Sean John Combs (born November 4, 1969), currently known by his
stage name Diddy, is an American record producer, rapper, actor,
singer, and men's fashion designer. He has won three Grammy Awards
and two MTV Video Music Awards, and his clothing line earned a Council
of Fashion Designers of America award.
Combs was born in Harlem and grew up in Mount Vernon, New York.
He dropped out of Howard University to become a top executive at
Uptown Records and founded Bad Boy Records in 1993. He was originally
known as Puff Daddy and then as P. Diddy (Puff and Puffy being often
used as a nickname, but never as recording names). In August 2005,
he changed his stage name to "Diddy". He continues to use
the name P. Diddy in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the latter
after a legal battle with another artist, Richard "Diddy" Dearlove.
In June 2008 Combs' representative denied rumors of another name
His business interests under the umbrella of Bad Boy Entertainment
Worldwide include Bad Boy Records; the clothing lines Sean John & Sean
by Sean Combs; a movie production company; and two restaurants. He
has taken the roles of recording executive, performer, producer of
MTV's Making the Band, writer, arranger, clothing designer, and Broadway
actor. Combs' net worth was estimated at US $346 million in 2006.
Sean Combs was born in a public housing project in Harlem, New York,
the son of Janice, a model and teacher, and Melvin Earl Combs.
He grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. When Combs was a child, his
father, aged 33, an associate of Frank Lucas (the New York drug lord),
was shot dead in his car at a Manhattan park after attending a party.
Lucas and rival gangster Nicky Barnes both publicly state that they
were close to Melvin.
Combs played football at the Roman Catholic Mount Saint Michael
Academy. In 1986, his team won a division title; he graduated in
Combs says he was given the nickname "Puff" as a child
because he would "huff and puff" when he was angry,
and "Daddy" was another version of "playa".
 Music career
 Uptown Records
Combs attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he showed
a penchant for marketing and gained a reputation as a party promoter.
He eventually became an intern at New York's Uptown Records. For
some time he would travel back and forth between Washington and New
York, juggling his classes and his internship, before eventually
dropping out of Howard when he became a top executive at Uptown.
He was instrumental in developing Jodeci and signing and producing
Mary J. Blige.
In 1991, Combs promoted a concert, headlined by Heavy D and held
at the City College of New York gymnasium, following an AIDS charity
basketball game. The event was overcrowded since it was oversold
to almost twice capacity, while thousands without tickets were outside.
To keep them out Combs' people shut the only door to a stairwell
and put a table behind it, though the crowd jammed inside was pounding
on the door and pleading for help. When the crowd outside broke several
glass doors in an attempt to get in a stampede ensued inside the
gymnasium in which nine people died. In a 1999 ruling, a Court
of Claims judge found Puff Daddy and Heavy D. responsible for 50
percent of the incident. City College bore the rest of the responsibility
in part for abandoning security responsibility to Puff Daddy though
they knew the event was oversold.
In 1992, Combs entered into an agreement with Hartford, Connecticut
disc jockey JC "Big Balla" Sledge to start a label in Hartford
for the city's untapped talent, named Hip Hart Beat Records. The
pair had creative differences over the usage of talent and eventually
split. In a statement to Rolling Stone Magazine, JC said, "Sean
and I remain friends, just not as close as we once were. Our split
where it relates to business was because we saw two totally different
avenues. I wanted to drive left and go the way of Def Jam and its
mainstay of artists and Puffy [Puff Daddy] wanted to drive right,
business as usual. The split was amicable. Hip Hart Beat Records
will one day become a reality. We are close now."
 Establishing Bad Boy Records
Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide headquarters on Broadway on the edge
of Times Square looking down to a billboard of Combs
In 1993, after being fired from Uptown, Combs established Bad Boy
Records, taking then-newcomer The Notorious B.I.G. with him.
