The life and varied career of Gordon Sumner, aka Sting, is one that has seen the singer, songwriter, and actor hit many high notes over the span of decades and has earned the 71-year-old a considerable sum of money as well as a host of awards and accolades, so let’s dig deeper and take a look at the accomplishments of the former frontman of The Police.
Over the course of his musical career, Sting has been involved in projects that have gone on to sell over 100 million records. He has been nominated for no less than four Academy Awards (unfortunately failing to win any), he’s won three prestigious Brit Awards and an incredible 18 Grammy’s.
These achievements are all the more impressive when you consider his route to becoming a professional musician.
Sting – Net Worth
So how much is Sting worth in cold hard figures? Incredibly, reliable estimates suggest that the English musician is worth in the region of $550 million. Interestingly only a portion of this comes from revenue garnered from music licensing, and a lot comes from other endeavors he has tried his hand at, more of which we’ll dig into later.
Sting, Gordon Sumner, left school at 17 and became a bus conductor; he was at some point a laborer and even a tax officer before he decided to turn his hand to teaching. He taught for two years while also performing with a jazz group called the Phoenix Jazzmen.
He also tried to find fame with a couple of other bands, including Last Exit. It’s during this phase of his life that he got his nickname, which has now become his moniker. He apparently regularly wore a black and yellow hooped jumper that led to people likening him to a wasp, hence his nickname, Sting.
In 1977 he left the north and moved from Newcastle to the bright lights of London, just as the burgeoning punk movement was getting bigger and brasher. He joined forces with American drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers, who was ten years older than his bandmates and had an experience of the big time.
Over the course of five years, between 1978 and 1983, The Police released five studio albums, four of which went to number one in the UK charts, and they became a massive success across the pond in the United States, with songs primarily written by Sting being their big hits.
The group had already seen songs like Message in a Bottle, Walking on the Moon, Don’t Stand so Close to Me and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic go to the top of the UK singles charts, and they finally managed to do likewise in the states when their iconic Every Breath You Take went to the top of the Billboard charts.
Indeed the song ranks as the fifth biggest seller of the entire 80s decade. Unfortunately, this period coincided with tensions within the band that led to their invariably and expected break-up as Sting looked to take things in a new direction as a solo artist.
Sting’s first solo album, The Dream of Blue Turtles, was a critical and commercial hit, selling three million copies in the US alone and spawning a big hit in the form of If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.
To date, Sting has released 14 studio albums, and it’s a testament to his staying power and popularity that 10 of these have broken the top ten in the Billboard charts.
In 1993 he secured his first solo number one in the US, albeit as part of a duo with Bryan Adam and Rod Stewart, for their song All for Love which features on The Three Musketeers soundtrack.
Over the years, Sting has become an accomplished actor and has appeared in a raft of big films. His first major role came as Ace, the King of the Mods, in Quadrophenia (a movie based on The Who musical), and five years later, he starred in David Lynch’s version of Dune.
He also appeared in Guy Richie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Julia and Julia, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Sting’s Financial Portfolio
Owning the rights to hit songs that span decades has clearly aided Sting’s fortune, and it’s a fortune that continues to grow.
As an example of the amount of money he still earns, his hit single Every Breath You Take is believed to make Sting $2000 a day even now. It obviously helps that he also rakes in the cash when the pseudo-cover version of the song “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy (Diddy) is played across the airwaves.
That new reworking of a classic has sold over seven million copies and is credited entirely to Sting.
In 2022 Sting made a move that a number of established musicians have made in recent years when he opted to sell his entire songwriting catalog. This is a move that many chose to make when concerts were shelved during the coronavirus pandemic and is also partly down to the plummeting sales of physical music.
Sting made a reported $300 million from the sale, and as a sign of his apparent wealth, he splashed out $26 million to buy a penthouse next to Central Park in 2008 and then sold it just under a decade later for the princely sum of $50 million.
He also has homes in England, Italy, and a massive beach house in Malibu as well as another home in Los Angeles. He continues to tour and, in doing so, makes huge sums to add to a bank balance that is already quite astonishing.
Not bad for a working-class kid from Newcastle.