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, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland. 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.
Their 1978 debut album, Outlandos d’Amour, reached number six on the UK Albums Chart on the strength of the singles “Roxanne” and “Can’t Stand Losing You”. Their second album, Reggatta de Blanc, released in 1979, became the first of four consecutive number-one studio albums in the UK and Australia; its first two singles, “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon”, became their first UK number ones. Their next two albums, Zenyatta Mondatta, released in 1980, and Ghost in the Machine, released in 1981, led to further critical and commercial success with two songs, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”, becoming UK number-one singles.
Their final studio album, Synchronicity, released in 1983, was number-one in both the UK and the US, selling over eight million copies in the US alone. Its lead single, “Every Breath You Take”, became their fifth UK number one, and first in the US. During this time, the band were considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the US; 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. They were the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, due to their reunion tour.
The Police have sold over seventy-five million records, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. The band won a number of music awards, including six Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group once, and an MTV Video Music Award. In 2003, they 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 band were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.