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Diddy now claims he was joking about paying Sting $5K a day for “I’ll Be Missing You”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS

After making headlines by claiming that the amount of royalties Sting gets from Diddy‘s song “I’ll Be Missing You” is $5,000 a day, Diddy now claims it was a big joke.

Earlier this week, Diddy replied to a clip of Sting confirming that he makes $2,000 per day in royalties from “I’ll Be Missing You” because it samples “Every Breath You Take,” his 1983 number one hit with The Police, Diddy wrote, “Nope. 5K a day. Love to my brother @OfficialSting!”

But on Friday, Diddy took to Twitter to walk back his comment.

“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,” Diddy wrote. “He probably makes more than $5K a day from one of the biggest songs in history.”

The whole thing is really semantics, though. Diddy used the sample without permission, which caused Sting to take legal action: He sued for a chunk of royalties and won. So while Sting may not have personally “charged” Diddy for the sample, the fact remains that he gets a percentage of whatever royalties the song earns, whether it adds up to $2,000 per day — that’s $730,000 per year — or more.

In 2003, Sting told Rolling Stone,Those guys just take your s***, put it on a record and deal with the legality later … I put a couple of my kids through college with the proceeds, and me and [Diddy] are good pals still.”

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