The hip-hop star, 53, opened up about how the loss of his ex and mother to four of his children, Kim Porter, is in part what inspired The Love Album: Off the Grid, his first solo album since 2006’s Press Play. In an interview with ET Online, the rapper explained how much he was affected by her death in 2018 and how he wanted to make “something positive” out of his grief.
Combs told the outlet, "I always said that I can't make a hit record unless my heart is broken. It's just like a vulnerable state that you're in.”
“When I lost Kim, it broke my heart forever,” the music mogul continued, referring to the model/actress’ death at age 47 caused by lobar pneumonia.
Combs added that he has “always” made music with his former partner in mind.
The two dated in the ‘90s and had an on-again-off-again relationship until they split in 2007. Sharing four children together — including Porter’s son with producer Al B. Sure!, Quincy Brown, 32, who Combs adopted, King (birth name Christian), 25, and twins D'Lila and Jessie, 16 — they remained close while co-parenting.
The “Last Night” artist also told the outlet the story behind one song on the record that’s named after the late model and features Babyface and John Legend.
Of the album track “Kim Porter,” he recalled, “I was thinking about before there was the internet and how long I would wait [after] she would break up with me, she would just go completely off the grid. There was no way to track your girlfriend or nothing. I was sitting by the phone and calling her mother. Her mother's like, 'I don't know what you're talking about, Sean. I don't know where she's at.' But she [was] probably right there.”
The Grammy winner continued, "So, I got on [with] Babyface and John Legend. I told them this story and Babyface wrote, 'Six days seven nights waiting for your sound,' and that's the way I love.”
Although the hip-hop star said he does “believe” that he’ll find love again, he shared, “I gotta be happy for the love that I felt. I can't chase the love that I had."
Combs — who also shares daughter Chance, 17, with Sarah Chapman and 11-month-old Love with Dana Tran — has spoken about the love he shared with Porter in the past.
Shortly after her death, the “I’ll Be Missing You” rapper shared a statement on Instagram. He wrote, "I don't know what I'm going to do without you baby. I miss you so much. We were more than best friends, we were more than soulmates. WE WERE SOME OTHER S—!! And I miss you so much. Super Black Love ????."
When the rapper was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 BET Awards, he also took a moment out of his acceptance speech to pay her tribute. "I just miss Kim, y'all ... I just want to say thank you to Kim," he said.
On Tuesday, ahead of the release of The Love Album: Off the Grid, Combs was honored with the coveted global icon award at the 2023 MTV VMAs.