P. Diddy Press Releases Puffy

Making of a Mogul – Antonio L.A. Reid says his Cincinnati background has proven to be invaluable…

Making of a Mogul – LA Reid is today’s cover story of his hometown’s newspaper, Cincinnati Enquirer.

Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid says his Cincinnati background has proven to be invaluable…

BY JANELLE GELFAND-Cincinnati Enquirer 10/8/2007

Antonio “L.A.” Reid couldn’t wait to talk about sitting next to Sarah Jessica Parker at a dinner party in the Hamptons recently.

“I gotta tell you this story,” the Cincinnati native says from his executive suite at Island Def Jam in New York. “It was just the most wonderful conversation, and I was so happy to finally meet someone else from Cincinnati that was in the entertainment business.”

One of the most powerful executives in the music industry and a triple Grammy-winner, he’s in his fourth year as chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group. The star-maker has discovered talents such as Usher, Avril Lavigne and OutKast. But Reid has not forgotten his Cincinnati roots. He flies into town every April to take his mother, who lives in Blue Ash, to dinner on her birthday

Last week, he expressed interest in helping his old high school, Hughes, renovate its outdated auditorium. “I’d be happy to come back and help them rebuild that auditorium, are you kidding?” he said. “That’s important.” No commitments have been made.

“The beauty of growing up in Cincinnati and how that’s impacted and affected my career is really great,” says Reid, 51. “I was able to listen to all kinds of music growing up. My taste in music has been vast and broad from the very beginning, because that’s what you learn in Cincinnati, that diversity.”

That Cincinnati experience is influencing how he is expanding Island Def Jam’s vision to encompass a smorgasbord of musical genres.

“I’m the only African-American in the business that does music across the board. That’s the thing that makes me unique,” he says, ticking off a diverse list of artists he is guiding, from Fall Out Boy, the Killers, Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge and Lionel Richie to Jay-Z and Ludacris.

Today, his Cincinnati upbringing might seem a distant memory. Celebrity headlines show him with Oprah at his 50th birthday party. Helping Barack Obama raise money for his presidential campaign. Inviting Jermaine Dupri, Kanye West and Diddy to perform at his son Aaron’s 16th birthday party at Jay-Z’s club, for MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16.”

He’s the man behind Mariah Carey’s comeback and last month’s triumph of Kanye West’s rap album sales over 50 Cent’s. The latter, a battle of albums released on the same day, played out at the MTV Video Music Awards, on BET and in Rolling Stone.

Reid saw past the media hype.

“The thing that excited me most wasn’t the fact that we had a showdown. It was that people still buy music,” he says. “Because there’s been so many reports from industry analysts, the media and skeptics, taking a position that our industry was a dying industry. … Sales are down everywhere, but great music still sells and people still want to buy it.”


He received MBA training at Harvard Business School. But Reid did not graduate with the Hughes High School class of ’74. Nor was he one of the school’s most famous alumni or voted “most likely to succeed.”

There are no photos of him in the 1974 yearbook because, says Reid, “I dropped out. I was enrolled, but I did not participate. I went through the 12th grade, and didn’t have enough credits to graduate. I decided to pursue my music career. One thing led to another, and as I started to have success, I took the necessary steps to get a diploma.”

At Hughes, Reid was a star drummer who cut his teeth playing with bands in “Merry-Go-Round,” an annual talent show held in the school auditorium. He also played in the marching band. He says his music teacher, Terry Brown (now deceased), who had his own group outside of school, taught him how to be a professional.

Today, the marching band is struggling to come back after a 20-year absence. The now-shabby auditorium, last updated in the ’50s, has an unusable sound system.

“This is where it all started,” says boyhood friend Darryl Gaither, 53, of Colerain Township, in the auditorium at Hughes Center, where he is lead security officer. “Walking home from school, we got to talking about him playing the drums. He said, ‘One day, I’m going to be famous.’ ”

Reid talked about his dream a lot, says another childhood friend, Anthony Bowden, 52, of Fairfield.

“There was no question he wanted to be a musician. He and one of my brothers had battles to see who’d be the lead drummer. He always won,” Bowden says. “He could play anything – ballads, rock, hard rock. He was one of those kinds of drummer who could fit in with anybody.”

Reid doesn’t know where he got his drive.

He was raised in Mount Auburn and Madisonville, one of four children of Emma Reid, a seamstress and interior decorator. His father was mostly absent. His first drum lessons were with his uncle, Albert Baldwin.

Using sticks he bought with tips earned working in a barbershop, young Antonio would beat on anything he could find in his mom’s house – pots and pans, furniture, the refrigerator – “Including me, if I stood still long enough,” laughs Emma Reid, his mother.

