Music

Diddy’s Radio Airplay Plummets After Sexual Abuse Allegations & Federal Agent Home Raids

Sean “Diddy” Combs has maintained a steady presence on Billboard’s charts since the mid-1990s, when he founded Bad Boy Records and began charting with his own smash singles “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” “I’ll Be Missing You” and more. These songs and others from his catalog have continued to rack up millions of streams and are radio classics, still earning hundreds of plays every week. But due to a string of sexual misconduct allegations and, most recently, two raids of his homes on March 25 by the Department of Homeland Security in connection with an ongoing sex-trafficking investigation, his familiar presence on radio and top streaming playlists may be in jeopardy.

Diddy’s music catalog* (see below) has been consistently dropping on radio since Cassie, the mogul’s former girlfriend, filed a lawsuit on Nov. 16, 2023, accusing Combs of years of abuse and one accusation of rape. The lawsuit alleged that she had “endured over a decade of his violent behavior and disturbed demands,” including repeated beatings and forcing her to “engage in sex acts with male sex workers.”

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From Nov. 3 to 16, 2023 – the two tracking weeks preceding Cassie’s filing – Diddy’s catalog generated 11,000 radio spins, which translated to 23.3 million radio airplay audience impressions, according to Luminate. In the two tracking weeks after (Nov. 17-30), his catalog raked in 8,000 spins (down 28%), equaling 17.3 million impressions (down 26%).

In almost every week since then, Diddy’s catalog has seen decreases in radio play. In the most recent two-week span (March 15-28), his catalog tallied 1,000 spins that garnered 4 million impressions. Compared with the two weeks leading up to Cassie’s filing in November, that’s an 88% drop in radio spins and an 83% plummet in radio audience.

The most drastic single-week drop in radio occurred between Nov. 24-30 and Dec. 1-7. Diddy’s music saw a 41% plunge in radio spins in that span (from 3,000 to 2,000) and a 31% fall in audience (6.9 million to 4.7 million). The drop came as Diddy was hit with another pair of lawsuits on Nov. 23: One, filed by Joi Dickerson-Neal, claimed that the superstar drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1991, while a second – from an anonymous accuser – alleged that the music mogul sexually assaulted and beat her. Also contributing to the plunge, many radio stations (though not primarily R&B/hip-hop formats) start playing holiday music after Thanksgiving. Thus, non-holiday fare could see a decline in activity to make way for holiday music.

While Diddy’s radio presence has been decreasing, his streaming totals don’t tell the same story. Excluding his latest LP The Love Album: Off the Grid (released Sept. 15; making for a fairer catalog comparison), Diddy’s catalog garnered 6.7 million on-demand U.S. streams** (see below) Nov. 3-16 – the two weeks preceding Cassie’s filing – and 4.5 million in the two most recent tracking weeks (March 15-28), down 31%.

Last week, Diddy’s day-to-day streams increased after the raids of his homes on Monday (March 25). On Saturday and Sunday (March 23-24) Diddy’s catalog earned 930,000 streams. In the two days following the home raids (March 26-27), it earned 1.28 million, a 38% increase.

On March 26, the day after the raids of Diddy’s L.A. and Miami homes, his attorney Aaron Dyer spoke out against the “gross overuse of military-level force” in the raids of the musician’s residences, and vowed to end the “witch-hunt” against his client. While the results of that have yet to be seen, Diddy’s decline on the airwaves shows that many stations have already made up their minds.

*Diddy’s music catalog encompasses all titles billed to Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puff Daddy & The Family, and Diddy Dirty Money. This excludes featured credits, like The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mo Money Mo Problems,” on which Diddy is featured.

**Diddy’s streaming sum includes user-generated content, or UGC, streams, which don’t count towards Billboard’s charts.

–Kevin Rutherford and Trevor Anderson contributed to this report

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