Grammy Award Winner Sean P. Diddy Combs Joins Universal’s Superstar Roster

(February 6, 2003 – New York) Sean “P. Diddy” Combs founder and CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment, a pioneer, Grammy Award winning producer and hip-hop artist as well as pop phenomenon, have agreed to enter into a worldwide distribution deal with Universal Records, it was announced today by Mel Lewinter, Chairman of Universal/Motown Records Group, and Combs. As part of the newly-inked distribution deal, Universal will provide marketing and promotional support for Bad Boy’s roster and distribute both the Bad Boy Catalogue and all new releases from the label.

Moreover, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs will retain 100% ownership of Bad Boy Records, a company that has sold more than 75 million records worldwide including 10 million alone by P Diddy, who last week held the number #1 position on Billboard’s “Hot 100” with B2K. Bad Boy Records’ superstar roster includes multi-platinum artists P. Diddy, Notorious BIG, Dream, Faith Evans, Carl Thomas, the newly reunited New Edition, 8Ball & MJG, Loon, Mario Winans, and the winners of MTV’s number # 1 rated show “Making the Band 2.”

“We are excited and honored to welcome P. Diddy and Bad Boy to the Universal family,” stated Lewinter. “As a songwriter, producer and artist, P. Diddy is one of the world’s most gifted and accomplished creative talents, who has cultivated a remarkable business over the last decade. We look forward to playing an important role in what is sure to be his next career milestone.”

“I am thrilled be working with Doug Morris [Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group], Mel and the entire Universal family,” commented Combs. “It was important for me to have the opportunity to grow Bad Boy, and I can do that with the music industry’s number one music powerhouse. This is a perfect situation for me and Bad Boy, and I can’t wait to get out there and start making music history.”

In a mere eight years, under the guidance of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Bad Boy has grown to become one of the most dominant urban labels in the business, with acts that have had tremendous crossover success. Throughout the years, Bad Boy has been home to pioneering rappers such as Notorious B.I.G., The Lox and Mase as well as R&B stars Faith Evans and 112. Recently, the label has enjoyed pop success with a platinum release by Dream. Under the aegis of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, whose talent for discovering and nurturing talent is unsurpassed and whose production work has scored countless hits for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, the label has grown exponentially. In 2002, Combs ended his relationship with Arista, and – in an unprecedented deal – walked away with his entire artist roster and rights to 100% of his catalogue.

Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group (BBWEG) is one of the world’s preeminent urban entertainment companies, encompassing a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, marketing and advertising, apparel and restaurants. With a collection of businesses whose annual sales are quickly approaching $300 million annually and an employee base that is 600 strong, Mr. Combs is largely responsible for the pop appeal of urban entertainment. Formed in 1994, the flagship company of BBWEG is Bad Boy Records. Today, Bad Boy’s annual sales have reached an overall average of $100 million with more than 75 million records sold worldwide by an impressive artist roster which includes multi-platinum acts the Notorious B.I.G., Mase, 112, Dream and P. Diddy; platinum artists Faith Evans, Carl Thomas and Black Rob; gold artists Total and Craig Mack; and promising up-and-coming artists such as G. Dep, Loon and Cheri Denis. Bad Boy recently moved to 1440 Broadway New York which will become the corporate headquarters housing all Combs’ business entities.

Universal/Motown Record Group is a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Strategic Marketing & Commercial Affairs (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technology division.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.