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Sting sells entire catalogue for $300 million


The major publishing cash in for musicians is continuing as former Police lead singer Sting has sold his entire catalogue of songs for a healthy windfall of $300 million. Universal Music, who owns Sting’s record label A&M, ponied up the money to pay the singer.

Sting is far from the first artist to get in the game of selling their catalogues. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Lindsey Buckingham are among the most famous classic rockers to trade the rights to their music for giant sums of money. Neil Young recently sold his publishing as well, but the amount he pulled in probably still isn’t enough to take down Spotify. One thing’s for sure: there’s never been a better time to be the offspring of Gordon Sumner than right now.

Part of the deal includes surrendering the songwriting royalties, copyrights, and publishing rights to almost every Police song, including ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’. The rare songs that were composed by Andy Summers or Stewart Copeland are not included, so tough luck if Universal Music was looking to cash in and use ‘Miss Gradenko’ in a car commercial.

This likely means one of two things. The first is that all of these artists are getting super old and don’t want to deal with the volatility of the marketplace anymore. In the streaming era, the value of an artist’s songs are hitting an all-time low, so it makes sense for some of the established names to bow out with giant sums while they can get them. The second is that these super-elite individuals foresee a massive economic collapse that leads to a classic revolution of the people against the rich. While I’m hoping it’s the latter, it’s more likely the former.

$300 million isn’t quite the $500 million that Dylan and Springsteen pulled in, but it’s a hell of a boatload. That’s a lot of money for nothing. What will Sting do now? Retire? Write another musical? Continue putting out albums that few people listen to? Return to his collaboration with Shaggy? Who knows, but he’s got the cash to do just about anything at this point.

Check out Sting’s Universal Music’s ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’.