After a clip of British singer Sting speaking about receiving the royalties for Diddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You” circulated online recently, the rapper clarified just how much he pays The Police frontman.
In the clip from a 2018 interview with Sting and Shaggy on The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne asked the musician if it’s true he gets paid $2,000 by Diddy every day for the initially unauthorised use of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” on the 1997 song.
“Yeah, for the rest of his life,” he replied. “It ain’t fake news.”
Sting clarified that Diddy asked for permission to use the sample, but only after the song was released. “We’re very good friends now. It was a beautiful version of that song.”
A tweet containing the interview clip got the attention of Diddy, who disputed the figure.
Nope,” he said alongside the video. “5K a day. Love to my brother [Sting]!”
Diddy’s track, which featured Faith Evans and 112, served as a tribute to his late friend the Notorious B.I.G., who was murdered just months prior.
Diddy originally did not ask for permission to use the sample, and Sting filed a lawsuit that resulted in him receiving all of the royalties for the track.
Despite the contentious nature surrounding “I’ll Be Missing You,” the two came together to perform a live version of it alongside Faith Evans at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.
It was a hugely successful release and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. So needless to say, Sting doesn’t seem too upset about Diddy’s use of the sample and they appear to be on good terms.
In an interview with A.V. Club, per Ultimate Classic Rock, The Police guitarist Andy Summers described the song as a “major rip-off.”
“He actually sampled my guitar, and that’s what he based his whole track on,” he noted.
“Stewart’s not on it. Sting’s not on it. I’d be walking around Tower Records, and the f$%king thing would be playing over and over. It was very bizarre while it lasted.”