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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Monday's Connector: Diddy (Sean Combs)

September 23rd, 2010
02:41 PM ET

His name may officially be Sean Combs, but he's more commonly known as Puff Daddy or P. Diddy.

Sean Combs is your Connector of the Day.
Sean Combs is your Connector of the Day.

One of the most influential music and business figures in Hollywood, Combs is famous for his range of rap songs and his personal fashion line.

Born in a housing project in Harlem, New York in 1969, Combs had what some people would call a rough childhood. His father was shot dead in his car and his family reportedly had links to Frank Lucas, a figure in New York's drug scene.

Combs attended Howard University and showed an early desire in marketing and promotion and after becoming an intern at Uptown Records he quit university to take up a full-time position at the company.

In 1993, Combs founded Bad Boy Records and took with him a relative newcomer on the rap scene, Notorious B.I.G, who later became one of the most popular rap artists during that decade.

In 1997, Combs recorded his first single titled "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" which spent six weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard charts.

His debut album in following year was also extremely popular and it won the 1998 Grammy award.

While Combs has had an extremely successful music career, his life behind the cameras has been a little more tumultuous as he has had several run ins with the law - from bribery to assault charges.

Aside from the music, Combs has also put his foot into the business world with a successful fashion line called "Sean John" & "Sean by Sean Combs."

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    What is the best advice you can give to all aspiring artists who want to get radio play on all international major stations?

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    September 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  2. James

    Your music is progressively getting worse.

    Your latest set up with Dirty Money in my opinion won't be commercial.
    Press Play was better but still not the standard I expected.

    Do you intend to retire after the dirty money set up? Or will you wait to be dropped by Interscope?

    September 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  3. Michelle Theuma

    You have been a creative entrepreneur for years, what keeps you inspired to advance with new varied projects?

    Michelle
    from Malta,Europe

    September 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  4. Sonia Wahome, Reykjavik, Iceland

    As a father, what values do you instil in your children in respect to hardwork, diligence and balancing social activities and education.

    September 26, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  5. Ben Herr

    Dear P. Diddy,

    Hi my name is Ben Herr and it has been a dream of mine to live in New York City. I'm in community college right now and I am coming up on the time when I have to decide where I'll have to transfer to? I want to go to school at Marymount Manhattan College in Manhattan, New York, but I cannot in a million years ever afford it. I would like to know if you could help me pay for college?

    Ben Herr
    Arlington, TX

    September 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  6. Jeff from Ibiza, Spain

    I'm convinced Hip Hop/Rap has lost its soul and is just not inspiring anymore. Heres why: Though it still has the chance to be become a productive outlet for young people to express themselves, unfortunately the majority of ideas and messages that we mostly hear is still about like "going to the club" or strip joint, driving a overly modified automobile, running from the police or worst yet, degrading woman down to just mindless sex slaves" informs me that Hip Hop is quite limited - that it ran of new ideas because its body of artists are not that creative. What do you think?

    September 26, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  7. Don Ward

    Did you and Biggie set up Tupac in the first shooting? What about the second?

    Don
    Ireland

    September 27, 2010 at 12:14 am | Reply
  8. Patricia

    What business advice do you have for the new generation just starting their professional careers in this recession?

    September 27, 2010 at 12:21 am | Reply
  9. HYGINUS NWATU

    I am from Nigeria but live in Denmark.

    what help can you give to many Africans who own little companies, but because of their background even when they have all the necessary papers to be part of the society where they live in Europe can not achieve their goals.
    Because they have not been given the opportunity to be part of that society where they live.

    September 27, 2010 at 12:34 am | Reply
  10. Cristofre Martin

    Have you heard from Big????

    September 27, 2010 at 12:50 am | Reply
  11. keisha simpson

    have u thought about visiting Jamaica?

    September 27, 2010 at 12:50 am | Reply
  12. keisha simpson

    have u thought about performing in Jamaica in the near future?

    September 27, 2010 at 12:52 am | Reply
  13. Christa

    Do you believe in God, and are you concerned about those who believe that many of those that are very succesful in the music industry are said to serve the devil?

