Sean Combs, also known by his stage names Diddy and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, singer, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. 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. He was originally known as Puff Daddy and then as P. Diddy. In August 2005, he changed his stage name to simply "Diddy", but continues to use the name P. Diddy in the UK as the result of a lawsuit.
From 1992 to 2000, Combs performed under the stage name Puff Daddy; from 2001 to 2004 P. Diddy, and from 2005 Diddy. He has achieved 12 total top 5 Billboard Hot 100 hits, and topped the U.S. rap songs chart 12 times.
In 1993, Combs established Bad Boy Records, taking 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 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".
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.
In 2001, Combs changed his stage name from "Puff Daddy" to "P. Diddy". He tried to reinvent his image, working on a gospel album, Thank You. For a short period of time, he was the manager of Kelis and they had a collaboration titled "Let's Get Ill". 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.
In August 2005, Combs announced that he was altering his stage name yet again, dropping the "P." and referring to himself simply as "Diddy". However, London-based musical artist and DJ Richard Dearlove had been performing under the "Diddy" name since 1992 and in November 2005 sought an injunction in the High Court of Justice, London. An out-of-court settlement was reached and, as a result, Combs no longer uses the name Diddy in the UK, where he is still known as P. Diddy.
In February 2008, Combs sold his record company to the Warner Music Group. Since 2009, he has recorded and performed as part of the group Diddy - Dirty Money.