She took him to Greater New Light Baptist Church in Avondale, where the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth preached and the choir sang spirituals. Spirituals, Reid says, taught him about emotion in music.

“I let him know he should always put God first in his life, and he was a good kid,” Emma Reid says.


Reid idolized James Brown, who was then making history at King Records in Evanston. It’s an oft-told story of how the young boy would stop and listen outside the studio on his way to his karate lesson on Montgomery Road.

“I couldn’t hear anything, but I knew what was going on inside those walls and that was good enough for me,” he says. “I never spoke to him in person, but James Brown called me once, to tell me that he was proud that I was doing a great job.”

Even before 1981, when he founded The Deele with guitarist Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Reid was thinking about who Cincinnati’s great musicians were, and how he could get them into his band, or vice versa.

“It’s the same now. Nothing’s changed in that regard,” says the music mogul. “Where’s that great guitar player, where’s that singer, where’s that songwriter, where’s that dancer, where’s that hot girl? It’s just more channeled, more organized, and I’ve turned my passions into a business.”

Reid and Edmonds went on in 1989 to found Atlanta-based LaFace Records, where their roster included stars such as Toni Braxton, OutKast, TLC, Usher, Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston and Pebbles (whom Reid married and divorced).

Reid and Edmonds, who still has a successful solo career, have remained lifelong friends. They reunited on Edmonds’ latest album.

Reid hasn’t exceeded his dream – “not even close,” he says. Producing movies and television will be next, he says.

“I stay motivated by looking at my competitors, looking at the landscape of music around the world, and wanting to make more impact on more people,” he says.

“I believe that music has cultural impact. I know that it’s not that we’re brain surgeons, and it’s not necessarily true that we are stopping the war in Iraq. But to the extent that music can help one through the day and perhaps motivate you – I’d like to think that music’s very important.”


Talent – “I did really well as a songwriter and producer, but definitely not as a performer. I always knew I was a lousy performer. I thought that I had good taste in music, and that I picked talent well.”

Best advice – Hughes High School music teacher Terry Brown “told me, ‘Slow down, man, play it smoother. You’re playing it too hard. Just slow down and feel the groove. Play it like you’re making love.’ He helped me to understand the flow of music.”

Son Aaron’s “My Super Sweet 16” party on MTV – “I was the guy that said, ‘No, hell no. There’s no way we’re doing this.’ And I fought it and fought it, to the point where I realized I was going to make an enemy for life if I didn’t let him do the show. … He’s studying to be an actor. So for him, it was not necessarily about the party. It was about getting on television and starting his career.”

Job description – “I really spend most of my time coaching people, just to help them make the greatest music they can, and coaching executives to spread the music around the world. That’s what I live for.”

Executive style – “I like to be in the background. My style is to make sure my stars feel like stars. … As a manager, I’m a taskmaster. I’m a bit of a nudge. I absolutely kick and push people and give them tasks they believe are impossible, but when they accomplish them, they feel great about themselves. My whole style is about motivation.”

Harvard man – “I’m honored that I was accepted into the business school. It was a very difficult thing for me, because I didn’t come from a background of education. I came from a background of arts. But it was a necessary tool that has served me really well.”

Scouting for Cincinnati talent – “Nothing would make me happier than to put my arms around a band or an artist from Cincinnati, in any genre. It could be country, anything. I’m open to it.”

Talent spotter – “I look for the excitement factor. I want to get excited and if I’m right, the public will get excited.”

Taking risks – “Every day there is risk involved. When I decide to sign an artist, it’s a huge risk because it’s a huge amount of money involved. I like to think that I’m batting well, but you just really never know.”

Collaborating with “Babyface” on a new album – “I never stopped collaborating with Babyface. (The album) is covers of eight songs that we grew up on and a couple of original songs that he wrote. It’s a very pleasant album. You should listen to it on a Sunday afternoon.”

Can’t cut ties – “When I get involved with an artist, I stay involved with them regardless of which label they may work for. I’m exclusive to Universal Music Group … but I’m still close to OutKast, who just left my office, Usher, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Dido, Carlos Santana, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. None of these artists is signed to my label, but they’re all my friends.”

Most important person – “My mother was the most encouraging person in the world to me. She always believed in me, and that was very helpful.”

P. Diddy Press Releases Puffy



Bad Boy Records has announced the upcoming release of “Exclusive (No Excuses),” the eagerly anticipated debut single from the finalists featured on the hit MTV series, Making The Band 4. The track – produced by multiple Grammy Award-winner Bryan Michael Cox (Usher, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey) – will be available at all digital services beginning next Tuesday, October 2nd.

