Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs pays Sting $5K a day over a song sample

When a 2018 video clip of Sting saying Combs pays him $2,000 a day for sampling "Every Breath You Take" went viral, Combs replied that he actually pays $5,000 a day.

Sting once stated that Sean “Diddy” Combs pays him $2,000 daily to sample one of his compositions without permission. Combs confirmed the arrangement and admitted that he pays Sting $5,000 a day.

In 1997, Combs released “I’ll Be Missing You,” a tribute to his friend and Bad Boy Records signee The Notorious B.I.G. following the rapper’s death that year. The song heavily samples The Police’s 1983 hit single, “Every Breath You Take,” written by Sting. “I’ll Be Missing You” also interpolates the chorus melody of “Every Breath You Take.”

Sting revealed during a 2018 “The Breakfast Club” appearance that Combs pays him a hefty fee for that song. He appeared on the morning radio show with Shaggy, promoting their duet album, “44/876.”

60th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show
Recording artists Sting and Diddy attend the “60th Annual GRAMMY Awards” on Jan. 28, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

Charlamagne Tha God, “The Breakfast Club” co-host, asked Sting to confirm the rumor that Combs paid him $2,000 a day for sampling his song without clearing it. “Yeah,” Sting said. “For the rest of his life.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter went on to say Combs eventually asked him for permission “after the fact” and contends that, “We’re very good friends now.”

When the video clip went viral, Combs retweeted it, writing, “Nope. 5K a day. Love to my brother @OfficialSting.”

“I’ll Be Missing You,” featuring Faith Evans and 112, became a smash, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and holding the top spot for 11 weeks. The song was included on Combs’ debut album, “No Way Out,” helping it become platinum-certified seven times over.

During the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, Sting joined Combs, Evans, and 112 on stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City to perform the song, with Sting incorporating his original “Every Breath You Take” lyrics during the performance.

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