Diddy is third recipient of the Global Icon Award, following Foo Fighters (2021) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (2022). MTV got the idea for the award from MTV’s Europe Music Awards (EMAs).
This will mark Combs’ first performance on the show since 2005, when he did double duty as host and performer. Diddy led an orchestra into a performance featuring Snoop Dogg on stage and the late Notorious B.I.G. on video.
Combs opened the VMAs in 1997 with a memorable tribute to Biggie, who had been shot to death just six months previously. Combs performed Big’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” with Ma$e, and then performed “I’ll Be Missing You” with Faith Evans, 112 and Sting, who wrote “Every Breath You Take,” the song on which “I’ll Be Missing You” was based. Combs returned to the VMAs stage in 2002 to perform a medley of “Bad Boy for Life,” “Pass the Courvoisier (Part 2)” and “I Need a Girl (Parts 1 & 2).” He was joined in that segment by Usher, Busta Rhymes and Pharrell.
Diddy is nominated for four competitive VMA awards this year – best collaboration for both “Gotta Move On” (featuring Bryson Tiller, Ashanti, Yung Miami) and Metro Boomin’s “Creepin’ (Remix),” on which he is featured along with The Weeknd and 21 Savage. “Gotta Move On” is also nominated for best rap; “Creepin’ (Remix)” is also nominated for best R&B.
In 1997, Diddy won a Moonman for best R&B video for “I’ll Be Missing You.” The following year, he won the Viewer’s Choice award for “It’s All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)” (featuring The LOX, Lil’ Kim, The Notorious B.I.G. and Fuzzbubble).
Diddy’s VMAs performance comes just three days before he drops The Love Album: Off the Grid. The new album is Diddy’s first major album release since Last Train to Paris, a 2010 collab with Dirty Money.
In addition to hosting the 2005 VMAs from Miami, Diddy hosted the 2002 MTV Europe Music Awards 2002 from Barcelona, Spain.
Combs has had two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 (No Way Out in 1997 and Press Play in 2006). He has amassed five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” (featuring Ma$e), “I’ll Be Missing You (a collab with Faith Evans featuring 112), The Notorious B.I.G’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” (on which he was featured along with Ma$e), “Bump, Bump, Bump” (a collab with B2K) and “Shake Ya Tailfeather” (a collab with Murphy Lee).
Diddy isn’t the only rapper who will perform on this year’s VMAs. Lil Wayne is also on the bill. And there have been reports, not yet confirmed by MTV, that there will be (yet another) 50th anniversary salute to hip-hop.
The VMAs’ performer lineup also includes Doja Cat, whose sound incorporates hip-hop, as well as Anitta, Demi Lovato, Karol G, Kelsea Ballerini, Måneskin, Shakira, Stray Kids and TOMORROW X TOGETHER. Additional performers to be announced.
Shakira will receive MTV’s Video Vanguard Award and will perform live on the show for the first time since 2006. MTV has yet to announce the host of this year’s show. Last year’s show was co-hosted by LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj and Jack Harlow
Taylor Swift leads the 2023 VMA nominations with 11 nods, counting three she received on Friday (Sept. 1) in social categories. She is followed in the total nominations count by SZA (eight); BLACKPINK, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo (six each); Kim Petras and Sam Smith (five each); and Beyoncé, Diddy, Drake, Ice Spice, Karol G, Metro Boomin, Shakira and TOMORROW X TOGETHER (five each).
General fan voting is now closed; voting remains open for social categories and best new artist.
Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic are executive producers of the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. Barb Bialkowski is co-executive producer. Alicia Portugal and Jackie Barba serve as executives in charge of production. Wendy Plaut is executive in charge of celebrity talent. Lisa Lauricella is music talent executive.
Check out the Diddy Global Icon video preview below.