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P Diddy's eye-watering multi-million dollar payout to Sting 26 years after 'I'll Be Missing You'

The rapper illegally sampled the song 'Every Breath You Take'

Recording artists Sting and Sean 'P Diddy' Combs in 2018
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca LewisReporterLos Angeles
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P Diddy has reportedly paid British singer Sting an astonishing sum of money - and counting - in the 26 years since he sampled The Police song 'Every Breath You Take' in his 1997 tribute to rapper Biggie Smalls, 'I'll Be Missing You'.

Diddy claimed in a tweet earlier this year that he pays Sting $5000 a day for the rights, which he never obtained before publication on May 7 1997. 

Sting sued the rapper to resolve the matter and a daily payment was enacted after the lawsuit, with Sting earning 100 percent of the royalties instead of the standard 25 percent or less. 

In a 2018 interview, Sting, now 71, admitted that Diddy has to pay him $2000 every day "for the rest of Diddy's life," but when the video went viral Diddy replied to share that it was actually $5000. "Nope. 5K a day. Love to my brother @OfficialSting!" the 53-year-old tweeted. 

As of September 12 2023 - the day P Diddy performed the song at the VMA's - there have been 9,626 days since May 7 1997, meaning he has paid $48,130,000. 

"Those guys just take your [expletive], put it on a record and deal with the legality later,” Sting said at the time. 

Sting attends a party during the 76th Cannes Film Festival © David M. Benett
Sting is still receiving payments from P Diddy

"Elton John told me, ‘You gotta hear ['I’ll Be Missing You'], you’re gonna be a millionaire!’ 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 still good pals.” 

However, Sting sold the rights to his catalog including all songwriting royalties in 2022 to Universal Music Publishing for $300 million, so the company now takes the majority of the money.

'I'll Be Missing You' was a smash hit for Diddy, known at the time as Puff Daddy, and Faith Evans, who was married to Christopher 'The Notorious B.I.G.' Wallace.

Janice Combs and Diddy attend the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards© Getty Images
Janice Combs and Diddy attend the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards

Biggie was shot dead on March 9, 1997, six months after Tupac Shakur's murder. Neither murder was ever solved.

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