Both The Notorious B.I.G. and Craig Mack quickly released hit singles,
followed by similarly successful LPs, particularly The Notorious
B.I.G.'s Ready to Die. Combs began signing more acts to Bad Boy,
including Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, Father MC, 112 and Total, as
well as producing for Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil' Kim, TLC,
Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, SWV, Aretha Franklin, and others, and
forming The Hitmen, an in-house production team.
Mase and D-Block (then known as "The L.O.X.") joined Bad
Boy just as a widely publicized rivalry with the West Coast's Death
Row Records was beginning. Combs and The Notorious B.I.G. were criticized
and parodied by Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight in songs and interviews
during the mid-1990s. During 1994–1995, he also helped produce
songs for TLC's CrazySexyCool, which was the decade's best-selling
R&B album. Songs he helped produced include "If I Was Your
Girlfriend" and "Can I Get A Witness".
 "Puff Daddy"
In 1997, Combs recorded his first commercial vocal as a rapper under
the name "Puff Daddy." His debut single, "Can't Nobody
Hold Me Down" spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
His debut album, No Way Out was a #1 album and won the 1998 Grammy
Award for best rap album. His second single, "I'll Be Missing
You", in memory of The Notorious B.I.G. debuted at #1 on the
Billboard Hot 100. He collaborated with Jimmy Page on the song "Come
with Me" for the Godzilla film, an EPIC/Sony Soundtrax production.
The track, approved by Page, sampled the Led Zeppelin song "Kashmir".
Producer Tom Morello supplied live guitar parts, playing bass on
the song. Combs and Page filmed a video for "Come with Me",
which reached #2 in the UK.
In 1997, Combs was sued for landlord neglect by Inge Bongo. Combs
denied the charges.
By the late 1990s, he was receiving criticism for watering down
and overly commercializing hip-hop and overusing guest appearances
by other artists, samples and interpolations of past hits in his
own hit songs. The Onion parodied this phenomenon in a 1997
article called "New rap song samples "Billie Jean" in
its entirety, adds nothing."
 Club New York
In December 1999, Combs was accused of assaulting Steve Stoute of
Interscope Records. Stoute was the manager for Nas. Combs had filmed
a video scene earlier that year for "Hate Me Now" that
featured Nas being crucified but demanded that the images be removed.
Stoute's refusal led to an argument and Puff Daddy's arrest for aggravated
assault. This was followed by yet more negative publicity as The
Lox left Bad Boy Records and a recording session with Lil' Kim and
Lil' Cease, both of The Notorious B.I.G.'s Junior M.A.F.I.A. posse,
was interrupted by gunfire.
On December 27, 1999, Combs and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez
were at Club New York, a midtown Manhattan nightclub, when gunfire
broke out. After a police investigation, Combs and fellow rapper
Shyne were arrested for weapons violations and other charges. The
New York County District Attorney's Office, led by Assistant District
Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, indicted Combs after his driver, Wardel
Fenderson, claimed that Combs had tried to bribe him into taking
the weapon after the shooting.
With a gag order in place, the highly publicized trial began. His
attorneys were Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and Benjamin Brafman. After
the trial was over, Combs was found not guilty on all charges; Shyne
was convicted on the same charges and sentenced to ten years
in prison. Combs and Lopez split shortly after. A lawsuit filed by
Combs's driver, Fenderson, who said he suffered emotional damage
after the club shooting, was settled in February 2004. Lawyers for
both sides, having agreed to keep the settlement terms secret, would
say only that the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all
 "P. Diddy"
In 2001, after his acquittal on gun possession and bribery charges,
Combs changed his stage name from "Puff Daddy" to "P.
