The song is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
In 2015, the song was voted by the British public as the nation's favorite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.
Sting wrote the song in 1982 in the aftermath of his separation from Frances Tomelty and the beginning of his relationship with Trudie Styler.
The lyrics of the song are the words of a possessive lover who is watching "every breath you take; every move you make".
Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is.
According to the Back to Mono box-set book, "Every Breath You Take" is influenced by a Gene Pitney song titled "Every Breath I Take".
Led Zeppelin's song, D'Yer Mak'er (1973), also contains the words "every breath I take; every move I make".
The demo of the song was recorded in an eight-track suite in North London's Utopia studios and featured Sting singing over a Hammond organ.
The music video was praised for its cinematography; MTV (1999), Rolling Stone (1993), and VH1 (2002) named it as one of the best music videos ever, placing it 16th, 61st, & 33rd in their respective top 100 lists.
"Every Breath You Take" is a song by English rock band The Police from their 1983 album Synchronicity.
Written by Sting, the single was the biggest US and UK hit of 1983, topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight weeks (the band's only number-one hit on that chart), and the UK Singles Chart for four weeks.
At the 26th Annual Grammy Awards the song was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Record of the Year, winning in the first two categories.
For the song, Sting received the 1983 British Academy's Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
The song is considered to be both The Police's and Sting's signature song, and in 2010 was estimated to generate between a quarter and a third of Sting's music publishing income.
In the 1983 Rolling Stone critics and readers poll, it was voted "Song of the Year".
In the US, it was the best-selling single of 1983 and fifth-best-selling single of the decade.
The song ranked number 84 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Released in the early days of MTV, Every Breath You Take was one of the earliest videos to enter heavy rotation, a fact that significantly contributed to the popularity of the song.
Pop star Richard Marx remembers that "The first video I watched over and over was Every Breath You Take. It was like seeing a Bergman film. Directors usually spelled out every word of the lyrics in a video, but this was the first video I knew that didn't do that. It was abstract."
According to A&M co-founder Jeff Ayeroff, "The video for Every Breath You Take probably cost $75,000 to $100,000, and we sold over 5 million albums. With a good video, the return on your investment was phenomenal."
"Every Breath You Take" reached the No. 1 spot in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Israel, Ireland, and South Africa.
"Every Breath You Take" quickly established itself as one of the most popular songs in The Police's repertoire, closing the band's performances before the encores in the Synchronicity Tour (1983-84) and later in The Police Reunion Tour (2007-08).
Sting performed the song at Live Aid at London's Wembley Stadium in 1985, with Phil Collins providing additional vocals, to an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion people watching the live broadcast. Sting performed it again, 20 years later, at Live 8.
In 1999, "Every Breath You Take" was listed as one of the Top 100 Songs of the Century by BMI.
As of 2003, Sting was still taking in an average of $2000 per day in royalties for the then 20-year-old song.
The Police performed the song at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 with Gwen Stefani, Steven Tyler and John Mayer on backing vocals.
In 2007 Andy Summers called his photography book I'll Be Watching You: Inside The Police 1980-1983 after the lyrics of the song.
In October 2007, Sting was awarded a Million-Air certificate for 9 million air-plays of "Every Breath You Take" at the BMI Awards show in London, with only Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" a close second at 8 million air plays.
"Every Breath You Take" has been ranked as the 94th best song of all time, as well as the third best song of 1983, in an aggregation of critics' lists at acclaimed-music.net.
In 1989, "Every Breath You Take" was voted No. 95 by Rolling Stone on its list of the "100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years".
In 2004, "Every Breath You Take" was ranked No. 216 in WXPN's list of The 885 All-Time Greatest Songs.
In 2005, Blender ranked the song at No. 315 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".
In 2000, the song appeared at No. 42 on Rolling Stone's list of "100 Greatest Pop Songs", compiled by Rolling Stone and MTV music critics to rank songs released since The Beatles' breakthrough.