Diddy Burys Hatchet With Sting Over Royalties: "It Was A Joke"

9 April 2023 | 8:44 am | Staff Writer

The internet erupted as Diddy claimed Sting received $5000 a day for the use of the famous 'Every Breath You Take' sample.

This week, the story of Diddy (then Puff Daddy) using the famous sample in his global smash I'll Be Missing You resurfaced with a 2018 interview from Sting bringing to light that the ex-Police frontman was receiving $2000 a day for life. Diddy released the song without first clearing the sample, which would seem to be an expensive mistake. 

In a 2003 Rolling Stone interview, Sting said "Those guys just take your shit, put it on a record and deal with the legality later." While he didn't mention the settlement at the time, he said it was Elton John who alerted him to the usage.

"I put a couple of my kids through college with the proceeds, and me and P. Diddy are good pals still." 

This week Diddy shared the footage again with the $2000 claim, Tweeting "Nope. 5K a day. Love to my brother @OfficialSting!", reigniting the debate. 

Turns out his mate Sting didn't appreciate the call-out with Diddy taking to Twitter yesterday to clarify: 

"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."

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The difference between earning royalties on a song that is still popular vs a daily fee in perpetuity is quite a big one, although it's clear that both artists have done very well out of the 1997 tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. It's likely that both artists are right: Sting likely does make a pretty decent fee each and every day, and this story blowing up probably increased it this week. 

Not every Sting sample has been quite so amicable, with Juice WRLD's Lucid Dreams resulting in another pay day for the I Can't Stand Losing hitmaker. 

Sting is said to own 85% of Juice WRLD's song because of the sample, according to a tweet from the song's producer, Nick Mira, in 2018.

"Fuck @OfficialSting and his WHOLE team," he tweeted 2018. "After taking 85% of Lucid Dreams (for interpolating Shape of My Heart, NOT EVEN sampling) he threatened to take us to court for trying to get any %."

Sting's response? He told Billboard the money from the hit will put his Grandkids through college. One thing's for certain, Sting is going to have one very educated family off the back of rap samples.