Diddy picked up one of the night's biggest honors after performing a medley of hits, with special appearances from Keyshia Cole, Yung Miami and his own kids.
Sean “Diddy” Combs has officially reached “icon” status.
The rapper was celebrated with the Global Icon Award on Tuesday night at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, with the network explaining the honor was given to him for his “unparalleled career and continued influence that has achieved unrivaled global success in music and beyond.”
Before accepting his award, he launched into a massive medley of hits, including Notorious B.I.G. tribute song “I’ll Be Missing You,” “All About the Benjamins,” “Bad Boy for Life,” “Gotta Move On” with Yung Miami, “Last Night” with Keyshia Cole, before ending with “Mo Money Mo Problems” with his son King stepping in for Mase.
After the performance, Diddy’s daughter Chance and longtime friend Mary J. Blige both introduced him to accept his trophy. King, as well as his 16-year-old twins Jessie and D’Lila Combs — who popped up to do the viral TikTok dance to “I’ll Be Missing You” during his performance — joined him on stage during his speech.
“This is so surreal,” he began, thanking fans for “giving me my flowers and celebrating me” with the honor. He then thanked his “secret weapon,” God, before saying “this was a dream come true for me” to make it big on MTV and giving props to his Bad Boy family.
“You just gotta keep dreaming … I thank God for this choice that he made for me to be able to touch you with my music, give you a good time, make you dance, make you feel good, that’s the only intention,” he continued.
Combs has been a staple of the VMAs since his debut performance of “Mo Money Mo Problems” in 1997. Though he’s only won twice in his career, the rapper also hosted the show from Miami back in 2005 — and fronted the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2002 from Spain.
The Icon Award, which started at the EMAs, specifically celebrates “an artist or band whose unparalleled career and continued influence have achieved a unique level of global success in music and beyond.”
In addition to the Icon Award, Diddy was also nominated for four other awards at this year’s show — including two Best Collaboration noms, as one each for Best Rap and Best R&B.
His return to the VMA stage comes ahead of the release of his sixth studio album, The Love Album: Off the Grid, on September 15.
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