If you thought The Police made bank when Puff Daddy sampled “Every Breath You Take” for his 1997 hit “I’ll Be Missing You,” think again.
Police guitarist Andy Summers told Ultimate Classic Rock that his son introduced him to the Puff Daddy song saying, “My 10-year-old came in the house and came over. He goes, ‘Hey Dad, I want you to come listen to my radio in the room. There’s a guy who is completely doing your guitar thing.’ I went in and it was the first time I’d heard Puff Daddy and whatever he called that song. I went, ‘Oh my God.'”
From there the members of The Police pursued action on obtaining royalties with Summers adding, “I think we ended up settling out of court and we got some kind of royalty. But I mean, I think he sold 30 million singles with that track or something and we didn’t get anything out of it.”
Well, not exactly. Since Puff Daddy never asked permission to sample “Every Breath You Take,” the whole dispute ended up in court and Sting now receives 100 percent of the royalties from the song. Why? Because he’s the only songwriter listed on the track, despite the fact that Summers and Stewart Copeland each came up with their guitar and drum tracks, respectively. Of course, only Summers’ guitar track and nothing from Sting or Copeland are actually heard on “I’ll Be Missing You.”
So, what kind of royalties does Sting get from “I’ll Be Missing You”? According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Sting reportedly earns about $2,000 a day in royalties from that song alone.