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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is paying the price for sampling Sting’s biggest hits and he will be doing so for the rest of his life. The hip-hop mogul was forced to pay the ongoing fee after sampling one of the musician’s tracks without permission in 1997.
The sample in question was taken from The Police’s hit 1983 single, ‘Every Breath You Take’, which Diddy used in one of his most famous tracks, ‘I’ll Be Missing You”. He has now confirmed the hefty fees on Twitter after a 2018 Sting interview re-surfaced.
In the footage, The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne the God asked the frontman: “Is it true that Diddy has to pay you USD $2,000 (£1,608) because he didn’t ask permission to sample ‘Every Breath You Take’?” To which the former Police member simply replied: “Yep, for the rest of his life.
”Sting – real name Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner – also stated that the R&B icon did ask him for permission to sample the track, but only after he had already released the song.
Following the clip of Sting re-emerging on social media, Diddy took to Twitter to not only confirm the statement but also correct the musician on the actual amount he is expected to pay.
“Nope. 5K a day,” he wrote, adding: “Love to my brother @OfficialSting!”
Even if Diddy is writing a $5,000 check 365 times a year, for a total of $1,825,000 annually, it’s unlikely that it’s hurting his wallet too much. Forbes estimated that he earned $90 million in 2022 alone, thanks in part to his partnership with Ciroc vodka, and in 2019 pegged his net worth at $740 million.