Sean "Diddy" Combs will receive ASCAP's Founders Award during the performing rights organization's 24th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The invitation-only ceremony will take place Friday, June 24, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The songwriters and publishers of the most-performed ASCAP songs on the 2010 R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel charts will also be honored.
Combs joins such previous Founders Award recipients as Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney. "To be recognized for my contributions to music by ASCAP is a true honor," said Combs in a statement. "All I wanted to do was make people dance and hopefully inspire others to never settle for anything but their best."
Over the course of his career, Combs has worn many hats. A former A&R executive at Uptown Records who worked with Heavy D and Mary J. Blige, he established Bad Boy Entertainment after leaving Uptown in 1993. Garnering early success with artists Craig Mack and Notorious B.I.G., Bad Boy later boasted such acts as Faith Evans and 112. As a solo artist, Combs has recorded a string of hits-"I'll Be Missing You," "I Need a Girl" and "Coming Home"-and released six studio albums. His most recent is the Diddy-Dirty Money album "Last Train to Paris."
In addition to being a producer (Mariah Carey, TLC, Boyz II Men), Combs is a fashion designer, businessman and actor. "His success," noted ASCAP president/chairman Paul Williams in a statement, "is a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and ingenious ability to add his personal touch to contemporary culture."