The Police were a rock trio from London, England, formed originally in 1977. The trio consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar, vocals) and Stewart Copeland (drums, vocals, percussion). The band became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first New Wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced by jazz, punk and reggae music. Their 1983 album, Synchronicity, was number one in the UK and the US and sold over 8,000,000 copies in the US. The band broke up in 1984, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their hit single "Roxanne" and also, to a lesser extent, their formation as a group. The Police have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and became the world's highest-earning musicians in 2008, thanks to their reunion tour. Rolling Stone ranked The Police number 70 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In early 2007, reports surfaced that the trio would reunite for a tour to mark their 30th anniversary, over 20 years since their 'final' split in 1986. The concerts would coincide with Universal Music (current owners of the A&M label) re-releasing some material from the band's back catalogue. The following statement was released on behalf of the band by a spokesman at Interscope Geffen A&M Records and posted on Sting's official website: "As the 30th anniversary of the first Police single approaches, discussions have been underway as to how this will be commemorated. While we can confirm that there will indeed be something special done to mark the occasion, the depth of the band's involvement still remains undetermined."
On 22 January 2007, the punk wave magazine Side-Line broke the story that The Police would reunite for the Grammys, adding that the song performed would be "Roxanne". Side-Line also announced in its news coverage that The Police were to embark on a massive tour bringing them to cities all over the world. Billboard magazine later confirmed the rumours, quoting Andy Summers who had discussed earlier in 2006 how the band could have continued post-Synchronicity: "The more rational approach would have been, 'OK, Sting, go make a solo record, and let's get back together in two or three years. I'm certain we could have done that. Of course we could have. We were definitely not in a creative dry space. We could have easily carried on, and we could probably still be there. That wasn't to be our fate. It went in another way. I regret we never paid it off with a last tour." The band opened the 49th Annual Grammy Awards on 11 February 2007 in Los Angeles, California, announcing "We're The Police. And we're back!" before launching into "Roxanne." A&M Records, the band's record company, promoted the 2007–2008 reunion tour as the 30th anniversary of the release of their first single "Roxanne" and not indeed that of the band's creation.
They opened their Reunion Tour in Vancouver on 28 May in front of 32,000 fans at one of two nearly sold-out concerts. Stewart Copeland gave a scathing review of the show on his own website, which the press picked up as a feud occurring two gigs into the tour. It was only meant to be tongue-in-cheek and the band took it as light-hearted as it was intended. Henry Padovani joined the band on stage for the final encore of their show in Paris on 29 September. The Police as a 4-piece band played "Next to You" from the band's first album Outlandos d'Amour. In October 2007, the group played the largest gig of the reunion tour in Dublin, Ireland, in front of 82,000 fans. The group also cancelled their second planned concert in Antwerp, Belgium on 9 October 2007, as Sting suffered from pharyngitis. They continued their reunion tour in 2008, and locations included New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Macau, Japan, Canada, US, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, UK, Serbia, Poland, Argentina and Brazil, where they played for 75,000 people.
The group were headliners at the TW Classic festival in Werchter, Belgium on 7 June 2008. The Police also headlined the last night of the 2008 Isle of Wight Festival on 15 June 2008, in addition to headlining the Sunday night at Hard Rock Calling (previously called Hyde Park Calling) on 29 June. In February 2008, the band announced that once they were finished touring, they would break up again. According to Sting, "There will be no new album, no big new tour, once we're done with our reunion tour, that's it for the Police".
The final show of the tour was held 7 August at Madison Square Garden in New York City and was opened by The B-52's. The group earlier announced the show while donating $1 million to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's initiative to plant one million trees in the city by 2017. Proceeds went towards arts programming for the city's two public television stations. During the entire tour they sold 3.7 million tickets and grossed $358 million, making it the third highest grossing tour of all time. The Police and the store Best Buy announced 4 August 2008 that they would release a collector's set entitled "Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires". The set includes an entire concert recorded live in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the tour and was issued in the following packages: 2DVD/2CD, 1 Blu-Ray Disc/2CD, and 3 premium 180-gram vinyl LPs with MP3 file key. The set also includes bonus footage, including a documentary shot by Stewart's son Jordan entitled "Better Than Therapy". The set was released on 11 November 2008 at Best Buy.