“Exclusive (No Excuses)” introduces Brian Andrews, Mike McCluney, Qwanell Mosley (aka “Q”), Robert Curry, and Willie Taylor – the five talented performers chosen by Bad Boy CEO Diddy and MTV viewers around the world on the blockbuster Making The Band 4 finale last month. The single also includes the live ballad version of “Exclusive (No Excuses),” performed by the as-yet-unnamed quintet and additional MTB4 finalist Donnie Klang on the series’ final episode. The gifted young Klang did not make the new group’s final line-up, but was offered a surprise solo contract by Diddy, stunning and delighting MTB4 fans everywhere. All six finalists are currently in the studio, hard at work on debut albums scheduled for release in 2008.

MTV’s live season finale of Making The Band 4 proved to be one of the summer’s biggest successes, reaching over 5.1 million viewers upon its initial broadcast on Sunday, August 26th. The show was the most watched telecast for the night across all of television, even surpassing the broadcast networks. In addition, the entire season of Making The Band 4 was’s top show on Sundays and Mondays, as viewers went online to check out the exclusive “After Show,” read recaps, see special photo slideshows, and more. The day following the live finale event, logged nearly 1 million streams of the Making The Band 4 broadcast.

Exclusive (No Excuses)

Keyshia Cole P. Diddy Press Releases Puffy

Keyshia Cole releases her highly anticipated sophomore album JUST LIKE YOU, TODAY on Geffen Records!

Keyshia Cole releases her highly anticipated sophomore album JUST LIKE YOU, TODAY on Geffen Records!

‘Just Like You’ includes Keyshia’s hit single with Diddy “Last Night” and guest features Too $hort, T.I, Missy, Lil Kim, Anthony Hamilton, Young Dro and Amina.

Scroll down for the ‘JUST LIKE YOU’ album tracklist, iTunes purchase link and in store appearance schedule.

Keyshia will be in NYC, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Chicago:

New York:
Tuesday, September 25th
Time: 7pm
Where: Virgin Megastore – Union Square
14th & Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Wednesday, September 26th
Time: 6pm
Where: Downtown Locker Room
1060 Brentwood Road, NE
Washington, DC 20018

Friday, September 28th
Time: 6pm
Where: Best Buy Edgewood
1210 Caroline Street
Atlanta, GA 30307

Saturday, September 29th
Time: 2pm
Where: Downtown Locker Room
205 west 87th street
Chicago, IL 60620


01. Let It Go (feat. Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim)
02. Didn’t I Tell You (feat. Too $hort)
03. Fallin’ Out
04. Give Me More
05. I Remember
06. Shoulda Let You Go (Introducing Amina)
07. Heaven Sent
08. Same Thing (Interlude)
09. Got To Get My Heart Back
10. Was It Worth It?
11. Just Like You
12. Losing You (feat. Anthony Hamilton)
13. Last Night (feat. Diddy)
14. Work It Out
15. Let It Go (Remix) (feat. Missy Elliott, Young Dro, & T.I.)
16. Trust (Bonus Track) (iTunes Pre-Order Only)

P. Diddy Puffy Videos

Diddy – Unforgivable video

P. Diddy – Unforgivable video

P. Diddy Press Releases Puffy

Sean “Diddy” Combs isn’t giving up on women.

Sean John Gives Women’s Wear Another Try

The hip-hop mogul is in the news for his personal drama with ex-girlfriend Kim Porter, and his company Sean John has had difficulties in women’s apparel in the past. But Combs is preparing several major launches in the women’s category, beginning with the introduction of his fragrance with the Estée Lauder Cos., Unforgivable for Women, which will begin rolling out in October and is expected to top $45 million in the U.S. in its first year. Meanwhile, on the apparel end, Combs will introduce Sean John junior sportswear this coming holiday after a soft launch for spring.

Sean “Diddy” Combs

In apparel, it’s a case of try, try again for Combs. The holiday introduction will be his second official attempt at launching a women’s collection. His contemporary line, Sean by Sean Combs, closed in March 2006 after being at retail for less than a year. That collection only brought in $3.5 million in wholesale volume during its first six months on the selling floor. While that isn’t considered bad for a new contemporary designer collection, it isn’t the high volume Combs is used to seeing: at the time, he did $450 million at retail with Sean John men’s and now brings in $500 million in retail volume.

“A lot of people in this business can’t admit when they are not ready and I wasn’t ready for the contemporary category,” Combs said. “It was such an aggressive category and I got off to a good start, but I knew I was so far away from where I wanted to be based on my competition.

When I made the decision to close Sean by Sean Combs, what I wanted to do was take the time to gain the knowledge in contemporary. I think it was better for me to get out then and go back to it four years down the line, four years smarter.

