Sean "Diddy" Combs
In 2007, Sean "Diddy" Combs put his name to his biggest hit in years, and the rest of the music biz has been racing to re-create it. Only instead of a single, it was a business deal-a 50/50 stake in Diageo's Ciroc vodka that effectively made him "brand manager" of the then-struggling spirit. Nearly five years later, the little vodka that could has ballooned in sales to No. 2 in its category (ahead of No. 3 Belvedere) and achieved a 38% year-over-year increase in 2011 alone, according to Beverage Information Group. It's also netted Combs more than $100 million in revenue, a sum large enough to inspire copycat liquor branding deals by everyone from Pitbull and Fergie (Voli) to Enrique Iglesias (Atlantico Rum), Ludacris (Conjure cognac) and Ne-Yo (Malibu Red rum tequila).
Though his 2010 Diddy-Dirty Money album was considered a disappointment, Combs' Bad Boy imprint has been on a signing binge of late -- French Montana, Cassie, MGK (Machine Gun Kelly), Los, Red Cafe and newcomer Megan Nicole are among the names recently added to its roster. Next, look for Combs to put his media muscle to the test when he launches music entertainment network Revolt with Comcast in early 2013. - Andrew Hampp