Diddy Quickly Walks Back His ‘I Pay Sting $5k a Day’ Claim

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Sean Combs aka Diddy in 2010 (Reckless Dream Photography CC by 2.0)

Diddy quickly walks back his earlier claim that he pays Sting $5,000 a day for sampling his song without permission.

When Sting’s 2018 interview with The Breakfast Club resurfaced — in which he said rumors that Diddy was paying him $2,000 per day “for the rest of his life” for sampling his song without permission were true — Diddy took to social media last week to explain that it’s actually $5,000 per day. But it turns out the rapper was “being facetious.”

“I want y’all to understand I was joking,” reads Diddy’s tweet. “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. LOVE.”

Diddy had subtweeted the resurfaced interview to explain that it was actually $5,000 per day, not $2,000, as if he were trying to set the record straight.

“Nope. 5k a day. Love to my brother @OfficialSting,” read Diddy’s initial tweet.

Sting’s “Every Breath You Take,” released with his band The Police in 1983, was sampled by Diddy and Faith Evans in their 1997 tribute to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., “I’ll Be Missing You.” The tribute was released about two months after Biggie Smalls was gunned down in Los Angeles. 

The kicker is that Diddy reportedly did not ask Sting for permission to sample the song until his version was already released. Had Diddy paid Sting $5,000 a day for sampling the track, he would have doled out nearly $50 million by now. Still, the rapper undoubtedly paid the former Police frontman in some capacity for using the sample, but it remains to be seen if the rumored $2,000 per day is rooted in reality. The reality of the situation is that it could be any number—big shoulder shrug here.