Sting Makes $2,000 Every Single Day…Because Diddy Didn’t Ask for Permission to Sample The Police on “I’ll Be Missing You”
Sting makes a good deal of money off touring and his back catalog, but he makes $2,000 every day...for ONE song...a song that, technically, he didn't have anything to do with. That's $730,000 a year!
It's Diddy's 1997 tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., "I'll Be Missing You", which HEAVILY incorporates The Police's 1983 hit, "Every Breath You Take".
Neither Diddy, nor his label, asked for permission to use it. If they had, Sting would've probably been entitled to a 25% cut. But since they didn't, Sting was able to demand AND receive 100% of the remix's publishing royalties.
The crazy thing is that Sting's voice isn't on Diddy's song...and neither are Stewart Copeland's drums. It's just Andy Summers' guitar riff. But Andy doesn't get a dime, because he didn't push for a co-writing credit on the original.
Since he came up with the riff, Andy has called this, quote, "The major rip-off of all time."
Sting has reportedly made $20- to $40 million off "I'll Be Missing You"since 1997.
Here's 'I'll Be Missing You' by Diddy:
And here's 'Every Breath You Take' by the Police: