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08th Apr 2023

Diddy doesn’t pay Sting $5,000 a day for sampling his song

Steve Hopkins

‘I’ll be misleading you’

After making headlines around the world for saying he has to pay Sting $5000 (£4022) a day for sampling one The Police’s songs without permission, Diddy has clarified the situation.

He was joking.

The story developed earlier this week when Diddy, real name Sean Combs, tweeted the supposed details of the penalty for using Sting’s, ‘I’ll be Missing You’ without permission. Sting had appeared on The Breakfast Show and was quizzed about the rapper having to pay him $2,000 a day. Diddy, in his tweet, said it was $5,000.

Now that the story is gone everywhere, Diddy has tweeted again, saying he was being “facetious”.

He wrote on Friday: “I want y’all to understand I was joking! 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.”

Diddy sampled the 1983 hit on his 1997 tribute to The Notorious B.I.G, ‘I’ll Be Missing You’.

People quickly did the math on the fee, working out Diddy would be handing Sting about $1.8m a year, and if the order was backdated, he would have given him almost $47m.

Radio host Charlamagne the God set the ball rolling, asking Sting: “Is it true that Diddy has to pay you USD $2,000 (AUD $2,986) because he didn’t ask permission to sample, ‘Every Breath You Take’.”

Sting responded: “Yep, for the rest of his life.”

Charlamagne quizzed the performer if Diddy sought permission, “after the fact”, to which Sting replied: “Yes, he did.”

Sting added, however, that there was no bad blood between the pair, saying “we’re very good friends now”.

Diddy then set his tweet, saying the figure was in fact $5,000.

Diddy’s hit, with Faith Evans, spent 11 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.

It’s unclear how much Diddy has paid Sting over the years, but in a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone, The Police frontman said he’d taken enough money from the rapper to put some of his six children through college.

“Those guys just take your shit, put it on a record and deal with the legality later,” he said when asked how Diddy came about sampling “Every Breath You Take.”

“Elton John told me, ‘You gotta hear [“I’ll Be Missing You'”], you’re gonna be a millionaire,'” he added.

“I said, ‘I am a millionaire!’ He said, ‘You’re gonna be a millionaire twice over!’ I put a couple of my kids through college with the proceeds, and me and P. Diddy are good pals still.”

Sting has also cashed in on other stars sampling his songs, including the late Juice WRLD, for his 2018 hit, ‘Lucid Dreams’.

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P Diddy,Sting