I remember when he was Puff Daddy…And when he had hits!

P. Diddy Near Contract Deal with Universal-Sources
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, the rap music mogul-turned-actor who has produced such hit acts as Faith Evans and the late Notorious B.I.G., is close to a new record deal with music giant Vivendi Universal,sources close to the negotiations said on Tuesday.
The terms of the proposed deal were still being discussed, the sources said. But other industry insiders said that given the hard times for the music business, even a star like Combs was unlikely to command the $100 million he once vowed to earn and more likely to be offered between $20 million and $50 million for a multiyear contract.
“I’ve been quoted as saying I would not sell any part of my company for less than $100 million and I still feel that way,” Combs told Reuters back in June when he bought back control of his Bad Boy Entertainment company, ending a 10-year 50-50 joint venture with Bertelsmann AG’s Arista.
Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy, would not be the first star to see his bargaining power undercut by market weakness.
Pop diva Mariah Carey, for instance, got a more modest $20 million three-album deal with Universal’s Island Def Jam after a fallout with EMI Group Plc, which paid her $28 million to walk away from an estimated $100-million contract,
Combs in June announced he was talking with several labels including Vivendi, AOL Time Warner Inc. and Sony Corp.
One source close to the talks on Tuesday said Universal was the front-runner in negotiations, and could possibly announce a deal with Combs in the next two weeks, barring any last-minute snags. The source said terms were for below $100 million.
“I don’t think any company is going to pay that kind of money,” he said. “Who would get that today, except for maybe Eminem, who has the sales to back it up.”
The New York Times on Tuesday, citing people close to the talks, said Combs’ best offer had been $10 million for three years from Universal/Motown Records, with incentives to encourage him to find new artists.
A spokeswoman for Combs said recent reports about the contract talks had been inaccurate.
“There have been numerous inaccurate reports on Mr. Combs’ pending label deal. Bad Boy is in serious negotiations with several companies. The financial details and terms reported are totally inaccurate. Once we have a signed deal, we will be issuing a press release,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
The hip-hop star and media mogul who starred in the critically acclaimed film, “Monster’s Ball,” is reportedly worth more than $200 million and is the owner of businesses ranging from clothing to publishing and restaurants.
Bad Boy retains ownership of its catalogs, including works by Evans and the teen pop quartet Dream. The label made its mark in the early 1990s with hits by Combs himself as well as rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as Notorious B.I.G.
Wallace was killed in 1997 and Combs’ faced several legal challenges of his own as the label’s success started to flag.
Some reports said the Bad Boy label was losing tens of millions of dollars for Arista, but had started to turn around at the time that the two parted ways.
A highly publicized romance between Combs and Jennifer Lopez came to an end in 2001 as Combs was on trial in New York on weapons charges. He was later acquitted.
Only months after their split, actress/singer Lopez married choreographer Cris Judd, but the two have since split and Lopez is now engaged to actor Ben Affleck.