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P Diddy

Almost as famous for his endless name changes as he is for his music, Sean Coombs � better known as, P. Diddy, Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy � was born in 1970 in Harlem and always seemed destined for a career in the music industry.

Already a shrewd business man as a youngster, Coombs attended Howard University in Washington after his high school education. It was here that he used old friend Heavy D to gain an internship at Uptown Records. After a few months at the label, Coombs quickly climbed to the position of A&R executive and produced a number of successful albums by artists, including, Mary J Blige and Father MC.

After being fired from Uptown, Coombs decided to establish his own business in 1993 called Bad Boy Entertainment. Both of Coombs� first signings, Craig Mack and Notorious B.I.G., achieved notable success when they featured alongside (LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes) on a remix of Mack�s, �Flava In Ya Ear.� The single became Bad Boy�s first platinum record.

Coombs continued to make a number of high profile signings to his label throughout the nineties, including faith Evans, as well as remixing tracks for Aretha Frankin and Lil� Kim. It was at this time that Bad Boy became embroiled in a feud with Tupac Shakur. Shakur accused Combs of playing a part in his 1994 shooting. The feud ended in 1996 when Shakur was shot by an unknown gunman and in early 1997 when B.I.G. was also murdered by an unknown killer. B.I.G�s first release after his death became one of Bad Boy�s most successful albums, eventually going six times platinum.

Under his pseudonym, Puff Daddy, Coombs released �I�ll Be Missing You,� alongside Faith Evans, in commemoration of his long time friend B.I.G. Coombs followed the commercial success of his tribute single with the era-defining, �No Way Out,� in 1998. The album went straight into number one and achieved a Grammy Award for best album. Not to lose momentum, Coombs rushed the follow-up, �Forever,� out the following year but because of a lack of originality the album failed to achieve the same level of success. 

After the release of �Forever,� Coombs became embroiled in a number of public confrontations which hurt his reputation. In April 1999 he was accused of assaulting an Interscope Records executive and later that year he and fianc�e Jennifer Lopez were present at a club shooting. After questioning, both individuals faced charges for illegal possession of a firearm.

Although she had vowed to stay with Coombs, Lopez left him on Valentines Day in 2001. In March all charges were dropped against Coombs in regard to the club shooting. Soon afterwards he changed his name to P. Diddy as part of an attempt to re-brand his image. He released, �The Saga Continues,� shortly afterwards which featured the smash hit song, �Bad Boy For Life.� A summer hit.

Since �The Saga Continues,� although his musical output has been limited, Coombs� name change problems have not left the public eye. In 2005 he dropped the P from his pseudonym, which led to a high court challenge in the UK � where there was already an artist operating under the name. After losing an appeal, Coombs has had to reinstate the P on all UK related outputs.