(BBC) In a rare move, Sean “Diddy” Combs has returned some music rights to artists and songwriters who were signed to his label, instead of cashing in on them.

Bad Boy Records was one of the biggest rap labels of the 1990s, home to artists like Ma$e, Faith Evans, 112, The Lox and Notorious B.I.G.

Those acts have now been given back control of their songwriting rights.

A source with knowledge of the deal said Combs had previously been offered millions of dollars to sell the rights.

The value of music publishing rights has increased dramatically in recent years, with artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Debbie Harry, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks and Shakira foregoing future royalties in exchange for nine-figure sums.

Combs declined those offers in favour of “giving back to the people who helped build his company”, the BBC has been told. Billboard and Rolling Stone have also reported the deal.

The star, who scored his own hits with tracks like I’ll Be Missing You, Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down and Bad Boy For Life, made the move on the 30th anniversary of his label.

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