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big money Sting sells songwriting catalogue to Universal Music Group in $300m deal



English musician Sting. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

English musician Sting. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

English musician Sting. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Sting has sold his songwriting catalogue to Universal in a deal worth around $300m (€262m), marking the publishing group’s latest high-profile acquisition.

The deal includes both his solo work and albums with The Police, encompassing hits such as Roxanne, Every Breath You Take and Fields Of Gold.

Universal Music Group (UMG), which has been the English musician’s label home throughout his career, will now represent both his song catalogue and recorded music catalogue.

The deal comes after the group acquired Bob Dylan’s entire back catalogue in December 2020 for a similar amount.

Sting, who celebrated his 70th birthday in October, said: “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 long-time fans in new ways, but also to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations.”

Born Gordon Sumner, Sting found fame as the songwriter and bassist for new wave rockers The Police from 1977 until 1984, after which he left to pursue a solo career.

Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group, said: “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.”

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