Diddy “Presses Play” to #1

DIDDY “PRESSES PLAY” TO #1;

NEW ALBUM DRAWS RAVES FROM CRITICS AND FANS ALIKE;

HARD WORK & PERSEVERANCE PAY OFF

“PRESS PLAY,” the critically acclaimed new album from Diddy, makes a triumphant debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 this week, as well as topping the magazine’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Since its release on October 17th, “PRESS PLAY” has been earning rave reviews for its innovative sound and cutting-edge diversity. Diddy’s non-stop hard work – both in the studio and on the road – has paid off, as he has returned to the #1 spot following a five-year hiatus from his recording career.

Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO, U.S. Recorded Music, Warner Music Group, said, “This year Diddy returned as a powerful force in music with the reemergence of his Bad Boy Records as one of the industry’s hottest labels, and now he’s back as a number one artist. I’m thrilled to have an executive and artist as creative and focused as Diddy in our Warner Music family, and I look forward to much continued success together.”

Kevin Liles, Executive Vice President for Warner Music Group, noted, “With ‘PRESS PLAY,’ Diddy has taken it back to the basics – touring 40 U.S. cities, 12 countries around the world, and doing hundreds of appearances – all in an effort to connect with as many fans as possible and let them see, first hand, how passionate he is about this brilliant new album. In true Diddy-style, his hardworking grassroots approach has been complemented by some of the most groundbreaking and progressive digital campaigns every implemented, on services including YouTube, MySpace, and Google. Diddy’s incomparable work ethic, vision, and creativity have produced what will surely be a hip-hop classic.”

Julie Greenwald, President of Atlantic Records, commented, “Diddy’s debut at #1 wasn’t a given; he had to go out and earn it. No one works harder than Diddy to turn his amazing visions into reality. It is a dream to have an artist driven by such creative inspiration and commitment to excellence.”

“PRESS PLAY” finds the three-time Grammy winner doing something that superstar artists rarely accomplish: taking his trademark sound to the next level and reinventing the game, crafting a modern mix of musical styles into something undeniably his own. With an irresistible sonic vibe that has been described as New Wave-meets-Hip-Hop, the album is a groundbreaking collection of sexy electro-pop with an urban street beat, the sound of a man on a mission to create something entirely original – and succeeding.

On “PRESS PLAY,” Diddy combines all the artistic influences that have defined him as a hip-hop fan, artist, and producer over the years, and, as he says, adding to that “all the experiences I’ve had traveling and being exposed to all kinds of sounds. It was time to rekindle the thing I loved. I’ve achieved a great deal of success, but music is my passion.”

Leading up to the release of “PRESS PLAY,” Diddy barnstormed America on a month-long promo tour of marathon-level endurance. The result has been an unprecedented media blitz spanning radio, TV, Internet, and press outlets from coast-to-coast. The album features the blockbuster first single/video, “Come To Me” featuring Nicole Scherzinger from The Pussycat Dolls, and such outstanding tracks as “Tell Me” featuring Christina Aguilera.

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More than a year in the making, “PRESS PLAY” finds Diddy united with a veritable who’s who of contemporary artists. The result is a thoroughly modern collection that brings together a captivating range of voices in an album defined by depth and diversity. The guest performers include: Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Big Boi, Timbaland, Nicole Scherzinger, Brandy, Cee-Lo, Ciara, Keyshia Cole, Nas, Twista, Avant, Shawnna, Mario Winans, Jack Knight, Scar, Mika Lett, S. Rosete, and Keri. Joining Diddy behind the board were such production aces as Kanye West, Timbaland, Just Blaze, the Neptunes, Havoc from Mobb Deep, Mario Winans, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, Rich Harrison, Danja, Big Boi, Rob Lewis, J-Dub, K-Def, Grind Music, and Jai.

The 18 songs on “PRESS PLAY” span the epic realm of Diddy’s artistic expression, from straight-up party tracks like the smash first single, “Come To Me” featuring Nicole Scherzinger, to the percolating, jazzy pop of “Special Feeling,” to the funhouse hip-hop of “Thought You Said” featuring Brandy. “Diddy Rock” featuring Shawnna, Twista & Timbaland mixes deep house cheekiness with a hip-hop sensibility, creating a vibe that transcends both.

The album is loaded with unexpected surprises, both in terms of its lyrical depth and the nuanced creativity of its sonic landscape. The percussive “Making It Hard” – which features the one and only Mary J. Blige – is nothing less than a 21st century hip-hop take on the blues, while the Havoc-produced “The Future” distills aspects of what Diddy calls the “Afro-American dream” into a virtual political statement that is as uplifting and powerful as it is dazzlingly danceable.

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For the past 15 years, Sean “Diddy” Combs has used his artistic vision and entrepreneurial drive to capture and express the sentiments of a generation. As a producer and a performer, he not only created a new musical genre of hip-hop soul, but also catapulted the music and style of African-American youth into the American mainstream. Today, as founder and CEO of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Diddy oversees one of the world’s preeminent urban companies, encompassing a broad range of businesses, including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, fashion, and restaurants.

In the five years since his last solo set, Diddy has added Broadway actor, marathon runner, and fragrance producer to his ever-growing list of accomplishments. He was recently named one of the most influential business people in the world by Time magazine and CNN.

Having sold 75 million records worldwide, Diddy has left an indelible mark on pop culture. With “PRESS PLAY,” a new chapter has begun.

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