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Diddy claims that Sting makes $5000 a day from I’ll Be Missing You

By | Published on Thursday 6 April 2023


Diddy has claimed that he now pays Sting a neat $5000 a day as a result of failing to clear a sample of The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ on his 1993 track ‘I’ll Be Missing You’.

This all arose after the website Black Millionaires dredged up an old interview with Sting in which he was asked to confirm reports from 2014 that Diddy was paying him $2000 a day.

Speaking to Power 105.1 in 2018, Sting confirmed he was indeed receiving those monies, adding that Diddy would have to hand over that amount “for the rest of his life”. Though, he insisted, the two musicians are nevertheless “very good friends now”.

Diddy, never wanting to be outdone, replied to this new report on the old interview to deny the claim, saying: “Nope. 5k a day”.

If that’s the case, Diddy is now handing over more than $1.8 million a year to Sting in relation to that one track. Which is quite a lot of money.

It’s also a variable amount. Despite Sting’s suggestion that Diddy simply had to hand over $2000 a day for the rest of his life, what were actually talking about here is the publishing royalties stemming from Diddy’s 1993 track.

The 20 year old hit prominently sampled ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ and also interpolated the vocal melody from the Police song. None of which Diddy thought to clear before releasing his record.

Sting – as you might expect – was not best pleased and sued. As a result he took not just a cut of the copyright in the Diddy song, but 100% of the song royalties. And despite not directly appearing on the Diddy track, Sting is listed as its sole songwriter.

So, Diddy isn’t actually writing a cheque for $2000 or $5000 a day to Sting and popping it in the post. It’s just that all the publishing royalties from ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ go direct to Sting. Well, to his publisher Universal.

What’s actually impressive here isn’t that Sting receives large sums of money from plays of ‘I’ll Be Watching You’. It’s Diddy’s claim that the song is right now bringing in more than twice as much in publishing royalties than it was in 2014 when the $2000 a day claim was first made.

Was that figure actually undervaluing the Diddy hit back then? Or is this just another sign of the streaming boom? Maybe both.