Sean Combs is the definition of a mogul. As the Chairman and CEO of Combs Enterprises, he has a diverse portfolio of businesses and investments covering the music, fashion, fragrance, beverage, marketing, film, television, and media industries with companies such as Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Sean John, Combs Wine & Spirits, AQUAhydrate, The Blue Flame Agency, REVOLT Films and REVOLT MEDIA & TV.
Born on November 4th, 1969 in Harlem, NY, Combs’ work ethic and entrepreneurial drive were evident at a young age – he had two paper delivery routes, worked at a gas station, as a busboy at a Mexican restaurant, and even operated a lemonade stand. Following high school, Combs studied business and administration at Howard University, while also commuting to New York City to intern at Uptown Records. Quickly climbing the label’s ranks, Combs was promoted to Director of A&R and scouting, where he was integral in launching the careers of Mary J Blige and Jodeci. In 1993, he began his own label, Bad Boy Records, whose first release the following year, Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die, became the foundation for influential hip hop. Bad Boy Records and Combs went on to create a new niche within the hip-hop genre, fostering superstar talent that includes Mariah Carey, New Edition, Method Man, Babyface, TLC, Boyz II Men, Lil’ Kim, SWV, Aretha Franklin, and Faith Evans. In 2016, Bad Boy announced an exclusive partnership with Epic Records, released its 20th Anniversary Collection and Puff Daddy & The Family reunited for a U.S. tour. The label boasts an all-star roster of artists including Janelle Monae, French Montana, Cassie and Machine Gun Kelly.
Combs’ solo music career began in 1997 with his first single, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” which shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, quickly followed by a #1 debut album that has gone Platinum seven times. This Grammy-winning debut was just the start of Combs’ massive career, which has garnered countless number one records, 3 Grammy Awards, and ASCAP’s ‘Songwriter of the Year’ honor. In 2015, Combs released MMM, “a sonic motion picture” that included collaborations with Lil Kim, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Jadakiss, French Montana and others. In 2016, Combs announced plans to release his sixth studio album, No Way Out 2.
Beyond leaving his mark on the music industry, Combs is an influential sartorial force. In 1998, he launched Sean John, bringing his vision of urban streetwear to the mainstream men’s clothing market. The men’s sportswear line debuted in the spring of 1999 and was an enormous and immediate commercial success, as well as earning admiration from the fashion world. In 2000, the Council of Fashion Designers of America nominated Combs as menswear design of the year – confirming Sean John Clothing as an apparel label of merit. In 2004, he was awarded the prestigious “Perry Ellis Menswear Designer of the Year Award” from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). In Spring 2016, Sean John introduced the brand’s GIRLS collection.
In addition to clothing and accessories, Combs has launched four fragrances under the brand, including Unforgivable, which quickly became the number one selling fragrance across America when it was released, Unforgivable Woman, I Am King, and his newest scent, 3AM, which launched in 2015.
Combs made his acting debut in 2001 in Made. He has since appeared in more than a dozen films, including Draft Day, Muppets Most Wanted, Training Day, Get Him to the Greek, Carlito’s Way, and Monsters Ball. In 2007, Combs played the leading role in A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway and reprised the role in a television adaptation for ABC, which he also executive produced for ABC. The movie was nominated for three Emmy Awards, and Combs won an NAACP Awards for Best Actor for his role in the film.
Combs is also recognized for his role as both a television and film producer. In 2003, he teamed up with MTV to find the next big hip-hop group with Making the Band II. After three successful seasons, Combs and MTV launched a new installment of the hit show with Making the Band III in spring 2005, this time searching for an all-girl group. Combs has also partnered with HBO on a number of television ventures including the series “P. Diddy Presents the Bad Boys of Comedy” which premiered in June 2005 and featured the hottest up-and-coming urban comedians performing in front of a live audience. In 2015, Combs launched Revolt Films, a multi faceted production company specializing in developing, producing, and financing films and original television content. Combs was an executive producer on acclaimed documentary, “UNDEFEATED,” which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2012, DOPE, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Film Festival, and Lawless, which was nominated for Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival and won the Hollywood Film Awards. Revolt Films currently has eight feature film projects and five TV programs in various stages of development.
In 2007, Combs partnered with Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, on a revolutionary strategic alliance to oversee and manage all branding and marketing initiatives for Ciroc Vodka. The brand received a 2013 Beverage Industry News Award of Excellence, was named 2011 Spirits Brand of the Year by Market Watch, and earned a double gold medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010. In 2013, Combs Wine & Spirits launched, and shortly thereafter, Combs partnered with Diageo on the acquisition of luxury tequila brand DeLeón. The DELEON® portfolio boasts six provocative ultra-premium and luxury expressions made from the finest, hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agave sourced from the highlands of Jalisco.
Closely following his partnership with Diageo, Combs joined forces with actor/producer Mark Wahlberg to launch a new joint venture with fitness and wellness water brand, AQUAhydrate. The brand is targeted to Millennials and is the official water product for myriad of celebrities and professional sports teams and major events.
It was also in 2013 that Sean Combs launched his own music television network, REVOLT, which has been touted as his most ambitious project to date. The network began as a groundbreaking partnership with Comcast, the nation’s largest cable television provider, and continues to be a driving force in music and culture — expertly curating the best of the best in music and engaging youth in social conversation, the multi-genre, multi-platform network offers breaking music news, videos, artist interviews, exclusive performances, and original programming. REVOLT currently attracts more than 50 million young adults through television, digital properties, social and mobile, and is available nationally on DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse TV, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink Prism TV and Suddenlink and internationally in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Trinidad.
Combs has always applied the same drive and entrepreneurial spirit that has defined his entertainment and business success to his philanthropic work and political activism. He led the response to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, pledging one million bottles of water along with a long-term commitment to provide water to Flint citizens until the issue is resolved. He raised more than $2 million for New York City public schools and children suffering from HIV and AIDS by competing in the New York City Marathon. He has supported organizations including the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the Boys & Girls Club, and others that create opportunities for young people. And, he has served on the board of the Hip Hop Action Network and rallied millions of young people to register to vote and vote during the 2008 election through his Vote or Die project. In 2016, Combs also announced that he was launching a charter school in Harlem.
In 2014, Combs returned to Howard University to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities and deliver the University’s 146th Commencement Address.