On Wednesday (Dec. 18), the Recording Academy and Clive Davis announced Sean “Diddy” Combs as this year’s recipient of the Industry Icon Award. The Grammy honor goes to those who have made influential contributions to the industry.
Throughout his 30-year career, Diddy launched Bad Boy Records, signed hip hop icons like Biggie Smalls and Faith Evans, created an impressive catalogue and furthered hip hop culture through countless innovative and entrepreneurial pursuits.
“Clive Davis and Arista Records gave me a chance when I was starting Bad Boy Records, he was one of the first industry executives to really believe in me. I’m forever grateful for him,” Diddy told VIBE. “To be honored at this year’s Pre-Grammy Gala and receive the Industry Icons Award is truly a blessing.”
“For nearly three decades, Diddy has fused his boundless creativity and sharp entrepreneurial spirit to create timeless art and build brands and institutions that have shifted our global music culture,” Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan said in a release.
“By bringing the music and lifestyle of East Coast hip hop to the masses, he was an early reminder of music’s unifying ability to flip our perceptions and broaden our connections to all corners of the world,” Dugan continued. “Over the years, Diddy has persistently empowered other music creators and we’re honored to celebrate his culture-shaping impact at this year’s Pre-Grammy Gala.”
Past Industry Icon honorees have included Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Clarence Avant, Irving Azoff, Martin Bandier, Sir Richard Branson, Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Lucian Grainge, Debra L. Lee, Doug Morris, Mo Ostin, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and, in 2018, JAY-Z.
“It’s personally so gratifying that Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs is this year’s icon,” Davis said in a statement. “He fully deserves this wonderful recognition. From his past innovative and creative contributions right from the very inception of the hip hop revolution to his many memorable appearances at the Pre-Grammy Gala as both speaker and performer, it’s all come full circle. I couldn’t be happier for Sean as a dear friend and colleague.”
The Pre-Grammy Gala is set to take place on Jan. 25 and will be co-hosted by Davis.