BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – When the one-man, publicity-generating whirlwind that is Diddy met the well-oiled hype machine of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, sparks were bound to fly.
Sean Combs received a star Friday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an event most honorees mark by turning up at the assigned time, smiling for cameras, and then going about their business.
He put a video online asking fans to show up for the star-unveiling, set to the tune of Lupe Fiasco's hit "Superstar." He sat down at the Beverly Hills Hotel for advance interviews. And he's being feted with a lavish party Friday night at billionaire Ron Burkle's sprawling Beverly Hills estate.
"It's also like my coming-out party here in Hollywood," Combs told AP. "If I'm going to come someplace, I'm going to make some noise, and you're going to know I'm here."
Fellow actor Jamie Foxx was on hand to introduce Combs as his star was revealed.
"He throws the best party you've ever seen in your entire life," said Foxx, who led dozens of people in a chant of "Diddy! Diddy! Diddy!" and rapped out famous choruses of the artist's songs.
Combs is house-hunting in Los Angeles now, and plans to split his time between here and New York to pursue his acting career. To that end, he's looking through scripts in search of the next role.
Two of his groups from his "Making the Band" reality TV show — Danity Kane's second album and Day26's first — just landed at the top of the Billboard charts. His ABC movie "A Raisin in the Sun" was a hit with critics and viewers in February.
"Sometimes you got to take a step back and breathe and enjoy and realize the magnitude of it, where you came from, how hard you worked, all the people that rode with you through your ups and downs," Combs said.
Family and friends from his New York Harlem neighborhood joined him at the ceremony Friday.
"People are familiar with my journey, so it may inspire them more," Combs said. "So whether it's Eminem or Britney Spears or myself, you know of that journey. Whether it's coming from a small town, coming from a trailer park in Detroit, or coming from Harlem, New York. So when certain things happen to us, it's bigger than us. It inspires people."
Combs calls the event at Burkle's estate an "intimate 250-person party" with "just very, very close friends and family and people that I know throughout the industry."
"I've had great parties with no celebrities there, great parties with tons of celebrities. We're all people," Combs said. Asked about the fest's rumored price tag, Combs smiles and responds: "It's up there, but I can't confirm it's $4 million (euro2.6 million). It's priceless."
Wearing a royal blue sweater over an elegant shirt and tie, with cufflinks shimmering next to a Cartier watch, Combs said he hasn't rewarded himself for the Walk of Fame star with any new toys or baubles. "We going through a recession right now, so I'm cutting back," he said.
Combs said he hasn't yet decided yet whether to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Times, which last month retracted a March story implying that associates of Combs were behind a 1994 assault on Tupac Shakur, and that he knew about it in advance.
"I don't have nothing against them now," he said. "And if I sued them, they'll understand it's business. It's not personal. Just like if they were going to write a story about me, it wasn't really personal, it was business. But they didn't handle their business the right way. I was happy that I kept my faith in God and that the truth came out as quick as it did."
The man who launched the careers of Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige said he's back in the studio now, tinkering in preparation for another album. He's is utterly unabashed about utilizing reality TV or the occasional publicity stunt — relieving himself on YouTube, for example — to further his ambitions.
"I'm a definition of how to build a brand and a 360 model," Combs said. "So if the music industry's getting cannibalized by the Internet, I figure out how to work with it, I figure out how to survive. You throw me in the jungle butt-naked, I come out with a lion's head, some bearskins and a bunch of food. I may be driving a Maybach."