Sean “P. Diddy” Combs has an estimated net worth of close to $700 million, and that firmly puts him as one of the richest men in Hip-Hop. He’s been active in the rap game since 1993 when he launched his record label and signed popular acts like The Notorious B.I.G. and The L.O.X. Since then he has diversified into fashion, acting, liquor – and the list goes on and on. Over the years, there has certainly been some controversy and a lot of criticism especially with regards to how he treats his music artists. But the bottom line is this: The business world is a tough one, and you have to be shrewd and calculating to rise to the top. These are skills that he has in abundance. Below are 9 reasons why Diddy is so darn rich!
Bad Boy Records
Sean “Puffy” Combs is the embodiment of determination and hustle. After quitting Howard University following his sophomore year, he came back to his native NYC and interned at Uptown Records. After that brief music industry education, he launched his own Bad Boy Records in 1993 and the rest is history. He has signed so many platinum selling records and made a ton of cash along the way. Some of the major artists that have been on the Bad Boy roster include Ma$e, Notorious B.I.G., 112, Total, Carl Thomas, Mary J. Blige and even Usher. The current roster has prominent rappers like French Montana and Ohio rapper Machine Gun Kelly. This guy is certainly a music mogul in every sense of the word.
Sean John Clothing
With all the success from making music, Puffy decided to take his marketing and tastemaker talent into the world of fashion. He launched his sportswear brand Sean John in 1999, and that was an ace move that would really start making him some major bucks. The brand has now become a full range label including men’s women’s, kids, perfumes and accessories. It’s a mainstay in major department stores all over the country and even internationally. Annual revenues at one point exceeded $500 million. Some stars that have appeared in ads for Sean John include Pharrell, Nelly, T.I., Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell, Channing Tatum and of course Diddy himself.
In addition to conquering music and television, Puffy has also made a major dent in the film industry. He has had roles in successful movies like Monster’s Ball and Get Him To The Greek. He has even done some theater acting in the show A Raisin In The Sun. On the television side of things, there was one point when he was an MTV regular with his popular reality show Making The Band. He has even had a show similar to Donald Trump’s The Apprentice called I Want To Work For Diddy. In any media format, Combs is a marketing genius, and all these ventures have added extra zeroes to his very large bank account.
Purchase of Enyce
In 2008 Puffy decided to dip into the clothing realm once again by purchasing the urban sportswear oriented brand Enyce. The brand was purchased by Liz Claiborne for over $100 million dollars years earlier, but when Puffy purchased it, he scooped it up for a cool $20 million. With his own brand Sean John becoming more of an upscale, sartorially-inclined brand as the years passed, Enyce was a smart way to keep his foot in the very sizeable streetwear clothing category. The brand is currently sold at major nationwide urban retailers like Dr. Jays.
Blue Flame Marketing Agency
With all his success in launching iconic brands and executing ultra-successful marketing campaigns, it was only right for Puffy to launch a marketing agency to serve big name clients with his innate skill and creativity. Blue Flame is a full-service marketing and advertising agency that services the urban and multi-cultural markets. Some of the clients they have consulted for in the past include Guinness, Universal Pictures and Fox Searchlight. You have to hand it to him, he’s one extremely insightful businessman.
Ciroc Vodka is one of the high-end vodkas on the market right now. The thing that really sets it apart from other Vodkas on the market is that it’s distilled from grapes and it has an extra smooth taste. In 2007, the brand approached Puffy Combs to be their brand ambassador in exchange for a cut of the profits. Diddy obliged and with him as Circoc’s main marketing face, the brand exploded (in a good way). In the last several years, Ciroc has been the vodka of choice for rappers and happening night clubs all over the nation, and even internationally. He really pulled out the stops in 2011, when he produced a slick TV spot for the liquor that was inspired by the Rat Pack. It was a star-studded event that featured: Eva Marcille, Chrissy Teigen, Michael K. Williams, Aaron Paul, Jesse Williams and more. When Diddy decides to go full tilt, there is nothing that can stop him.
So after selling you bottles of Ciroc, Puffy has also found a way to get your money the morning after with his own brand of high performance water called AQUAhydrate. The company is based in Southern, CA and they claim to produce zero-calorie water that enables you to reach your full potential when you’re working out at the gym or competing at high levels on the court/field. Puffy is a major partner in this brand along with Hollywood A-lister Mark Wahlberg. AQUAHydrate is available at GNC drugstores all over the country, and you can purchase a 12-bottle case of 1 Liter bottles for about $25.
With all his success selling Tequila to the masses, Puffy decided that it was time to try his hand at selling some Tequila also. At the beginning of this year, he announced that he had invested $100 million of his money to purchase 50% of the high-end Tequila company known as Deleon. It’s a very exclusive Tequila that’s made with 100% blue weber agave, and it already has a huge following among wealthy entertainment types. If his track record is anything to go by, you can rest assured that Diddy is probably going to double or triple his investment in the near future. Sean Combs does not lose.
When Diddy sees an open and inviting opportunity, he’s very quick to make a move and exploit the opening. That’s what happened when he noticed that music channels like MTV and VH1 mostly offered youth-directed reality shows to their viewers. He decided to launch a cable channel that took the focus back to music videos, live shows and musician interviews. He partnered with Comcast and Revolt officially launched in October, 2013. It’s been very successful so far, and it’s quickly becoming the channel where fans can see exclusive behind-the-scenes access of their favorite music stars. There is also a division of Revolt called Revolt Film that has already produced full features like the 2012 movie Lawless starring Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf.