Ever heard of that time when P. Diddy paid Sting $2,000 a day?

The plot thickens! In a 2018 interview that recently resurfaced, Sting revealed that Sean Combs (P. Diddy) forks out a daily $2,000 in royalties for using his 1983 song, “Every Breath You Take” without consent.

Diddy then tweeted that he actually pays $5,000 daily, only to claim it was all a joke two days later.

This juicy tidbit uncovers the legal and business nitty-gritty of the music scene, emphasizing why it’s crucial to get the green light before borrowing someone else’s masterpiece.


Intellectual Property Rights: The Legal and Business Side of Music


When Diddy decided to sample “Every Breath You Take” for his 1997 chartbuster “I’ll Be Missing You,” he unknowingly shot himself in the foot.

Sting gets all the royalties, leaving Diddy high and dry. Meanwhile, The Police members Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland also missed out, since they weren’t listed as songwriters or contributors on the sampled track.



Media Mayhem

The media had a field day with this story, turning it into a sensational spectacle.

Diddy’s tweet about “jokingly” paying $5,000 instead of $2,000 added fuel to the fire. The truth is, Diddy’s payments to Sting are more indirect, as he gets zilch from the royalties of “I’ll Be Missing You,” which translates to around $730,000 per year or $2,000 a day for Sting.

Bandmate Bitterness

The plot thickens as Sting’s bandmates express frustration upon realizing that only Sting would be cashing in from Diddy’s song.

In their opinion, Sting is legally raking in the dough simply by ensuring his name is on the dotted line.

Resolution and Teachable Moments

This wild ride spotlights the importance of making smart legal and business choices in the music biz.

Musicians and artists should always play by the rules to avoid any trouble when using someone else’s work. Had Diddy obtained permission before releasing “I’ll Be Missing You,” he might have made bank on those royalties.

On the flip side, artists should ensure they’re credited for their creative input to avoid missing out on potential earnings.

If you want to learn more about trademarks and copyright, these blog posts are for you.

Discussion Points

Emotions were running high for both Diddy and The Police when creating their respective songs.

Did these feelings blur their judgment when it came to legal matters? To avoid letting emotions wreak havoc on profits, artists should seek guidance from legal and industry experts who can offer unbiased advice on intellectual property rights and contracts.



In the fast-paced world of business, protecting your intellectual property is more critical than ever.

If you need someone who is an expert in IP law specializing in copyrights and trademarks, SLG’s attorneys have the knowledge and experience to safeguard your most valuable assets.

You can schedule your consultation here.


The Diddy-Sting rollercoaster serves as a wake-up call for musicians and artists navigating the maze of intellectual property rights and legalities.

By learning from their blunders, we can better appreciate the value of making well-informed decisions to safeguard our creative pursuits and financial well-being.