Diddy Says He 'Was Joking' About Paying Sting $5K a Day in Royalties

The hip-hop mogul went viral after tweeting that he pays a daily wage to Sting — which it turns out was just a joke

Kevin Mazur/Getty Sting and Diddy in 2018
Kevin Mazur/Getty Sting and Diddy in 2018

Sean "Diddy" Combs has denied he pays Sting $5,000 a day in royalties for sampling the songwriter's hit track "Every Breath You Take" and said his initial tweet was just a joke.

"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," the hip-hop icon said in a new tweet on Friday.

Diddy's 1997 "I'll Be Missing You" was a tribute to rapper Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, who was murdered two months prior to the song's release. Faith Evans, the widow of Notorious B.I.G., featured in the track, which heavily sampled The Police's 1983 single "Every Breath You Take."

Related:Diddy Pays Sting $5,000 a Day for Using Sample Without Permission: 'Love to My Brother'

The confusion over the non-existent royalties all started in 2018 when Sting was interviewed by The Breakfast Club. The 71-year-old rocker aloofly said he gets $2,000 a day from Diddy for sampling his song. He also says permission to use the sample was only asked after "I'll Be Missing You" was released. "We're very good friends now," Sting added. "It was a beautiful version of that song."

Related:Diddy Shares Rare Photo with All Seven of His Children: 'Nothing Else Matters'

A clip of the interview started trending on Wednesday after it was shared on Twitter by Black Millionaires. And Diddy himself re-tweeted the video with the caption: "Nope. 5K a day. Love to my brother @OfficialSting ! 😎 ✊🏿🫶🏿."

The story was picked up by multiple global media outlets (including PEOPLE), but it turns out the "Bad Boys for Life" rapper was just having a laugh.

"I'll Be Missing You" is perhaps the hip-hop mogul's most well-known song. The tribute to Biggie would go on to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earn Diddy awards at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards ceremony for top rap artist and top rap song.

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The rapper most recently reflected on their friendship in a tweet shared on the 26th anniversary of his death in March.

"There will NEVER be another. The GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME," wrote Diddy. "Today we celebrate and honor you king. Love and miss you!!"

Evans, 49, reflected on the late rapper's legacy while speaking to PEOPLE in March 2022, sharing, "The person behind these rhymes, which could be so gritty and sometimes harsh and sometimes explicit — he was occasionally all of those things. But for the most part, he was just a really cool, lovable, funny person that most people loved being around."

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