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Sting sells publishing catalogue to Universal

By | Published on Friday 11 February 2022


Sting’s only gone and sold his entire songs catalogue to the good old Universal Music Publishing Group. All of it. Police and solo. Has he kept a little bit of it for himself? Maybe ‘Roxanne’ or ‘Englishman In New York’? No, he has not. He doesn’t want it. Take it, he said. And Universal took it. For a reported $250 million.

The deal brings Sting’s recording and publishing catalogues all under one roof. Which is nice. For Universal, at the very least. I’m not sure I have any strong opinion either way. And I don’t know what the other Police think about it either. But I do know what Universal Music Publishing CEO Jody Gerson and overall Universal Music boss Lucian Grainge think. And isn’t that what matters most?

“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”, says Gerson. ”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 honour, responsibility and enormous excitement about what we can achieve for his music in the future”.

Grainge adds: “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 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. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly as well as a great validation of what we have built for artists at UMG”.

What about Stingo himself though? Well, you didn’t think we’d make it out of here without a quote from the man himself, did you? Do you not remember back there when I said – and I quote – “I don’t know what the other Police think about it”? Doesn’t that imply that I do know what Sting thinks about it? Hmm? Right, well then.

Here’s what Sting has to say about it all: “I am delighted to have Jody and the team at UMPG curate and manage my song catalogue. 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, under the watchful guidance of Lucian”, he goes on. “So it felt natural to unite everything in one trusted home, as I return to the studio, ready for the next chapter”.

You hear that? More stuff from Sting is coming! I’m sure his new music will be universally applauded. Or at least Universally applauded. Which is to say, applauded by Universal.