Wow, Sting is such a rich guy! During these harsh times when so many artists don’t know if they will ever be able to make a living from their art, when artists blame streaming services and all the illegal download going on, Sting still makes tons of money because of a song he composed decades ago. He is probably not the only one but he is the subject of an interesting article on Celebrity Net Worth, showing that some artists have nothing to complain about in these Spotify times. The interview was done years ago by former Musician editor and Iman’s friend Vic Garbarini -who, yet again, didn’t get so much as a shout out for his efforts.
Let’s just say that, when Sting composed ‘Every Breath You Take’, he could have retired right away. The song was a hit in the early 80s, and curiously the songwriting is somehow credited 100% to Sting despite the fact that the Police’s other members actively contributed to the song’s creation, but, according to the article, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland were constantly fighting at the time. Then in 1997, Puff Daddy did his own version of the song, ‘I’ll be missing you’, as a tribute to Notorious BIG. Once again it was a success but Diddy’s label didn’t even ask permission to use the song… What? Are people total idiot? How could this happen? It’s beyond my comprehension! As a result, Sting demanded to receive 100% of the remix’s royalties and got it. Celebrity Net Worth points out very rightly that, ironically, the remix doesn’t even use Sting’s voice but sample the guitar riff composed by Andy Summers, who still doesn’t get a penny from the damn song! You can imagine how pissed off he could have been when he heard the song, and probably still is.
So how much Sting did make off the song? Oh just 1/4 of all the singer’s lifetime publishing income, according to his former business manager, meaning between $20-40 in 16 years, or an average of $2,000 per day! Jesus, I could live on a tenth of this and still feel rich! And Sting will earn royalties from the song till 2053, so let’s be clear, till he dies! Just for comparison, ‘Every Breath You Take’ comes number 9 in the 10 top richest songs, the Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ (number 4) made $30 million (but Lennon and McCartney have to share credit), and the Hill Sisters’ ‘Happy Birthday’ (number 1) made $50 million.
Sting does look like a dick in this article, not very generous, that’s the least I can say, and this makes me despise him even more. It’s not that his ex-bandmates are poor, but he is just a cold greedy businessman. And you know what? Sting has admitted that the song is even not an original one! This is what he said in a 1988 Rolling Stone interview:
Interviewer: You’ve admitted that ‘Every Breath You Take’ was in fact an aggregate of every time-worn rock’n’roll riff and phrase you could think of. Where’s the originality in that?
Sting: ‘What’s unique about it is the sound of my voice. There’s no one else who sings like me. They might sing better than me, but no one sings exactly like me. My voice sticks out on the radio by a mile. And as long as I have this voice, what I do is original. So I don’t worry about originality. As long as it comes through me, it will have that stamp on it. ‘Every Breath You Take’ is an archetypal song. If you have a major chord followed by a relative minor, you’re not original. A million songs have been written that way. But you can’t take away from the power of ‘Every Breath You Take’, because it was us, the Police.’
What can I add? Even the lyrics are not truly original, Gene Pitney was already singing ‘Every Breath I Take’ in 1961… Sting was and still is a pretentious prick.
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everything she has done this past two years has proven itself important
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X have two nights at the Teragram Ballroom
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