Rapper and canny businessman Sean Combs says he first made a mint aged 12 - by doing the hustle. As a boy, Combs - aka P. Diddy - earned $1,000 a week from paper rounds. He then worked at a diner, a petrol station and even cleaned toilets.
The 51-year-old says: “I was raised in Harlem and my father was killed when I was two. My mother had five jobs. I’m from the roots of hustle. I was a paperboy, the first entrepreneurial thing I did. I would reach out to the boys about to go to college. I asked if I could do their round and send them half the money. I was making $1,000 a week as I kept all the other rounds on. I was a busboy in a restaurant, I pumped gas at a gas station, I also had to keep the bathrooms clean. They are the worst but I was proud to make them clean and see people’s faces when they came out.”
Working hard has paid off for Sean, whose $885million fortune is not far behind that of his billionaire pal, Jay-Z. Sean owns a string of companies from music and television to water and booze. He founded the Bad Boy Entertainment label in 1993 and played a major role in the careers of Notorious B.I.G, Faith Evans and 112 – while his own hits included I’ll Be Missing You and I Need A Girl.
Sean’s dad was shot dead in 1972. The rapper himself was acquitted on charges stemming from a nightclub shootout 20 years ago, when he was known as Puff Daddy. After that, he gave himself a string of monikers including P. Diddy, Diddy, Sean John, Swag and Sea. What does he answer to now? “I am in the love era now,” he says. “I answer to all the names. Call me whatever you like. I will answer to all of them.”
He is also determined to tackle racism in showbiz. Talking on the Awards Chatter podcast, he adds: “We have to stop the insanity. You will see me get into more films and behind more creatives to find the solution to Hollywood saying, ‘Well, we just don’t know any black executives’.”
P Diddy rides in style
Super-rich Sean loves his cars – none more so than a cherished 1950s Corvette. He has also owned Ferraris, Rolls-Royce Phantoms and a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, which he reportedly gave to Justin Bieber. In 2019, he was left injured after his Cadillac Escalade crashed in LA. Mum Janice bought him a new one for his 50th birthday.
His business dealings
Diddy's Combs Enterprises embraces interests ranging from music to marketing and fragrance to fashion. He won awards for his Sean John urban wear. The star says: “When I started out, I wanted to wake up and put on some Sean John cologne, a Sean John suit, come home and put on Sean John clothes for the night.”
Where he calls home
Home for Diddy is a $40million mansion in Beverly Hills, complete with a 35-seat movie theatre. The 17,000 sq ft villa also has a guest house, while an underwater tunnel links the swimming pool to a grotto. He used to live in an 11-bathroom mansion in Atlanta which had a pool, tennis court and five garages for his fleet of cars.
His infamous love life
The rapper has had a string of famous love interests, from Jennifer Lopez to Cameron Diaz.
He dated singer Cassie on and off for 10 years and was linked to actors Sienna Miller and Kate Upton, as well as models Naomi Campbell, Alicia Douvall and Tina Louise. Diddy is daddy to six children – including twins.