Diddy Confirms He Pays Sting $5,000 Daily in Royalties
UPDATE (April 7):
On Friday (April 7), the Bad Boy Records founder jumped on Twitter and explained that what he wrote in his previous tweet, that has since went viral, wasn't true.
"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," he wrote.
On Wednesday (April 5), Diddy responded to Twitter account Black Millionaires, which tweeted a clip from an interview Sting did with Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club in 2018. In the clip, TBC co-host Charlamagne Tha God asked Sting to confirm whether Diddy pays him $2,000 daily for sampling the singer's chart-topping 1983 hit "Every Breath You Take" for Diddy's "I'll Be Missing You," his 1997 elegiac tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. Sting sheepishly says, "Yeah," "For the rest of his life." However, the former Police frontman added that he and Diddy are very good friends.
Diddy retweeted the Black Millionaires tweet and clarified that he actually pays $5,000 daily to Sting. "Nope. 5K a day. Love to my brother @OfficialSting! [smiling face with sunglasses, power fist and heart hands emojis]," Diddy wrote.
It's unclear if both Diddy and Sting were joking about the royalty payout for the song. As noted by Variety, presumably, a large portion of the $5,000 is going to Universal Music Publishing, which acquired the song, along with Sting's music catalog, in a reported $350 million publishing deal in February of 2022.
In The Shade Room post about the Diddy's royalty payout, a commenter had a logical explanation about how Sting gets his royalties from the song.
"Diddy was joking here, he doesn't pay Sting anything. He was sued for royalties for the song so the 2 or 5K a day is what the song makes and goes directly to Sting not what Diddy has to pay," the person wrote.
Nevertheless, "I'll Be Missing You" is arguably one of Diddy's biggest songs in his career. The Bad Boy Records founder is credited on the song along with Todd Gaither (aka Sauce Money), Faith Evans and, of course, Sting. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 11, 1997, and stayed at that position for 11 consecutive weeks.
However, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Diddy never cleared the sample with Sting before releasing the song. If Diddy had asked for permission he would have most likely had to pay 25 percent of the publishing royalties. Instead, due to copyright law, Sting was able to lay claim to 100 percent of royalties on the song. The veteran rocker reportedly earns $730,000 per year for the sample, which breaks down to about $2,000 per day in royalties.
Additionally, Diddy has been sued by other parties related to "I'll Be Missing You." In July of 2022, Universal-MCA Music Publishing filed a $4 million lawsuit on behalf of songwriters Todd Gaither (aka Sauce Money), Kelly Price and Jeremy Graham, claiming that they’ve never received royalties from "I'll Be Missing You" and other songs on Diddy's multiplatinum album No Way Out. Sauce Money explained the Diddy lawsuit below.