Sting sells his musical catalog including The Police albums to Universal

Sting is selling off his catalog of music — including hits he’s made with The Police and as a solo artist — joining a chorus of stars cashing in with investors who see value in licensing their songs.

Universal said in a statement on Thursday, Feb. 10 that its music publishing arm purchased the musician’s catalog, including “Every Breath You Take,” “Roxanne” and “Fields of Gold.” Financial terms were not disclosed.

In recent months Bob Dylan Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Neil Young and others have sold their recordings, their songwriting catalogs or both. Buyers usually get the permanent right to use the artist’s songs or recordings in commercials, movies, TV shows, and other formats.

Pricing is rarely disclosed, but music industry pundits put Springsteen’s sale to Sony Music Entertainment in December at $550 million, and Dylan’s deal that same month with Universal Music Publishing Group at $300-500. millions of dollars.

Sony would also now have the rights to “multiple future new releases” of Dylan. The “Like A Rolling Stone” singer was first signed to Sony Columbia Records in 1961.

Tina Turner sold the rights to her extensive catalog as part of a deal with music publishing giant BMG, in October last year.

The entire body of work, which includes hits such as “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “Better Be Good to Me”, was sold for an undisclosed amount, along with the rights to his name, sound image and likeness. It was the biggest deal negotiated with a single artist in the publisher’s history.


Sting, real name Gordon Sumner, helped form The Police in London in the 1970s as a singer, songwriter and bassist. The group combined new wave rock, reggae and jazz and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

Between his work with the band and as a solo artist, Sting has won 17 Grammy Awards and numerous other accolades. Universal said it has sold over 100 million albums.

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In 2019, music licensing agency BMI said “Every Breath You Take” surpassed “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” to become the most-played song in its catalog.

Sting still gives live concerts and has acted in several films.

In a statement released by Universal Music Group, Sting said he wants his work to be used to connect with longtime fans in new ways and “to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations.”

Additional reporting by Associated Press