Sting Sells Music Catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group

The deal includes songs from his solo work and with The Police

Sting (Photo Credit: Eric Ryan Anderson)
Sting (Photo Credit: Eric Ryan Anderson)

Sting has sold his music catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group, the latest in the run of mega-catalog sales from legacy rockers. The sale was announced by Universal on Thursday.

Sting’s deal with UMPG includes the entirety of Sting’s solo work and his songs with The Police, including hits like “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.”

The deal also unites Sting’s song catalog with his recorded music catalog under Universal Music Group, which has been Sting’s label home 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 songs and continue supporting future music releases.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however last fall, Billboard reported that the artist was planning to sell his catalog, which brought in an estimated $12-$13 million in yearly royalties.

“I am delighted to have Jody and the team at UMPG curate and manage my song catalog. 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,” Sting said in a statement. “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.”  

“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 honor, responsibility and enormous excitement about what we can achieve for his music in the future,” Jody Gerson, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group, said in a statement.

“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 honored 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,” Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group, added.

Sting has sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career. His work alongside Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers as The Police helped make the group one of the world’s best selling bands. The Police earned six Grammys and two Brit Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 2003.

Sting has also released 15 solo albums since his 1985 debut “The Dream of Blue Turtles,” and his most recent album “The Bridge” dropped in November 2021. He has also appeared in 15 films and staged a Tony-nominated musical called “The Last Ship” that ran on Broadway between 2014-2015, starring as foreman Jackie White in the Toronto-based production before reprising his role in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Sting will resume his “My Songs” world tour next month, followed by his Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in June 2022.

Sting was represented in the transaction by Allen Grubman with his partners Joe Brenner and Stuart Prager. He’s managed by Martin Kierszenbaum/Cherrytree Music Company.