NEW YORK, NY (Atlantic Records) - At long last, "PRESS PLAY," the dazzling new solo album from Diddy, has arrived. The Bad Boy Records release sees the label's founder, CEO, and three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist taking his trademark sound to the next level, crafting a modern meld of musical styles that is uniquely and undeniably his own. "PRESS PLAY" - which includes the blockbuster first single/video, "Come To Me (feat. Nicole
Scherzinger from The Pussycat Dolls)" - hits stores across America today.
The release of "PRESS PLAY" has been marked by an unprecedented blitz of media activity. "Come To Me," the Diddy-produced first single from "PRESS PLAY," is currently on fire at radio across the country. It was the No 1 most-added song in its first week at Urban and Rhythmic formats, and is now a top 20 sensation on both charts, while also climbing the top 30 on the Billboard "Hot 100."
Unquestionably among music television's most popular icons, Diddy is once again dominating cable programming, with the "Come To Me" companion video clip now in its second consecutive week as the No 1 most played urban video across all channels, including MTV, MTV2, BET, Fuse, and VH1.
At BET, Diddy is presently in the midst of an unparalleled week-long stint as special guest on the daily "106 & Park: Top Ten Live" countdown. Thursday, October 19th, will see the BET premiere of "Black and White: A Portrait of Sean Combs," an extraordinary documentary featuring the most soul-baring, confessional interview of Diddy's career. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Derek Cianfrance, the hour features Diddy alone on camera, openly offering his most intimate recollections and candid feelings about his remarkable life.
Furthermore, BET is presenting an additional special, "Six Degrees of Diddy," which features interviews and analysis of a half-dozen of the artist/producer's most notable projects (check local listings). Coming up on Saturday, October 21st, Diddy will be seen all day as emcee of BET's "Hosted Saturday" programming. Finally, the network is also sponsoring the "Press Play & The Party Begins Sweepstakes," an exclusive contest offering winners a grand prize package that includes a hometown party hosted by Diddy himself (see www.bet.com/Contests/Press+Play+Sweepstakes.htm for details).
Diddy is making multiple appearances on MTV to herald the arrival of "PRESS PLAY," including a release date visit to "TRL." Also, the Diddy installment of "Diary" - featuring additional confessional footage - will air multiple times throughout the week. On Friday, October 20th, MTV will premiere its "Making The Album" documentary, chronicling the recording of "PRESS PLAY." A "Making The Video" special will follow, debuting on Monday, October 30th.
Over at MTV2, Diddy will be featured each day on "Sucker Free," culminating on Sunday, October 22nd with an appearance on "Sucker Free Sunday." Also airing that day will be an exclusive "PRESS PLAY" video clips show.
What's more, Diddy is among the luminaries appearing at VH1's star-studded "Hip-Hop Honors 2006," debuting this week and followed by multiple airings slated throughout October. In addition, he is hosting the "Hip-Hop Honors - Greatest Performances" special, now showing on VH1, VH1 Soul, and MTV2. Lastly, a VSPOT interview with Diddy will launch on Wednesday, October 18th, exclusively on VH1's VSPOT mobile broadband channel.
On the network television front, Diddy performed last Friday on CBS-TV's "Late Show with David Letterman" and is slated for an appearance on NBC-TV's "Today" show Concert Series in New York's Rockefeller Plaza this Friday, October 20th.
Online, the excitement continues with the launch of the all-new www.diddy.com website. The site is the new online home for all things Diddy, including an exclusive video journal, extensive discography, and all the very latest Diddy news, events and contests.
In addition, Diddy is a top 5 artist on MySpace, with nearly half-a-million friends - known and loved by Diddy as his "MySpace Family." Tracks from "PRESS PLAY" that have been featured on the page have been streamed more than 12 million times.
Earlier this month, Diddy and Burger King teamed up to unveil "Diddy TV," a co-branded channel on YouTube featuring a personal message from the "king of music and fashion," as well as exclusive video clips and access to tracks from "PRESS PLAY." In past weeks, Diddy's YouTube video posts - which can be found at the frequently updated http://youtube.com/diddytv - have been re-aired on a number of other outlets, including AOL and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Among the channel's latest highlights is "I Want My Diddy TV," which features tributes from an array of hip-hop icons, including Q-Tip, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Ludacris, MC Lyte, Xzibit, Ice-T, Slum Village, Da Brat, and Big Daddy Kane.
And to top it all off, Diddy and a number of his closest friends and special guests will enter an AOL Music studio this week to lay down an exclusive performance for their hugely successful "Sessions@AOL" series. Further information will be announced shortly - see http://music.aol.com for details.
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 cutting-edge 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.
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, the RIAA platinum-certified "THE SAGA CONTINUES," 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.
Despite Diddy's multi-faceted achievements, it is music that remains the primary focus of his life. As he says, "I've achieved a great deal of success, but music is my passion." Sean Combs began his career at Uptown Records, where he helped launch artists like Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, and Heavy D & the Boyz. In 1993, he established Bad Boy Records, where he became the creative force behind a string of chart-topping hits and million-selling records from the likes of the Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Total, Faith Evans, Mase, and 112. He also produced hit records for artists on other labels, including Aretha Franklin, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Lil' Kim, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others.
"PRESS PLAY" comes nearly a decade after Diddy released his classic solo debut, the No 1, seven-times RIAA platinum "NO WAY OUT" - which earned Grammy Awards for "Best Rap Album" and "Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group" for "I'll Be Missing You." In 2004, he earned his third Grammy Award as an artist, for "Shake Ya Tailfeather," with Nelly and Murphy Lee, from the "Bad Boys II" soundtrack - which he also executive produced. Having sold 75 million records worldwide, Diddy has left an indelible mark on pop culture. With "PRESS PLAY," a new chapter begins.