After celebrating his 50th birthday, Sean “Diddy” Combs has another celebration to prep for. On Wednesday (Dec. 18), the Recording Academy and Clive Davis announced the music mogul as their 2020 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons honoree. After launching Bad Boy Records in 1993, he went on to help launch the careers of hip-hop icons like The Notorious B.I.G. and R&B royalty like Faith Evans.
“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 VIBE. “To be honored at this year’s Pre-GRAMMY Gala and receive the Industry Icons® Award is truly a blessing.”
“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.”
Previous honorees, include Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss, Clarence Avant, Irving Azoff, Martin Bandier, Sir Richard Branson, Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Lucian Grainge, Debra L. Lee, Doug Morris, Mo Ostin, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid. In 2018, Jay-Z was also given the honor shortly after the release of his 13th album, 4:44.
“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. “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.”