“What I learned is that no matter how much hype there is surrounding a line, in women’s you have to be up for the fight. I still plan to come back with that line in a couple of years. It was in great stores and I would rather leave those stores while I had a good relationship and be able to come back. I would rather do it that way than have them kick me out.”

Looking to reach $100 million in wholesale volume within the first three years at retail, Combs said his women’s addition has been carefully thought out and slated to launch at the same time as the women’s fragrance.

“When you just start working with factories, you have to work out the kinks, which is why we did a soft launch for spring,” he said. “We’ve had very good sell-throughs and based on the test, we’ve already received rave reviews on the denim. Usually it takes a few seasons to get the denim right.”

He may not be ready to dive back into contemporary, but Combs, who will celebrate 10 years in business in 2008, is of course confident his new junior sportswear line, licensed to G-III Apparel Group Ltd., will be a hit. He said he is up for the challenge of entering a market where few women’s urban brands have made it big, with the exception of Baby Phat and Rocawear. Combs constantly mentions he aspires to lead his business in the same way that Ralph Lauren has managed Polo, although he has a long way to go before he reaches Lauren status.

“The Sean John customer is the girl looking for more,” he explained.

“She wants a look that takes her up a notch without trying too hard.

She wants a touch of luxe, a little glam, a splash of hot girl and, most importantly, she wants the style and swagger that comes with the Sean John lifestyle. Her hair is effortlessly glamorous. It’s classic bombshell hair with a young urban spin. Her makeup is like a second skin that only seeks to highlight her best feature, her own beauty.

She hangs out in the cool spots, she’s the most popular girl and often voted best dressed, her peers look to her as the trendsetter. She is the influencer.”

The collection, which wholesales between $16 and $150, consists of a large range of denim jeans, sexy tops, down jackets, fur bomber jackets, velour sweat sets, logo tanks, dresses and skirts. Combs said details were a must
– such as with the real rabbit fur on jackets, chain-detailed zipper pulls on the back pockets of a pair of jeans and embroidery on the back of a velour track jacket. The collection will be sold out of G-III’s Sean John women’s showroom at 512 Seventh Avenue. Combs said when thinking of the design of the line, he thought of style icons including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss, Kelis and Madonna.

“[These] are exactly the types of individuals that come to mind when thinking of Sean John,” he said. “[They are] smart, confident and sexy. They all have swagger and that cannot be bought or sold.”

To launch the line, Combs has created an ad campaign featuring three rising stars
– Asia (the newest Pussycat Doll), Cassie (a Bad Boy recording artist) and Lauren London (an actress who was on the HBO series “Entourage”). Combs, of course, is also featured in the campaign, which was shot by Warwick Saint, the photographer who shot the advertising and promotional materials for “Charlie’s Angels.” The ads will appear in magazines such as Vibe, Giant, Complex and Seventeen.

“I wanted the campaign to be like Diddy’s angels,” he said. “And I think that Asia, Lauren and Cassie represent the Sean John girl in a perfect way.”

It’s been four years since his last fashion week show, but Combs promised a return to the runway in February, when he will showcase his men’s and women’s collections. While he still hasn’t decided on the venue, he hasn’t ruled out his old stomping ground of Cipriani on 42nd Street.

“We are planning a show for February to celebrate 10 years,” he said.

And while not giving too many details, he predicted, “I’ll be back and it will be big.”

P. Diddy Puffy Videos

Diddy “Through The Pain” video featuring Mario Winans

Diddy “Through The Pain” video featuring Mario Winans

P. Diddy Puffy

P. Diddy’s performance at the Princess Diana concert

P. Diddy’s performance at the Princess Diana concert

Busta Rhymes Lil Kim P. Diddy Puffy

P. Diddy – Last Night (Remix)

“Last Night” remix featuring Lil Kim and Busta Rhymes audio streams

Option 1Option 2

P. Diddy Press Releases Puffy


Nominated against Ralph Lauren & Calvin Klein, Diddy won the prestigious Fragrance Foundation (Fifi) Award for his #1 Selling Fragrance, Unforgivable. The Fifi awards are the Oscar’s of the fragrance industry. Michael Jordan and Sean Combs are the only African American men in history to win this award. Also, this week NPD released the annual reporting of fragrance sales revealing that Unforgivable is #1 for the year. Unforgivable beat all other fragrances both men’s and women’s’; a rare feat for a men’s fragrance. After Unforgivable launched as #1 in the U.S. and the U.K, the fragrance has maintained record breaking sales’ numbers throughout the year. Unforgivable Woman will launch this September in conjunction with the Sean John Women’s clothing line.