Sting Sells Music Catalog to Universal in Deal Worth a Reported $300 Million

Sting joins a growing list of stars like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan who have unloaded their catalogs for a hefty sum

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Sting. Photo: Getty

Sting has become the latest musician to sell his musical catalog, allowing Universal to take the reins in a deal reportedly worth nearly $300 million.

Universal Music Publishing announced the acquisition on Thursday, and said it will include both the rocker's solo works and the music he released with The Police.

Sting's prolific repertoire includes songs like "Roxanne," "Every Breath You Take" and "Message in a Bottle" with The Police, and solo hits like "Fields of Gold" and "Desert Rose."

"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," the 70-year-old musician 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 [Grainge], so it felt natural to unite everything in one trusted home, as I return to the studio, ready for the next chapter."

The 17-time Grammy winner added he was "delighted" to have Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson and team as the ones curating and managing his catalog.

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Though the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, The New York Times reported that it's thought to be worth an estimated $300 million.

"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," Gerson said in a statement. "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."

Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge added that the responsibility of having Sting's body of work live under their thumb is one "we don't take lightly."

Sting joins a growing list of artists who have recently sold their catalogs; Bruce Springsteen sold his to Sony Music Group in December, while Bob Dylan's catalog was acquired by Sony earlier this year. The legendary folk rocker previously sold the entirety of his publishing rights to Universal Music Group in December 2020.

The estate of David Bowie recently sold his catalog to Warner Music Group, who also announced a partnership with Madonna for her entire recorded music catalog in August.

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