Diddy Says He Still Pays Sting $5,000 A Day For “I’ll Be Missing You” Sample (UPDATE: He Was Kidding)

Diddy Says He Still Pays Sting $5,000 A Day For “I’ll Be Missing You” Sample (UPDATE: He Was Kidding)

The Police’s creepy-romantic stalker hymn “Every Breath You Take” was the biggest hit of 1983, and then it was also, after a fashion, the biggest it of 1997. Diddy, then known as Puff Daddy, heavily sampled “Every Breath You Take” on “I’ll Be Missing You,” his ode to his late friend Biggie Smalls. Amazingly, Diddy did not clear that “Every Breath You Take” sample before releasing “I’ll Be Missing You,” and that fuckup still has major financial consequences today. It’s a bit of a shock to learn how major those financial consequences have been.

A few years ago, Sting was on The Breakfast Club, and Charlamagne asked if Diddy really has to pay Sting $2,000 a day for that sample. Sting said that he does, “for the rest of his life.” He added, “We’re very good friends now.” That clip made the rounds on Twitter yesterday, and Diddy tweeted that Sting was actually lowballing that amount: “Nope. 5K a day.”


Both of these guys are rich as hell, and Diddy isn’t going to go destitute by making those royalty payments. As much as we’d all like to imagine Diddy showing up at Sting’s door with an envelope full of money every morning, that’s probably not happening either. Still, it’s pretty amazing to think about just how much money that is. Sting could buy a used car every single day. He could get himself 365 Bengal cats a year. He could take the Lord Of The Rings New Zealand tour every day for the rest of his life. (I just Googled things that cost $5,000.)

One of the main pieces of “Every Breath You Take” that Diddy sampled for “I’ll Be Missing You” is the ringing guitar riff. That riff came from Police guitarist Andy Summers. But since Sting is credited as the sole songwriter of “Every Breath You Take,” Summers gets $0 a day from Diddy.

If you ever see Sting in a bar, don’t buy him a drink. If Sting wants a drink, he can afford it.

UPDATE: Diddy says he was just joking. “I want y’all to understand I was joking!” he writes in a tweet. “It’s called being Facetious! Me and @OfficialSting have been friends for a long time! He never charged me $3K or $5K a day for Missing You. He probably makes more than $5K a day from one of the biggest songs in history.”


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