    September 27, 2010 at 12:55 am | Reply
  14. Brent

    What is the best method you use in adapting you business to stay competitive in today's economy? and what is the most important goal for you during the next decade?

    Thanks,
    Brent
    Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada

    September 27, 2010 at 1:45 am | Reply
  15. Parker

    You have been relevant in hip/hop and the entertainment industry for close to two decades. Who has impacted or changed your life the most in this journey?

    September 27, 2010 at 1:56 am | Reply
  16. Everyone's Talking

    Have you hear this record from Canada?

    http://www.everyonestalking.net/

    September 27, 2010 at 2:11 am | Reply
  17. Tolu

    Be honest sean,is it really practical to work really hard and party as hard? i m twisted bout this.
    Tolu.T.Oluwatuyi
    from London,England

    September 27, 2010 at 2:12 am | Reply
  18. Paul tan

    Is it true you changed your name from puff daddy to p diddy because you lost a bet of which the consequence was that you change your official name to a sissy sounding one.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:22 am | Reply
  19. CLYDE

    QUESTIONS TO PUFF

    PUFF WHEN WILL YOU VISIT AND PERFORM FOR THE TROOPS DEPLOYED?

    September 27, 2010 at 2:26 am | Reply
  20. John

    No, I don't.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:31 am | Reply
  21. Peter Opondo

    I applaud your success and the privileges therein,being an african I am pertubed by the naked opulence displayed by most successful blacks in the US,when they should be the first ones to realize how underprivileged blacks are in that society,why don't you guys team up and do whatever is necessary to alleviate inadequacies of your own lot?and I mean an all out and sustained siege to societal challenges in the black community.Is there a point you guys stop to appraises yourselves in the mirror of humanity?
    Peter opondo,
    Sapporo.Japan

    September 27, 2010 at 2:46 am | Reply
  22. MAK

    You are a man who thrives on the ignorance of others. You have limited talent, beyond your parasitic flair, and no social value. You are a discredit to your race,
    It is, for some reason, the poor and undereducated that provide you with the money to live like you do. You don't care about them–as long as they buy your entertainment.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:57 am | Reply
  23. Sayan Mitra

    Hello Sir,

    You are a really successful man (music/fashion). Could you tell me where you got your inspiration from?

    Sayan Mitra
    Kolkata,West Bengal,
    India.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:22 am | Reply
  24. Jen

    Did you ever consider being an American Idol judge?

    I've considered it for you and think that it would have been a good move on their part!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:26 am | Reply
  25. Baz

    Do you think that release quality results are achievable with a good home studio (eg Logic + good channel strip + good pre amp + good mic) or do you think that a high end studio is still an essential part of the equation when talking about chart topping tracks?

    Thanks

    Baz, Brisbane Australia

    September 27, 2010 at 3:30 am | Reply
  26. BC

    How do you keep yourself motivated and keep on trying despite all of the hardship that you ve been through?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:36 am | Reply
  27. JesusNeedsABreak

    Why do so many stereotypical back men need guns with all that nasty street talk and ego going on? Why do they call their women b!tches and disrespect so many things especially their music? Why so angry? You've got a president in the white house as a role model, But you and your kind are nothing like him, when will you evolve?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:38 am | Reply
  28. francis kioko

    i work with poor small scale coffee farmers in east Africa .We are an NGO trying to find markets for their coffee.Would it be a good business idea as well as a good chance to make a difference for these farmers to come up with a sean john coffee line?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:43 am | Reply
  29. Keira

    Hi,

    I'd like to ask him, what criteria does he employ when determining if a number can/will be a hit on the radio? Is it music more than lyrics? Vice versa? Also, who does he consider to be a natural, talented artist nowadays?

    Thanks,

    Keira
    NY

    September 27, 2010 at 3:47 am | Reply
  30. Corn Oleo

    Could you go to Atlantic city on the corner of 5th and market and get me a slice of cheese cake?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:58 am | Reply
  31. Aigul

    Hi Sean! Culd you tell me please your secret of sucsessful life!