Diddy". He later appeared as a drug dealer in the film Made
and starred with Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton in Monster's
Ball. He tried to reinvent his image, but soon faced assault charges
by a Michigan television host, Dr. Roger Mills, and then was arrested
for driving on a suspended license in Florida. A gospel album,
Thank You, was never released. After an accusation of reckless driving
by the Miami police, Combs began working with a series of unusual
(for him) artists. A collaboration with David Bowie appeared on the
soundtrack to Training Day and he also worked with Britney Spears
and 'N Sync. He signed California-based pop girl group Dream to his
record label. He was also an opening act for 'N Sync on their Spring
2002 Celebrity Tour.
Later in 2002, he made his own reality show on MTV called Making
the Band 2, a sequel to the first Making the Band, in which contestants
competed to be in a new group on Bad Boy Records. Six finalists were
to come up with their name, CD and video (see Da Band). The group,
maligned by comics and critics and drawing a skit on Chappelle's
Show, was dissolved by Combs at the end of the series.
In 2003, Combs ran in the New York City Marathon and raised $2,000,000
for the educational system for the children of New York. On March
10, 2004, he appeared in The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the marathon,
which he finished in four hours and eighteen minutes.
In 2004, Combs headed the campaign "Vote or Die" for the
2004 Presidential Election. The "Vote or Die" slogan was
mocked by both The Daily Show and South Park as being too simplistic
and encouraging young people to vote without knowing the issues.
In a South Park episode entitled "Douche and Turd", Combs
and his friends were depicted chasing Stan Marsh, one of the show's
main characters, around with weapons, literally threatening to kill
him if he wouldn't vote in his school election.
Combs performing in 2010
On August 16, 2005, Combs appeared on the Today show and announced
that he was altering his stage name yet again, dropping the "P." and
referring to himself simply as "Diddy", saying that "the
P was getting between me and my fans." However this upset
Richard "Diddy" Dearlove, a London based musical artist & DJ,
who in November 2005 sought an injunction of the Royal Courts of
Justice, London but accepted an out-of-court settlement of £110,000.
As a result, Combs no longer uses the name Diddy in the UK, where
he is still known as P. Diddy.
Combs starred in the 2005 Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, played Walter
Lee Younger in the critically acclaimed 2004 Broadway revival of
A Raisin in the Sun and the television adaptation which was aired
in February 2008. In the same year Combs sold his record company
to the Warner Music Group. Tensions still existed between him and
former Warner's CEOs Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles (both formerly of
Def Jam) but they arranged for his imprint to be a part of the company.
In an interview with AndPOP Combs said that he was developing a line
of men's suits. He later hosted the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards,
and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2005 by Time
magazine. He even earned a mention in the world of country music:
The narrator of "Play Something Country" by Brooks & Dunn
and Sean Okundaye says he "didn't come to hear P Diddy",
which he rhymes with "something bumpin' from the city."
Combs released his first album in 4 years, Press Play, on October
17, 2006 on the Bad Boy Records label with guest appearances
from Christina Aguilera, Keyshia Cole, Mario Winans (signed to his
label 'Bad Boy Records'), Nas, Will.i.am (of The Black Eyed Peas),
Mary J. Blige, Nicole Scherzinger (of the Pussycat Dolls), Jamie
Foxx, Fergie, Big Boi (of Outkast), Ciara, Twista, Just Blaze, Pharrell,
Brandy. The album reached number one on its first week in the charts.
It was reported that Combs would be singing on all the tracks of
this album but he did not sing at all on the album's first single, "Come
To Me" (featuring Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls),
but rather did his traditional rapping. He did sing on the third
single, "Last Night" (featuring Keyshia Cole). "Tell
Me" (featuring Christina Aguilera) was released as the second
single. He was asking fans on his MySpace page to help him choose
the fourth single, which was "Through the Pain (She Told Me)" (featuring
In October 2007, he was sued by hip-hop promoter James Waldon for
allegedly unleashing three violent bodyguards on him in a New York
nightclub. In March 2008, a source for the Los Angeles Times claimed
that The Notorious B.I.G. and Combs orchestrated the '94 robbery
and assassination attempt on Tupac, substantiating the claim with
supposed FBI documents to that effect; the newspaper later retracted
the story, acknowledging that the supporting FBI documents had been
August 2008 saw Combs venture into reality television with the premiere
of his VH1 series I Want to Work for Diddy. After the second
season finale of Making the Band 4, Combs confirmed that he will
be heading back into the studio to record his next album. He posted
a Myspace Bulletin on February 19, 2009 that his next album is set
to release in November 2009.
