Sean “Diddy” Combs (a.k.a. Puff Daddy) will be the 2020 Grammy Salute To Industry Icons honoree in recognition of his 25-year career and “continuous influence on the music industry and beyond,” the Recording Academy announced today. The three-time Grammy winner will be celebrated at Clive Davis’ annual Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, the night before the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
“For nearly three decades, Diddy has fused his boundless creativity and sharp entrepreneurial spirit to create timeless art and build brands and institutions that have shifted our global music culture,” said Deborah Dugan, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “By bringing the music and lifestyle of East Coast hip-hop to the masses, he was an early reminder of music’s unifying ability to flip our perceptions and broaden our connections to all corners of the world. Over the years, Diddy has persistently empowered other music creators and we’re honored to celebrate his culture-shaping impact at this year’s Pre-Grammy Gala.”
“It’s personally so gratifying that Sean “Puffy” Combs is this year’s icon. He fully deserves this wonderful recognition,” said Clive Davis, co-host of the Pre-Grammy Gala, and whose Arista Records was distributor of Combs’ Bad Boy Records during its 1990s heyday. “From his past innovative and creative contributions right from the very inception of the hip hop revolution, to his many memorable appearances at the Pre Grammy Gala as both speaker and performer, it’s all come full circle. I couldn’t be happier for Sean as a dear friend and colleague.”
Combs started his career as an intern at Uptown Records, which began his journey to creating his own label, Bad Boy Records. After making his name with Mary J. Blige’s 1992 debut album, “What’s the 411?,” at Uptown and Notorious B.I.G.’s legendary “Ready to Die” album at Bad Boy, he has gone on to work with Mariah Carey, Method Man, Boyz II Men, Lil’ Kim and launch a career that reaches far beyond the music world. As an actor and executive producer in film, television and on Broadway, his cultural influence expands to his digital cable network Revolt and its experiential development initiatives, including the Revolt Summit. He also works in the philanthropic and political spheres with Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, helping fulfill his commitment to supporting education and empowering future leaders.
“Clive Davis and Arista Records gave me a chance when I was starting Bad Boy Records, he was one of the first industry executives to really believe in me. I’m forever grateful for him,” said Sean Combs. “To be honored at this year’s Pre-Grammy Gala and receive the Industry Icons Award is truly a blessing.”
Combs joins a prominent list of previous honorees, including Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss, Clarence Avant, Irving Azoff, Martin Bandier, Sir Richard Branson, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Lucian Grainge, Debra L. Lee, Doug Morris, Mo Ostin, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid.