Saturday night, on the eve of the Grammys, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was presented with the Industry Icon award at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy Gala. But Combs didn’t bite his tongue during his acceptance speech and used the opportunity to speak out against the Grammys.
“I’m being honored by the industry that I love, the family that I love, but there’s an elephant in the room and it’s not just about the Grammys,” Combs said in his 45-minute speech. “There’s discrimination and injustice everywhere.”
“Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys,” he continued. “Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be.”
Combs’ ire comes on the heels of Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan being ousted, and her allegations of a corrupt system that has left many Black artists being snubbed throughout the last several decades.
Combs also used his speech to highlight artists he had the opportunity to work with during his illustrious career, such as Jay Z and Beyonce, as well as remembering the great Michael Jackson. Combs also paid tribute to his ex-girlfriend, Kim Porter, who died in 2018.
“I met Kim Porter ’cause Kim was the receptionist at Uptown. So that’s how far back we go,” Combs said.
Other highlights of the evening included Cyndi Lauper’s duet with Brandi Carlile on “Girls Just Want to Have Fun;” and Cynthia Erivo’s paying tribute to Janet Jackson.