Combs has stated that he would like to work with Leona Lewis on
his new album. In an interview with The Daily Mail he said: "I
had Christina Aguilera on my last album, but its all about Leona
Lewis on my next."
Under his real name of Sean Combs, he starred in two episodes of
Season 7 of CSI: Miami; 'Presumed Guilty' and 'Sink or Swim' in the
role of the lawyer Derek Powell.
He has created a rap supergroup known as "The Dream Team".
The group consists of Diddy, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Busta
Rhymes and Red Café. Fabolous is also rumored to be in
the group. Since 2009 he has recorded and performed as part of
the group Diddy-Dirty Money.
In June 2010, Diddy played a role (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 Diddy would guest
star on an episode of the upcoming season.
 Business ventures
In 2002, he was featured on Fortune magazine's "40 Richest
People Under 40" list and was placed number one in the list
of the top ten richest people in hip-hop. He has donated undisclosed
amounts to the Patricia Kirby Foundation, an organization that battles
teenage bulimia, anorexia and other eating disorders.
In 2006 his estimated worth was US $346 million, making him one of
the richest people in the hip hop entertainment business.
 Sean John
Billboard of Combs over Times Square in 2008 (advertising the Sean
John clothing line)
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, and won in 2004.
The clothing line was subject to controversy in 2003 when it was
discovered that factories producing the clothing in Honduras were
violating Honduran labor law. Among the accusations put forth
were that workers were subjected to body searches and paid sweatshop
wages. Charles Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee, who
first exposed the factory, is quoted in the New York Times as saying, "Sean
Puff Daddy obviously has a lot of clout, he can literally do a lot
overnight to help these workers."
Combs responded that there would be a "zero tolerance" investigation
at his company, Sean John. He stated to a group of reporters "I'm
as pro-worker as they get." On February 14, 2004, Kernaghann
announced on Pacifia station that Combs had made some "unprecedented" changes
at factories including adding air conditioning and water purification
systems, and allowing a union to form.
In late 2006, MSNBC reported, "Macy's has pulled from its shelves
and its Web site two styles of Sean John hooded jackets, originally
advertised as featuring faux fur, after an investigation by the nation's
largest animal protection organization concluded that the garments
were actually made from an animal called a 'raccoon dog'". Combs
said he had been unaware of the material, but as soon as he knew
about it, he had his clothing line stop using the material. In
2008 he appeared in a Macy's commercial.
In November 2008, Combs launched his latest men's perfume under
the Sean John brand called "I Am King" dedicated to Barack
Obama, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King. In his blog he stated: "There
is a black president and it's time for there to be a black Bond".
In November 2008, he unveiled a new Times Square billboard for the "I
Am King" line to replace his iconic Sean John ad. The giant
billboard is currently the largest print ad in Times Square. Model
Bar Refaeli was chosen to be the face of the fragrance.
 Other ventures
In addition to his clothing line, Combs owns an upscale restaurant
chain called Justin's, named after his son. The current restaurant
is in Atlanta; the original New York location closed in September
2007. He is the designer of the green Dallas Mavericks alternate
On September 18, 2007, Combs teamed up with 50 Cent and Jay-Z for
the "Forbes I Get Money Billion Dollar Remix."[citation
needed] He also made appearances with Jay-Z on his American Gangster
concert tour in 2007.