    Aigul
    from KAZAKHSTAN

    September 27, 2010 at 4:03 am | Reply
  32. TEDDY

    Puff, Could you ever see the truth coming out about the murder of the late Notrious B.I.G.? We miss him and we love him and we need to know.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:03 am | Reply
  33. Scott Mulcahy

    From what I can tell from your successes in music and in your personal life, you seem like a person with a lot of drive, attention to detail, and great leadership ability. If music had not been your passion, would you have joined the military, if so, which service and why?

    CPT Scott Mulcahy
    Kuwait

    September 27, 2010 at 4:08 am | Reply
  34. TEDDY

    Puff, perhaps, I should have pre-empted my question regarding The late Notorious B.I.G.–by stating I am a huge fan of yours.–no doubt. Secondly, I wanna ask how do those in Biggies inner circle feel regarding this issue–do they feelthey have gotten the truth?

    With respect,

    Tedro

    September 27, 2010 at 4:10 am | Reply
  35. John Doherty

    Dear Mr. Combs,
    I'm a 45 year old male that would love to become the next great rapper, can you help me I have no experience at all.

    John

    September 27, 2010 at 4:50 am | Reply
  36. Jayson

    Would there ever be a time when you would turn away from music and focus only on fashion?

    September 27, 2010 at 5:15 am | Reply
  37. Victoria Brouillet (Canadian)

    Congratulations on your success in life! That having been said, have you ever made your kids do charity work?

    Any parent would love to be able to lavish gifts and lifestyle on their children- your kids, your right...but even the late Princess Diana had her children involved in charity work so that even the young Princes of England would have a better understanding of just how lucky they are.

    Do your young Princes and Princesses of Harlem understand the same? There's enough Paris Hilton's out there now and that type of person isn't much of a legacy.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:18 am | Reply
  38. Jiggy

    Your best Biggie joint & why?

    Jiggy
    Lagos, Nigeria

    September 27, 2010 at 5:40 am | Reply
  39. Matthew Rac

    I don't really follow hip-hop because I think it's has little substance, at least the main stream bunch. But I still respect some of the artists within it because they have talent, I don't think you do. So my questions are these:

    Why do you keep changing your name when no one really cares?

    Why do you pursue other things you are also not versed in like acting, and comedy?

    I am no saint, but at least I have not tarnished the innocent general population with my annoyances. So I would like to know what inspires someone such as yourself.

    Matt
    fChicago, USA

    September 27, 2010 at 5:48 am | Reply
  40. A. White

    Bom Dia! Good Morning !
    How are you Mr. Combs? Remember Critics are a dime a dozen, Do not give up and don't you quit. We all get down but it does not mean you are knocked out, my words, "Get up"!
    Be Encouraged! Go back to your roots, Go back to your first love ..."He that stated a good work in you shall complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
    Do not give up on God because God has not given up on you.
    A Missionary in real need....

    A Paz!
    Anthonelli
    Brasil

    September 27, 2010 at 6:11 am | Reply
  41. A. White

    "He that started a good work in you shall complete it until the day of Jesus Christ"

    September 27, 2010 at 6:14 am | Reply
  42. Sam

    I've listened to your music for years, was wondering how much would you roughly make a year ?

    September 27, 2010 at 6:18 am | Reply
  43. richard

    I want to say that i am one of the sean combs or puff daddy fans, i like some of his songs, he really make a mark as a musician and a business man ,but i want to ask him a question, what is his contribution to the less previliages in world.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:41 am | Reply
  44. Latonya

    Here in the United Kingdom we don't have music inspirations like in the states; there is so much talent here both from the states and the UK. I am the mother of a talented young man who writes, sings and raps. What's your advice for getting young people noticed here in the UK and do you have any plans to visit the UK as these talents would be inspired if you took on a project here like you do in the states.

    love & peace

    September 27, 2010 at 6:43 am | Reply
  45. Drake Rukundo

    Do you plan to continue the girl dance and sing competition just like Tyra Banks America's next top model?
    Whats your take on the new life of your one time hubby JLO? Did you actually move on to get into marriage?

