Diddy Says He Still Pays Sting $5,000 Per Day for “I’ll Be Missing You” Sample
More than 25 years later, Diddy is still paying a steep price for using an uncleared sample of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” on his Notorious B.I.G. tribute “I’ll Be Missing You.” The hip-hop mogul has revealed he now pays former Police lead singer Sting $5,000 per day in royalties.
Diddy tweeted the number as a correction to a resurfaced 2018 interview with The Breakfast Club in which Sting confirmed he received $2,000 a day from the rapper. “Nope. 5K a day,” Diddy wrote. “Love to my brother @OfficialSting!”
At the time of the interview, Sting told The Breakfast Club that “we’re very good friends now” and added, “It was a beautiful version of that song.”
It didn’t always seem like Sting felt that way. At the 1997 MTV VMAs, he insisted on singing the original chorus instead of Faith Evans’ interpolation paying tribute to Biggie while accompanying Diddy’s performance of “I’ll Be Missing You.”
It’s worth noting Sting sold his entire songwriting catalog to Universal Music Group for a whopping $300 million last year, so the royalty payments presumably go to the music conglomerate instead.
Back in 1997, Diddy — who then went by Puff Daddy — released “I’ll Be Missing You” as the second single from his debut solo album, No Way Out. It became a monster hit and spent 11 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. For some reason, however, Diddy didn’t bother asking permission from The Police beforehand for the song’s extensive sample of “Every Breath You Take.”
Besides the direct sample of The Police’s 1983 hit, “I’ll Be Missing You” features a chorus by Faith Evans that interpolates its melody. Sting, the sole credited songwriter on “Every Breath You Take,” ended up taking 100 percent of publishing.
“I’ll Be Missing You” isn’t the only song that’s had Sting laughing all the way to the bank. In 2018, producer Nick Mira revealed Sting took 85% of publishing from Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams” for its interpolation of his 1993 hit “Shape of My Heart.”
— LOVE (@Diddy) April 5, 2023