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Sean “Diddy” Combs – An Icon of the Black Renaissance

A man of many talents.

The word polymath doesn’t find a better suitor than the business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. Rapper, songwriter, artist, philanthropist, entrepreneur and record producer – Combs truly deserves being on the Forbes list of “100 Greatest Living Business Minds.” His estimated net worth comes to a whopping $820 million, making him one of the wealthiest hip-hop artists in the world. 

In 2008 Combs was honored with the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In an interview with Forbes, Combs mentions an incident from his childhood that helped him learn a valuable lesson in customer service. Diddy had a majority of elderly customers, for whom he would put the newspaper in between the screen door and the door — this incident made him different, caring, and a better paperboy. Diddy while talking about his insights said that he gives his customers the best service, to get a return on his hard-work.

The business mogul.

It looks like the hard work has truly paid-off for Combs. The mogul not only owns a major stake in the TV network Revolt but he also has a clothing line. He also has multiple other business ventures such as a partnership with DeLeon tequila, a high-rise deal with Diageo’s Ciroc Vodka and a co-ownership of the water brand AQUAhydrate with Mark Wahlberg. Sean Combs is also the head of Combs Enterprises which functions as an umbrella for all business ventures and portfolios.

In November 2016, Sean Combs accrued an estimated total of $70 million when Global Brand groups purchased a stake in his company Sean John. He currently owns 20% of the company. Sean John, which was started in 1998 was nominated for the Menswear designer of the year in 2000 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Being the philanthropist and humanitarian that he is, Combs included water purification systems, air-conditioning and labor unions in all of his clothing factories. He even fired the most abusive supervisors who had been forcing workers to overtime without pay.

Music and Bad Boy Entertainment.

Born and raised in New York, Combs initially worked as an intern at Uptown Records. As a talent director, he helped develop Jodeci and Mary J. Blige at Uptown before starting his label Bad Boy Entertainment in 1993. Securing a seven times platinum in his debut album itself, Combs has been nominated for more than 10 Grammys and has won 3 of them. His in-house production team, The Hitmen, has worked with major stars in the music industry such as Mariah Carey, Usher, Lil’Kim, Jodeci TLC among others.

He established himself as Puff Daddy in the year 1997, that’s when he recorded his first vocal rap piece. His hit debut single was on the Billboard Hot 100 for 28 weeks, touching number one. His first album titled No Way Out was a huge success, and it even reached number one on the Billboard 200 during the first week of its release. His debut album got him five nominations at the 40th Grammy.  

Combs later changed his stage name from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy in 2001. It was in this year that he gained complete control of his label Bad Boy Entertainment after ending the deal with Arista Records and thus gaining full control of the catalog of artists. The last piece of music to be released by this former joint venture was the album The Saga Continues, which secured number 2 on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.

A leader of our society.

Combs is not only famous for his talent in the realm of music and business. He is a true leader of society and a benefactor of community. As a part of his numerous philanthropic endeavors, Combs established the Daddy’s House Social Programs in 1995 to help the disenfranchised youth of the inner city. The programs have tutoring, life skills classes, and summer camps as part of their curriculum. He pledged support of $1 million in 2005 to help the victims of hurricane Katrina. He also donated clothing from his brand to help the victims.

He has also donated books and computers to numerous schools in New York. In 2016 Combs donated $1 million to Howard University to start the Sean Combs Scholarship Fund to help those who are incapable of addressing a college tuition fee. In 2016, he established the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, where he and his staff provide youngsters with early lessons on leadership and success.

The new app and investing in the Black economy.

By actively investing and nurturing black economy, Sean Combs is contributing to the already progressing “Black Renaissance” in a significant way. Combs and Jay-Z, who is also the owner of many multi-million dollar franchises, are currently in talks about a new app that is designed to empower the African American community economically. 

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