    September 27, 2010 at 7:03 am | Reply
  46. Olebile Molefi

    From a business perspective all the giant fashion labels have opened stores in Africa or made it to Africa. Why dont we have a Sean Jean store in Africa and yet the CD's can reach us.

    Lets open a Sean John store?

    September 27, 2010 at 7:07 am | Reply
  47. Damion Miller

    I have lived by your quote to "chase the paper & the dream" instead of women, what would be your advice to young entrepreneur such as myself from Jamaica who has the vision to change the online ebook market, even though no music is involved?

    With "Victory with B.I.G and yourself being my all time favorite, when will you to a totally hits blue-ray special edition badboy music video collection?

    Damion Miller
    from, Jamaica

    September 27, 2010 at 7:11 am | Reply
  48. Matthew

    Hey Mr. Puff D

    I'm a poor guy. Can you hook me up with a job.

    Matthew
    From FLA

    September 27, 2010 at 7:23 am | Reply
  49. Rob

    How do you feel about President Obama? Has he met all your expectations? What do you think needs improvement in his administration, and what do you think he has done really well?

    Rob from Germany.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:23 am | Reply
  50. Dapo

    You started Bad Boy Records at the age of 24 which is an age most people are looking to get jobs. What was your reason for becoming an entrepreneur so early? Did you imagine you would be so successful? If you were to be at the starting block again at a time like this(with the recession), what would you differently?

    Also, I would like to know what you would advise someone who wants to get into the entertainment industry as an entrepreneur but has no firsthand experience of show biz

    September 27, 2010 at 7:27 am | Reply
  51. Rajesh Bhardwaj

    Hi Puffy/Diddy/Sean

    I just want to say that you are a genius! You know your stuff and it clearly shows! What inspires you the most about your work? What wisdom can you share with up and rising promoters?

    Rajesh Bhardwaj
    United Kingdom

    September 27, 2010 at 7:28 am | Reply
  52. parnas Rakosa

    why are you so extravagant?
    Can't you give more to charity especially in africa.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:37 am | Reply
  53. MJ

    In your opinion is lyrical hip hop dead? Doesn't feel like everyone just wants to talk about their cars, houses, jewelry, and the voice of the lyrical genius is missing from today's music? Granted you have to run a business and "sell what sells", but isn't satisfying the ignorance of the common listener ethically depressing when the message is missing from the sound?

    September 27, 2010 at 7:44 am | Reply
  54. Brm

    In which country are your clothes manufactured and what are the salaries of the workers?

    September 27, 2010 at 7:54 am | Reply
  55. Donna

    Hi, P-Diddy. Will you marry me?

    September 27, 2010 at 8:11 am | Reply
  56. Jose

    I gotta give it to you dog, despite the sometimes less than positive press, you continue to grow as a business person.

    Looking at your early accomplishments, I have to wonder, "what and when is the next winning formula coming from Sean Combs."

    This is a matter of respect for your business acumen extracted from all the commercial hype from a person that is trying to go into business himself.

    Jose
    From an American in Sarajevo

    September 27, 2010 at 8:48 am | Reply
  57. Andrew

    In what direction do you see the music industry heading these days?

    September 27, 2010 at 8:53 am | Reply
  58. Siham

    Hi Sean,

    I have a question for you: Did you convert to Islam? Many rappers did convert to Islam, and i had a doubt that you did too. Insha´Allah that you have found the light that will brighten your heart and life!

    Siham
    From Holland, Europe

    September 27, 2010 at 8:53 am | Reply
  59. Don Jax

    Like you, I grew up in the projects (The Johnson Houses on Lexington at 114th Street–although it was a long time ago. While there, I saw (but never had the nerve to meet) the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Her name was Contwello (Conny) Lopez. She was the sister of Sexto Lopez–a friend of my younger brother. After we moved to Bed-Stuy, I returned to visit friends, and learned that Conny had died of an OD.

    When I first saw J-Lo, visions of Conny came to mind, and have remained there. My comment has more to do with someone (you?) asking her if she is related to the vision of femininity that has haunted me for more than half a century.

