The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of primary songwriter Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar), and Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Emerging in the British new wave scene, they played a style of rock influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz. Considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the U.S., in 1983 Rolling Stone labelled them “the first British New Wave act to break through in America on a grand scale, and possibly the biggest band in the world.” The Police disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour that ended in August 2008.
Their 1978 debut album, Outlandos d’Amour, reached No. 6 in the UK Albums Chart. Their second album Reggatta de Blanc (1979), became the first of four consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the UK and Australia with its lead single, “Message in a Bottle”, their first UK number one. Their next two albums, Zenyatta Mondatta (1980) and Ghost in the Machine (1981), featuring “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”, both UK number one singles, saw further critical and commercial success. Their final studio album, Synchronicity (1983), was No. 1 in both the UK and the US, selling over 8 million copies in the US alone. Its lead single, “Every Breath You Take”, became their fifth UK number one, and first in the US. The Police have sold over 75 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. They were the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, due to their reunion tour.
The Police won a number of music awards, including six Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group once, an MTV Video Music Award, and in 2003 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of their five studio albums appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. The Police were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.