Puff Daddy’s Album “Forever” Turns 20

Puff Daddy’s  Album “Forever” Turns 20

Happy 20th Anniversary to Forever, the second album from Puff Daddy. The album was released on Bad Boy Records. The album rose to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Forever has also been certified platinum in the US by the RIAA. 

Sean John Combs whom we have come to love by many monikers, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Puffy or Diddy, worked as a talent director at Uptown Records where he established acts like Jodeci and Mary J Blige. After success as a talent director and party promoter, he founded his own record label, Bad Boy Entertainment.

In 1991, Combs promoted an AIDS fundraiser with Heavy D held at the City College of New York (CCNY) gymnasium, following a charity basketball game. The event was oversold, and a stampede occurred in which nine people died.

In 1993, after being fired from Uptown, Combs established his new label Bad Boy Entertainment as a joint venture with Arista Records, taking artists The Notorious B.I.G. and Craig Mack.  Both The Notorious B.I.G. and Craig Mack released hit singles, followed by successful LPs. Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ready to Die” was the official launching pad for Bad Boy Entertainment.

 Combs signed more acts to Bad Boy, including Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, 112, Total, and Father MC. Bad Boy was on fire just as Mase and the Lox joined The roster. Also during this time, Combs produced several songs for TLC’s CrazySexyCool, which finished the decade as number 25 on Billboard’s list of top pop albums of the decade. The Hitmen, his in-house production team, worked with Mary J Blige, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Usher, Lil Kim, and SWV just to name a few. 

In 1997 Puff Daddy recorded his first album as a rapper. His debut single, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”, featuring Ma$e, spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number one. Puff’s debut album, No Way Out, was released on July 1, 1997, through Bad Boy Records. Originally titled Hell up in Harlem, the album underwent several changes after The Notorious B.I.G. was killed on March 9, 1997. Several of the label’s artists made guest appearances on the album. No Way Out was a significant success, particularly in the United States, where it reached number one on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release, selling 561,000 copies

The album produced five singles: “I’ll Be Missing You”, a tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., was the first rap song to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100; it remained at the top of the chart for eleven consecutive weeks and topped several other charts worldwide. Four other singles; “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”, “It’s All About the Benjamins”, “Been Around the World”, and “Victory”, was also released

The album earned Combs five nominations at the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998, winning the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album On September 7, 2000, the album was certified septuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over 7 million copies worldwide. 

Forever was Combs’ second solo album and it was released by Bad Boy Records. It reached number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, where it remained for one week before being knocked off by Mary J. Blige’s fourth album, Mary. The album received positive to mixed reviews from music critics and spawned three singles that have charted on the Billboard charts. It peaked at number four on the Canadian Albums Chart, Combs’ highest-charting album in that country.

Puffy changed his stage name from “Puff Daddy” to “P. Diddy” in 2001. Combs ended Bad Boy Entertainment’s joint venture with Arista Records, gaining full control of Bad Boy, its catalog, and its roster of artists. The Saga Continues…, released on July 10 and was the last studio album released by the joint venture. The album reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, and was eventually certified Platinum. It is the only studio album under the P. Diddy name, and the first album by Sean Combs not to feature any guest appearances by Jay-Z or Lil Kim. 

Combs was executive producer of the reality TV show Making the Band, which appeared on MTV from 2002 to 2009. Acts that got their start this way include Da Band, Danity Kane, Day26, and Donnie Klang. Puff would go on to release three more albums “Press Play”, “Last Train to Paris” sold over one million copies together and “Money Making Mitch” was a free mixtape Puff released on his 46th birthday. 

Puff Daddy was the most influential producer in the music industry. Puff managed to transcend the music industry and became a businessman. Ventures in high-end fashion with his Sean Jean brand as well as locking in on the Alcohol Beverage industry with his own drink called “Ciroc”. Puff also owns his own network called Revolt TV and pledges on continuing his run in hip hop. His influence was felt all through the ’90s and well into the new millennium. From music to fashion, Puff was an icon who will be remembered for all the talent he discovered. The biggest one of all is the god MC, the late great Notorious B.I.G. who with Puff, showed the world what could have been. Acts of violence stopped short the careers of many of our hip hop family but the death of B.I.G. was felt the hardest on the east coast. 

Happy 20th Anniversary on the album Forever and Thank you for all the wonderful music and memories. We are all Bad Boys at heart. 

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