I'll Be Missing You

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"I'll Be Missing You"
IllBeMissingYou.jpg
Single by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112
from the album No Way Out and Tribute to The Notorious B.I.G.: The Soundtrack
B-side
  • "We'll Always Love Big Poppa"
  • "Cry On"
ReleasedMay 23, 1997 (1997-05-23)
Genre
Length
  • 5:43 (LP version)
  • 5:01 (LP edit)
  • 4:08 (radio edit)
  • 3:29 (short version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Puff Daddy singles chronology
"Can't Nobody Hold Me Down"
(1997)
"I'll Be Missing You"
(1997)
"It's All About the Benjamins"
(1997)
Faith Evans singles chronology
"You Could Be My Boo"
(1996)
"I'll Be Missing You"
(1997)
"How's It Goin' Down"
(1998)
112 singles chronology
"Cupid"
(1997)
"I'll Be Missing You"
(1997)
"All Cried Out"
(1997)
Music video
"I'll Be Missing You" on YouTube

"I'll Be Missing You" is a song recorded by American rapper Puff Daddy and singer Faith Evans, featuring R&B group 112, in memory of fellow Bad Boy Records artist (and Evans's husband) Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, who was murdered on March 9, 1997. Released as the second single from Puff Daddy and the Family's No Way Out album, "I'll Be Missing You" samples the Police's 1983 hit song "Every Breath You Take", with an interpolated chorus sung by Evans and interpolated rhythm. The track also features a spoken intro over a choral version of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings".

At the 40th Annual Grammy Awards, the song won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The single spent eleven weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one in 15 other countries; it was the best-performing single of 1997 in Iceland, the Netherlands (Dutch Top 40), and Romania. With shipments of over three million copies in the United States and over one million in both Germany and the United Kingdom, the song has become one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Composition[edit]

"I'll Be Missing You" is based on a sample of the 1983 single "Every Breath You Take" by the Police. It also uses an interpolation of the "Every Breath You Take" melody, sung by Biggie’s widow, Faith Evans. Permission was not given for use of the sample, and Police songwriter Sting sued, receiving 100% of the song royalties. Sting reportedly earns $2,000 a day from royalties for the track.[1] Police guitarist Andy Summers called the sample "a major rip-off", and told the A.V. Club: "I found out about it after it was on the radio ... I’d be walking round Tower Records, and the fucking thing would be playing over and over. It was very bizarre while it lasted."[2] Sting later performed the song alongside Puff Daddy and Evans at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards in September.[3][4]

The track also reuses the melody from the hymn 'I'll Fly Away".[2]

Combs' verses were composed by rapper Sauce Money.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Entertainment Weekly gave it a grade of D, and described it as a "maudlin 'tribute' to the Notorious B.I.G., [in which] the late rapper's former mentor (Puff Daddy) and wife (Faith Evans) team up to say their farewells to the big man on a song that 'samples' the Police's 'Every Breath You Take'. With lyrics like 'Know you're in heaven, smiling down/Watching us while we pray for you,' 'I'll Be Missing You' gives the lie to those who claim hip-hoppers are above self-serving sentimentality."[6] Freelance music writer Jeremy Simmonds described the song as "somewhat turgid".[7] Ian Hyland from Sunday Mirror gave it 9 out of 10. He commented, "Not the greatest rap I've ever heard but this tribute to murdered rapper Notorious B.I.G. is going to be H.U.G.E. In a mish-mash of The Police's Every Breath You Take and John Waite's Missing, the highlight is Faith Evans' amazing voice."[8]

Chart performance[edit]

"I'll Be Missing You" topped many charts across the world. It reached number one in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Flanders, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The song is one of the few to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, and the only rap song by a male to do so until Eminem's "Not Afraid" debuted at the top spot 13 years later in 2010. The song spent a record-breaking 11 weeks at number one on the Hot 100, making it the longest running number one hip hop song in history until Eminem's "Lose Yourself" spent 12 weeks at number one in 2002.

The song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 32 on July 8, 2007, 10 years after it had its full physical release and 10 years after it was number one. As of July 2013, "I'll Be Missing You" is the 22nd best-selling song all-time in the UK.[9]

Music video[edit]

A music video was made to accompany the song, directed by American director Hype Williams. It was shot in Chicago.

Formats and track listings[edit]

CD single

  1. Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112 – "I'll Be Missing You"

Maxi-single

  1. Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112 – "I'll Be Missing You"
  2. The Lox – "We'll Always Love Big Poppa"
  3. 112 – "Cry On"
  4. Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112 – "I'll Be Missing You" (Instrumental)
  5. The Lox – "We'll Always Love Big Poppa" (Instrumental)

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[66] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[67] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[68] 4× Platinum 200,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[69] Platinum 100,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[70] Gold 45,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[72] Gold 492,000[71]
Germany (BVMI)[73] 3× Platinum 1,500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[74] Gold 25,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[75] 2× Platinum 150,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[76] Platinum 10,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[77] Platinum  
Sweden (GLF)[78] 2× Platinum 60,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[79] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[80] 3× Platinum 1,800,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[82] 3× Platinum 3,100,000[81]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States May 23, 1997 (1997-05-23) CD Bad Boy [82]
United Kingdom June 16, 1997 (1997-06-16)
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • CD
  • cassette
Arista [83]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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