Sting is joining Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, and Neil Young in selling his entire catalog of music for hundreds of millions of dollars. Bought by Universal Music Group (UMG), the catalog includes all of his solo recordings, but more importantly, also includes songwriting catalog of The Police, including hits like “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take.”
First reported by the New York Times, the deal is estimated to be worth around $300 million, although exact financial terms weren’t disclosed yet. In comparison, Bowie and Springsteen’s masters and publishing rights netted $500 million, while Bob Dylan’s publishing rights were bought by UMG for $300 million.
“It is absolutely essential to me that my career’s body of work have a home where it is valued and respected,” Sting said in a statement. “Not only to connect with longtime fans in new ways but also to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations.”
The “Fields Of Gold” singer’s new agreement with UMG (who already own his recorded rights) now includes both songwriting royalties and copyrights for his full catalog of songs. That means all of the royalties that Sting was collecting from the iconic Notorious B.I.G. tribute track “I’ll Be Missing You,” by Diddy, Faith Evans, and 112 (which samples “Every Breath You Take”), will now be paid directly to UMG.
Sting put out his latest solo album, Bridge, last November. In 2018, Sting and Shaggy released the collaborative album, 44/876, which took home a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.