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17-time Grammy Award winner Sting sells back catalogue to Sony in $250 million deal

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ongwriters Hall of Fame honoree Sting is the latest in a long line of music legends to sell the rights to their back catalogues for hundreds of millions of dollars.

His deal with the Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), announced on Thursday, is estimated to be worth up to $300 million (£221 million) according to the Guardian and covers the entirety of both his solo works as well as songs written with The Police.

Sting said: “I am delighted to have Jody and the team at UMPG curate and manage my song catalog.

“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.”

One of the most successful British artists and songwriters of all time, Sting’s timeless global hits include Roxanne, Every Breath You Take and Shape Of My Heart.

Jody Gerson, chairman & CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, said: “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.”

The deal is one of the most significant catalog acquisitions in music history and follows UMPG’s high-profile acquisition of Bob Dylan’s iconic song catalog last month for a reported $300 million. He sold recording rights in a separate deal with Sony.

Paul Simon, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Neil Young have struck similar deals in recent months in what can be described as a music rights gold rush that has swept studios and the City over the last two years. Investors hungry for returns are putting money into music rights as the growth of streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music begins to generate meaningful revenue for rights holders.

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