Who Were the Shortlived Diddy-Assembled Duo Dirty Money

Singers, songwriters, and dancers Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper were already signed to Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records before forming the duo Dirty Money. Labeled as Diddy-Dirty Money, they released their debut album Last Train to Paris in December of 2010 and two mixtapes before disbanding two years later.

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‘Last Train to Paris’

Last Train to Paris went to No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts with hits “Coming Home,” featuring Skylar Grey, and “Looking for Love” with Usher.

The star-studded lineup of guests on the album also included Grace Jones, Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Swizz Beatz, and T.I., among others.

The End of Dirty Money

Though Dirty Money was on track to release a second album together, everything was derailed. In a recent interview, Harper said the duo took a backseat to some of the ventures Diddy had taken on at Bad Boy Entertainment, including his premium vodka brand Cîroc.

“Okay, so it was never another album because Cîroc was his next album,” Harper said in a 2023 interview “He’s like, ‘Do I keep dealing with these two baldhead bitches, or do I jump on this Cîroc that ain’t gon talk back? [It] ain’t arguing.’ Listen, Dirty Money started to become something that he didn’t think was going to happen. Dawn, she’s exceptional at what she does—he didn’t think two Leo women was going to come in and body that shit like we did.”

[RELATED: 5 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Written by Diddy]

Shortly after breaking up, Richard said “It died out. I think Puff was tired. He had so many different things going on. I think he wanted to produce and act a little bit more. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. If we would have wanted to continue, and he couldn’t do it, then there’d be no sense in it. It’s his project so you just have to take it,” she said.

Dawn Richards

A New Orleans, Louisiana native, Richard began performing with the local group called Realiti as a teenager. In 2004, she auditioned for the MTV reality series Making the Band 3, also starring Diddy, where she joined the girl band Danity Kane, from 2005 through 2009. In 2005, Richard also released a solo album Been a While.

Following the breakup of Dirty Money, Richard continued to release her own music as a solo artist with her second album Goldenheart in 2013. That year, Danity Kane had a brief reunion with three of the original five members.

She released her sixth album Second Line in 2021, followed by her 2022 collaborative album with Spencer Zahn Pigments.

Kalenna Harper

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before joining Dirty Money Harper was already writing songs for other artists, including Aretha Franklin and Fantasia Barrino’s 2007 song “Put You Up on Game,” “Moodswings” by Charlotte Church, Ciara’s “Pucker Up”, and Pussycat Dolls “Painted Windows,” among her other collaborations.

Following the breakup of Dirty Money, Harper also joined the cast member of the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and has continued working as a songwriter through the present. 

The Return of Dirty Money

In 2023, Diddy’s fifth album The Love Album: Off the Grid featured a Dirty Money reunion with Richard and Harper appearing on the track “Deliver Me,” along with Busta Rhymes.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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