11] The lawsuit also suggested that Combs was responsible for exploding the car of Ventura's then-boyfriend Kid Cudi.[11][193] Combs and Ventura reached an undisclosed settlement the following day, and the lawsuit was dismissed.[194] On November 23, 2023, two further lawsuits were filed against Combs by two additional complainants, alleging sexual assault and revenge porn.[195][196] One of the lawsuits claimed that in 1990 or 1991, he and Aaron Hall had sexually abused a woman, with Combs recording the incident.[14][197]

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.[198] That same day, Combs posted a response via social media, denying the allegations.[199] 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 sexually assaulted Jones and forced him to have sex with sex workers. A lawyer for Combs described the allegations as "pure fiction."[200]

Industry and company responses

On November 24, 2023, Macy's announced that they were pulling all Sean John clothing from its department and online stores, effectively ending its partnership with Combs.[201] Four days later, Combs stepped down as chairman of Revolt TV.[202]

BET and Jackson State University refused to acknowledge the allegations against him.[203][204]

Tsuri, Nuudii System, Fulaba, and House of Takura all ended their affiliations with Combs' e-commerce business, Empower Global.[205][206][207]

Hulu decided to scrap production for a planned reality series which 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".[208]

On December 23, 2023, the Recording Academy decided to "re-evaulate" Combs' invitation to the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024.[209] He was nominated for Best Progressive R&B Album with the Love Album: Off the Grid. He ultimately decided not to attend the ceremony.[210][211]

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

Awards and nominations

NAACP Image Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2009 A Raisin in the Sun Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie,
Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Won[212]
2011 Diddy – Dirty Money Outstanding Duo or Group Nominated

BET Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
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
[213]
"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

Year Nominee / work Award Result
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

MTV Europe Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
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

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018 Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story Best Music Documentary Nominated

MTV Video Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1997 "I'll Be Missing You" Best R&B Video Won[46]
Viewer's Choice Nominated
1998 "It's All About the Benjamins" (Rock Remix) Video of the Year Nominated
Viewer's Choice Won[46]
"Come with Me" (from Godzilla) Best Video from a Film Nominated
2002 "Bad Boy for Life" Best Rap Video Nominated

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1998 Puff Daddy Best New Artist Nominated [45]
[214]
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 [215]
2002 "Bad Boy for Life" (with Black Rob & Mark Curry) Nominated [216]
2003 "Pass the Courvoisier, Part II" (with Busta Rhymes & Pharrell) Nominated [217]
2004 "Shake Ya Tailfeather" (with Nelly & Murphy Lee) Won [218]
2016 "All Day" (as songwriter) Best Rap Song Nominated [219]
2024 The Love Album: Off the Grid Best Progressive R&B Album Nominated [220]

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Rank Artist Albums executive produced by Sean Combs Year
134[221] The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die 1994
281[222] Mary J. Blige My Life 1994
476[223] The Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death 1997

Other awards

In 2021, Combs was among the inaugural inductees into the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame.[224]

In June 2022, Combs received the BET Lifetime Achievement Award.[225]

In September 2023, Combs was awarded the key to New York City by Mayor Eric Adams.[226][227]

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.[228]

Tours

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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