    I know that the question has little to do with asking you direct questions about Sean Combs; but I had to try. Knowing the ansswer will help an old man to close a circle on one part of his youth.

    Oh, yes I like your music and buy your fragrances–even here in Nicaragua, where I've lived for so many years. Finally, I wish you continued success (but not excesses) in your future professional and personal life. It's great to see someone else escape the cesspool of poverty from which too many of us sprang.

    September 27, 2010 at 9:02 am | Reply
  60. Andrew

    In what Direction do you see the music industry heading these days?

    Andrew
    From France

    September 27, 2010 at 9:08 am | Reply
  61. Sheila Rabala

    How do you balance work and having such a big family? Your many business ventures must keep you very busy, are you ensuring that your children are getting adequate time with you?

    September 27, 2010 at 9:49 am | Reply
  62. Evans

    Would you be interested in some music promotion or mentoring in Nairobi Kenya, where there is a lot of talent, which never makes it to the international lime light.

    September 27, 2010 at 9:55 am | Reply
  63. Predrag Kaludjerovic

    Will you pursue politics in the States at any point in your future like Wyclef Jean tried to do in Haiti?

    P.K.
    Belgrade, Serbia

    September 27, 2010 at 10:35 am | Reply
  64. angie Lopez

    Who is today's music business excites You or inspires you ?

    Does anything (or anyone) intimidate you?

    September 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Reply
  65. Jorge

    Hey Sean,
    The question has to do with your appearance on Joaquin Phoenix's latest film.

    I'm sure that working with other artists, famous as they are, might also be a liability at any rate (as with everything in life).

    Because the film hasn't premiered yet in Spain, I'm quite interested as to what may happen on the film. I assume you were there to make business for real. Were you aware Phoenix was faking it all along? If so, did you feel deceived at any point, or at the very least that it was a waste of time?

    Best of luck in your projects,
    Jorge
    from Madrid, Spain

    September 27, 2010 at 10:39 am | Reply
  66. Pindo

    Is it possible to see U on stage LIVE (next year 4 example) in SLOVAKIA (mid Europe)? Thanx.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:46 am | Reply
  67. Danny

    When are you coming to perform in Israel?

    September 27, 2010 at 10:49 am | Reply
  68. damisrashid

    What advice will you give to your fellow blacks who seem not to use their intellectual capacity to its fullest.
    I personally admire and like you but I just do not like rap music because especially hip hop because it promotes sexual immoralities and use women as mere erotic objects: simply put women in hip hop are just marketing mixes.

    September 27, 2010 at 11:54 am | Reply
  69. roland baketunga

    Hey diddy,
    Im from Uganda(East Africa). Just want to know what motivated you back then and what motivates you now?
    Qn2.
    Can you please think about joining/partnering with a local church in UGANDA called WATOTO CHURCH? It's a great church practising true religion by going out and looking after orphans and widows! You partnering with this church would inspire many Ugandan citizens to be more selfless and less self centered. Thank you

    September 27, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  70. peggy

    bonjour Sean , Diddy je voulais savoir si un jour vous allez vous marier ???et si oui avez vous trouver élu de votre coeur???
    tendresse .. a big fan

    September 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  71. Miszblky

    Hi, You're Truly Man, Would you be interesting into more acting in the Movie. I would love to see you an Comedy Movie. Can you do it again? I wish you the Best!! Love & Peace

    September 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  72. JimmySklansky

    there have been a number of reports by former artists on badboy about shady business practices. why are you spending so much money on parties for other people to enjoy when you don´t want to spend it on your artists?

    September 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  73. Shedy Kay

    Diddddddddddddddyyyyyyyyyyyyy•••
    Man,you have really inspired me~you're the one who made me like rap music¤
    Wanted to ask you though why did u let all those great artists go to waste?
    I'm talking bout Faith Evans,112,Total,Mario Winans,Craig Mack and the rest of them???

    September 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  74. Adebayo

    P, Diddy,

    You are the bomb, keep following your dream.

    However, I will advise you adopt singing song (rap) that will influence the young generation to the success.

    Remain Great

    September 28, 2010 at 7:59 am | Reply

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