Sting has become the latest big-name artist to sell his songs, inking a deal with Universal Music Publishing Group for a rumoured sum of $250 million.
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The sale covers his entire songwriting catalogue (not his recordings), including songs he wrote as part of The Police. That means UMG now controls songs such as Shape Of My Heart, Fields Of Gold, Englishman In New York, Every Breath You Take and, of course, Roxanne.
“I am delighted to have Jody [Gerson, Universal Music Publishing Group CEO and chairman] and the team curate and manage my song catalogue,” said Sting in a statement. “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, so it felt natural to unite everything in one trusted home, as I return to the studio, ready for the next chapter.”
Gerson added: “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 UMG 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.”