As of October 2007, Combs has inked a multi-year deal, in which
he'll help develop the Ciroc brand, one of Diageo PLC's super-premium
Vodka lines, for a 50–50 share in the profits. The agreement
is the latest in which a celebrity is going beyond the typical role
of endorser to share in a brand's rise and fall. Diageo said the
agreement could be worth more than $100 million for Combs and his
company, Sean Combs Enterprises, over the course of the deal, depending
on how well the brand performs. Since then, he has launched multiple
ventures for Ciroc, many of which were featured during the 2008 presidential
Combs acquired the Enyce clothing line from Liz Claiborne for $20
million on October 21, 2008.
After a prolific Twitter campaign by comedian Chris Gethard, Combs
is set to make an appearance at the comedian's live show in January
2010 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City.
Gethard originally campaigned for Al Roker to appear, though he politely
In February 2010, Combs announced on CNN to Wolf Blitzer, that he
plans to open a business school in New York. He announced that he
wanted a school, "that’s known for building leaders."
 Personal life
Combs with his sons Christian and Justin at the Spider-Man 3 premiere
Combs has never married, but he is the biological father of five
children and the informal stepfather of another child. His on-again,
off-again girlfriend Kimberly Porter has a son, Quincy Jones Brown
(born December 1991) with 1980s New Jack Swing romantic singer/producer
Al B Sure. Quincy was featured on My Super Sweet 16. Combs' first
biological child is Justin Dior Combs (born December 1993), from
a relationship with his high school sweetheart, designer Misa Hylton-Brim.
In January 2010 it was widely reported that Combs presented his son
Justin with a $360,000 Maybach car (and chauffeur) as a 16th birthday
present. Justin was also featured on My Super Sweet 16. His second
child is son Christian Casey Combs (born April 1998) with Kim Porter.
Porter is also the mother of Combs' twin daughters, D'Lila Star Combs
and Jessie James Combs (born December 2006). In July 2007 Combs
and Porter ended their relationship. In October 2007, Combs took
legal responsibility for Chance, his daughter with Sarah Chapman.
On October 13, 2006, the mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, gave
Combs the key to the city and a pair of cufflinks to commemorate
the inauguration of an annual October 13 "Diddy Day".
He received the honor as reward for certain charitable work at Chicago's
In the February 2007 issue of Blender magazine, Combs spoke about
his wardrobe. He describes his style in three words: "Swagger.
Timeless. Diverse." On September 2, 2007, Combs held his
ninth annual "White Party" in which all guests are limited
to an all white dress code. The White Party, which has also been
held in St. Tropez, was held in his Long Island home in East Hampton.
It featured a white carpet to go along with the white dress code.
Combs stated, "This party is up there with the top three that
I've thrown, It's a party that has legendary status. It's hard to
throw a party that lives up to its legend."
Main articles: Sean Combs discography and Sean Combs production discography
* 1997: No Way Out
* 1999: Forever
* 2001: The Saga Continues...
* 2002: We Invented the Remix
* 2006: Press Play
* 2010: Last Train to Paris
* NAACP Image Awards
o 2009, Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special,
A Raisin in the Sun (Winner)
* MOBO Awards
o 2007, Best International Act (Nominated)
* BET Awards
o 2007, Best Male Hip Hop Artist (Nominated)
* MTV Video Music Awards
o 1997, Best R&B Video: "I'll Be Missing You" (Winner)
o 1998, Viewers Choice: "It's All About The Benjamins (Rock Remix)" (Winner)
* Grammy Awards
Year Category Genre Song Result
1998 Best New Artist General N/A Nominated
1998 Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Rap "Can't Nobody
Hold Me Down" Nominated
1998 Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Rap "Mo Money Mo
1998 Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Rap "I'll Be Missing
1998 Best Rap Album Rap No Way Out Won
2000 Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Rap "Satisfy You" Nominated
2002 Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Rap "Bad Boy For
2003 Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Rap "Pass the Courvoisier
(Part 2)" Nominated
2004 Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Rap "Shake Ya Tailfeather" Won
* Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (Albums Executive
Produced by Sean Combs)
Rank Artist Album Year
133 The Notorious B.I.G. Ready To Die 1994
279 Mary J. Blige My Life 1994
483 The Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death 1997