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The Business of Diddy

Diddy will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 BET Awards. Boardroom examines how Sean Combs got here.

Diddy has always been a powerhouse. Since the early days of helping jumpstart the massive careers of Mary J. Blige and Biggie, Sean John “Diddy” Combs has had a knack for turning his hip-hop and R&B taste-making into something more. Something global.

His gift first revealed itself to the world with the creation of Bad Boy Records in 1993, a joint venture with Arista Records, alongside his golden ticket in then-newcomer Christopher Wallace. Today, it’s impactful all over again in with the establishment of his new record label, LOVE Records, for which he announced a one-album recording deal with Motown last month.

“Music has always been my first love; Love Records is the next chapter about getting back to the love and making the best music of my life,” said Combs in an official statement. “For the label, I’m focused on creating timeless R&B music with the next generation of artists and producers. Motown is the perfect partner for my album, and I’m excited to add to its legacy.”

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Last weekend, Diddy made even bigger news. Almost exactly 25 years after taking home his first Billboard Music Award in 1997, he returned to the same stage both to host and executive produce the 2022 edition himself — and he dropped his first solo single in five years, “Gotta Move On” featuring Bryson Tiller, which they performed live on the show. He also revealed his first Love Records signee, Jozzy, amid the proceedings.

Music indeed has been the guiding compass for Diddy’s life motivations, but he’s also found a way to make himself one of the savviest and most influential executives in the entertainment business at large. He’s seemingly a monster of a mogul in the negotiation room as well as a vessel for helping uplift artists and their dreams.

Let’s take a closer look at the story of Diddy, Inc.

Social & Streaming Milestones

  • Instagram followers: 18.7 million
  • Twitter followers: 15.3 million
  • Spotify monthly listeners: 8.1 million
  • YouTube subscribers: 513,000
  • Estimated 2022 earnings: $90 million (via Forbes)

Music Accomplishments

  • Grammy nominations: 13
  • Grammy wins: 3
  • Solo albums: 5
  • Solo Platinum albums: 2
  • Solo Platinum singles: 5
  • Key collaborators: Mary J. Blige, The Notorious BIG, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Boyz II Men, Britney Spears, Ma$e, Kanye West

His CV is 1-of-1 in the industry — and now, BET is set to honor the entertainment stalwart with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s BET Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles.

“Diddy has always been a pioneering force in our community, breaking barriers, achieving unprecedented heights, blazing new trails, and, in so doing, raising the bar for all of us,” said BET CEO Scott Mills in an official release. “His virtuosity is matched only by his range – from music to media, culture, business, and philanthropy – Diddy has exemplified Black Excellence.”

Diddy’s Business & Investments Timeline

1998: Started iconic clothing line Sean John, which became highly successful and led to a 2017 sale of one-third of the company to Global Brands Group for a reported $70 million. (In February 2021, he filed two multi-million dollar lawsuits against GBB; as of this writing, the case is still pending.)

2002: Diddy the TV executive was born with the hit MTV show Making the Band, which ran until 2009 and launched the careers of acts like Danity Kane and Day26.

2007: Paired with spirits company Diageo to take over Cîroc Vodka, now second-biggest high-end vodka brand in the US.

2008: Acquired the sportswear line Enyce from Liz Claiborne for a reported $20 million.

2013: Started music television network REVOLT TV in partnership with Comcast.

2013: Launched Combs Wine & Spirits in 2013. Alongside Diageo, he additionally acquired premium tequila brand DeLeon.

2013: Partnered with Mark Wahlberg to launch AQUAhydrate, a fitness and wellness water brand. In 2019, it was purchased by Alkaline88 for an undisclosed amount.

2013: Founded Combs Enterprises to oversee his growing portfolio under one roof, which has come to include full-service marketing and advertising agency Blue Flame and philanthropic efforts like the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School in addition to his previous ventures.

2018: Music competition series The Four: Battle for Stardom debuted on FOX with Diddy serving as both producer and judging panelist alongside music stars Meghan Trainor and DJ Khaled. He reportedly earned $1 million per episode.

2021: Invested in electric boat startup Arc alongside fellow big names like Kevin Durant and Will Smith

Additionally, according to Realtor.com, Diddy’s real estate portfolio is worth upwards of $35 million.

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