By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr.
AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sean “Diddy” Combs built one of hip-hop’s biggest empires, blazing a trail with his own music television network and fashion line, and now his decorated career has earned him one of the highest honors at the BET Awards this month.
Combs will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award on June 26, the network announced Monday. He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top-tier artists including Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.
The music mogul created the fashion clothing line called Sean John, launched the Revolt TV with a focus on music and has his own vodka. He’ also produced the reality show “Making the Band” for MTV.
“Diddy has always been a pioneering force in our community, breaking barriers, achieving unprecedented heights, blazing new trails, and, in so doing, raising the bar for all of us,” BET CEO Scott Mills said in a statement. “His virtuosity is matched only by his range — from music to media, culture, business and philanthropy — Diddy has exemplified Black excellence.”
The award is given to an individual who has shaped culture through their careers and “transformative leaders that consistently inspire generations.”
Past recipients include Prince, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Samuel L. Jackson, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker and New Edition.
Combs, 52, won Grammys for his platinum-selling 1997 album “No Way Out” and the single “I’ll Be Missing You,” a song dedicated to the late Notorious B.I.G. who was killed earlier that year. He won another Grammy for “Shake Ya Tailfeather” with Nelly and Murphy Lee.
In 2004, the rapper-producer played Walter Lee Younger in the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” which aired as a television adaption four years later. He’s also appeared in films including “Get Him to the Greek” and “Monster’s Ball.”
Last month, Combs recently hosted the Billboard Music Awards.
“Puff’s contributions to culture transcend hip-hop,” said Jesse Collins, executive producer of the awards. “Growing up in DC, I watched his rise at Howard University as he repped Black excellence from day one. It’s an honor to celebrate him now, while he is still on his incredible journey.”
Taraji P. Henson will host the live show from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.