If only Sean “Diddy” Combs then Puff Daddy simply asked Sting for permission to use “Every Breath You Take” before the fact, then Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland and Diddy himself would be allotted their fair share of “I’ll Be Missing You” copious royalties.
How much royalties you ask?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Sting (and Sting alone), fattens his pockets with a cool $2,000 a day. In fact, every penny of royalties that is generated by both “Every Breath You Take” and “I’ll Be Missing You” ($730,000 a year) will continue to trickle into the bank account of Mr. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, reportedly, until 2053.
Indeed, Sting is living in mansion and benzes, but he isn’t giving ends to his friends, yet he undoubtedly feels stupendous.
A little background history on the ordeal: Diddy “forgot” to ask for permission for “Every Breath You Take,” which subsequently allowed Sting to take legal action to receive 100 percent of the royalties generated by “I’ll Be Missing You.” Furthermore, Sting is listed as the sole songwriter on “Every Breath You Take” (not The Police, nor Sting/Summers, only Sting). That leaves Sting to equally collect 100 percent of the songwriting royalties generated by “Every Breath You Take,” which, as you can see, includes all the royalties to “I’ll Be Missing You” as well.
Previously Summers was quoted, having said the song is “the major rip-off of all time,“He [Sting] actually sampled my guitar… that’s what he based his whole track on. Stewart’s not on it”, Said Summers.” Sting’s not on it. I’d be walking round Tower Records, and the fucking thing would be playing over and over. It was very bizarre while it lasted.”
Here’s an excerpt from The Police’s interview with Revolver magazine in 2000 regarding the matter:
Summers: We spent about six weeks recording just the snare drums and the bass. It was a simple, classic chord sequence, but we couldn’t agree how to do it. I’d been making an album with Robert Fripp, and I was kind of experimenting with playing Bartok violin duets and had worked up a new riff. When Sting said ‘go and make it your own’, I went and stuck that lick on it, and immediately we knew we had something special.
Copeland: Yeah, Sting said make it your own – just keep your hands off my f***in’ royalties. Andy, since we’re here, I’m going to back you up on this. You should stand up right now and say, ‘I, Andy, want all the Puff Daddy money. Because that’s not Sting’s song he’s using, that’s my guitar riff.’ Okay over to you Andy, Go for it…
Summers: [meekly] Ok, I want all of the Puff Daddy Money.
Sting: Okay Andy here’s all the money [pours some change on the table]. Unfortunately, I’ve spent the rest of it.
Copeland: So Sting’s making out like a bank robber here, while Andy and I have gone unrewarded and unloved for our efforts and contributions.
Sting: Life… is… fucking… tough. Here I am in Tuscany…
Copeland: And don’t we know it! You’re in Tuscany in your palace with wine being poured down your throat and grapes being peeled for you. Sting can you buy me a castle in Italy too? With the proceeds from the longest running hit single in the history of radio? Just a little chateau somewhere?
Sting: We don’t have fucking chateaus in Italy, They’re called palazzos. I’ll lend you a room.
Take it back, listen to both tunes after the break.