Universal Music Publishing Group has signed a huge deal with Sting for his entire songwriting catalogue, including solo songs as well as those by The Police.
The catalogue was previously with Sony Music Publishing, but UMPG has swooped to secure the rights to Sting’s songs in a deal reportedly worth more than $250 million.
Like the deal UMPG signed with Bob Dylan just over a year ago, the agreement with Sting is an outright acquisition that covers both the publisher and writer shares.
It follows recent blockbuster catalogue deals including David Bowie (Warner Chappell), Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon (Sony Music Publishing).
The comprehensive worldwide agreement with Sting, a 17-times Grammy winner, includes classic songs released as a solo artist and by The Police including Roxanne, Every Breath You Take, Shape Of My Heart, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Fields Of Gold, Desert Rose, Message In A Bottle, Englishman In New York and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, among other global hits.
UMPG becomes the worldwide home of Sting’s extensive songwriting legacy, uniting his song catalogue with his recorded music catalogue under Universal Music Group (UMG) with this agreement.
UMG has been Sting’s label home for his entire career through A&M, Interscope and Cherrytree Records.
“Together, UMPG and UMG will work with Sting to further build and expand his vast audience reach, strengthen the impact and influence of his timeless works, and continue supporting future music releases,” said a statement.
Sting said, “I am delighted to have Jody and the team at UMPG curate and manage my song catalogue. It is absolutely essential to me that my career’s body of work have a home where it is valued and respected – not only to connect with longtime fans in new ways but also to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with UMG as my label partner, under the watchful guidance of Lucian, so it felt natural to unite everything in one trusted home, as I return to the studio, ready for the next chapter.”
Jody Gerson, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group, said: “So many memories from my youth are tied to the great songs written by Sting — whether it was first seeing the Police perform in Philadelphia or hearing his music on the radio or playing those albums until I wore them out. I could never have imagined that someday I would get to lead a company that will be the guardian of Sting’s remarkable songwriting legacy. Every one of us at UMPG looks forward to this work with a sense of honour, responsibility and enormous excitement about what we can achieve for his music in the future.”
Sting is a songwriting genius whose music permeates global culture
Sir Lucian Grainge
Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group, said: “I’ve had the privilege to work with Sting for over 20 years and I’m so thrilled to expand our relationship to now include music publishing. Sting is a songwriting genius whose music permeates global culture. We are honoured that by choosing UMPG for his music publishing, Sting’s entire body of work as a songwriter and recording artist — from the Police to his solo work — will all be within the UMG family. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly as well as a great validation of what we have built for artists at UMG.”
The British-born composer, singer-songwriter, actor, author and activist has sold more than 100 million albums. As co-founder, frontman and bassist of The Police, alongside Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers, Sting became one of the world’s best-selling artists.
The Police released five studio albums between 1978 and 1983, earning six Grammy Awards and two BRIT Awards. The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Sting, who is managed by Martin Kierszenbaum/Cherrytree Music Company, has also released 15 solo studio albums, from 1985’s debut The Dream Of Blue Turtles to his most recent LP, The Bridge, released in November 2021.
Sting has received an additional 11 Grammy Awards for his solo works, three further BRIT Awards including the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Music Award in 2003, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.
Beyond his own critical and commercial success, Sting’s songs have been sampled to shape global hits. In 2018, Sting’s Shape Of My Heart was used in Juice Wrld’s Lucid Dreams, which became one of the biggest records of the year.
In 1997, The Police’s Every Breath You Take was sampled by Diddy in I’ll Be Missing You featuring Faith Evans and 112, and received the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The song spent eleven weeks at No.1 on the Hot 100 and reached No.1 in 15 other countries.
Sting’s works have also been sampled by artists including Nas, The Roots, 2Pac, RZA, Kygo & Avicii, Black Eyed Peas, Craig David, French Montana, Talib Kweli, Fugees and Cam’ron. Additionally, his songs have been covered by artists including George Michael, Johnny Cash, Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, Eva Cassidy, Violent Femmes, Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Fall Out Boy, amongst others.