At the 26th Annual Grammy Awards the song was nominated for three Grammy Awards including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Sting won Song of the Year while The Police won Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals; however, it did not win Record of the Year. Songwriter Sting received the 1983 British Academy's Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
The song ranked #84 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the highest position of any new wave rock song. It also ranked #25 on Billboard's Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs. 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, "Every Breath You Take" was voted "Song of the Year". In the U.S., "Every Breath You Take" was the best-selling single of 1983 and fifth best-selling single of the decade. Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1983.