Sting life and biography

Sting picture, image, poster

Sting biography

Date of birth : 1951-10-02
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Wallsend, England, UK
Nationality : English
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-10-26
Credited as : Singer, The Police, Broken Music

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Sting (born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner) is an English musician, singer-songwriter, activist, actor and philanthropist. Prior to starting his solo career, he was the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist of the rock band The Police.

Sting has varied his musical style throughout his career, incorporating distinct elements of jazz, reggae, classical, new age, and worldbeat into his music. As a solo musician and member of The Police, Sting has received sixteen Grammy Awards for his work, receiving his first Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1981, and several Oscar nominations for Best Original Song. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In January 1977, Sting moved from Newcastle to London, and soon thereafter he joined Stewart Copeland and Henry Padovani (who was soon replaced by Andy Summers) to form the New Wave band The Police. Between 1978 and 1983, they released five chart-topping albums and won six Grammy Awards.
Although their initial sound was punk inspired, The Police soon switched to reggae-tinged rock and minimalist pop. Their last album, Synchronicity, which included their most successful song, "Every Breath You Take", was released in 1983. According to Sting, who appeared in the documentary Last Play at Shea, he decided to leave The Police while onstage during the 18 August 1983 concert at Shea Stadium because he felt that playing that venue was "Everest".While never formally breaking up, after Synchronicity the group agreed to concentrate on solo projects. As the years went by, the band members, particularly Sting, dismissed the possibility of reforming. In 2007, however, the band reformed and undertook a world tour.

In September 1981, Sting made his first live solo appearance, performing on all four nights of the fourth Amnesty International benefit The Secret Policeman's Other Ball at the invitation of producer Martin Lewis. He performed solo versions of "Roxanne" and "Message in a Bottle". He also led an all-star band (dubbed "The Secret Police") on his own arrangement of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released". The band and chorus included Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, all of whom except Beck later worked together on Live Aid. His performances were featured prominently in the album and movie of the show and drew critical attention to his work. Sting's participation in The Secret Policeman's Other Ball was the beginning of his growing involvement in raising money and consciousness for political and social causes. In 1982 he released a solo single, "Spread a Little Happiness" from the film version of the Dennis Potter television play Brimstone and Treacle. The song was a re-interpretation of a song from the 1920s musical Mr. Cinders by Vivian Ellis, and was a surprise Top 20 hit in the UK.

His first solo album, 1985's The Dream of the Blue Turtles, featured a cast of jazz musicians, including Kenny Kirkland, Darryl Jones, Omar Hakim, and Branford Marsalis. It included the hit singles "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", "Fortress Around Your Heart", "Love Is the Seventh Wave", and "Russians", the last of which was based on a theme from the Lieutenant Kijé Suite. Within a year, the album reached Triple Platinum. This album would garner Sting a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The film Bring on the Night, directed by Michael Apted, documented the formation of the band and its first concert in France.

Also in 1985, he sang the introduction and chorus to "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits (he was given co-writer status because he reused his melody from The Police hit "Don't Stand So Close to Me" for his vocal parts). He performed this song with Dire Straits at the Live Aid Concert at Wembley Stadium. He also provided a short guest vocal performance on the Miles Davis album You're Under Arrest. He also sang backing vocals on Arcadia's single "The Promise", and on two songs from Phil Collins' album No Jacket Required. He also contributed a version of "Mack the Knife" to the Hal Willner-produced tribute album Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill. In 1984 he performed "Do They Know It's Christmas?", with Band Aid for the relief of poverty in Africa.

Sting released ...Nothing Like the Sun in 1987, including the hit songs "We'll Be Together", "Fragile", "Englishman in New York", and "Be Still My Beating Heart", dedicated to his mother, who had recently died. It eventually went Double Platinum. The song "The Secret Marriage" from this album was adapted from a melody by German composer Hanns Eisler, and "Englishman In New York" was about the eccentric writer Quentin Crisp. The album's title is taken from William Shakespeare's Sonnet 130.

Soon thereafter, in February 1988, he released Nada como el sol, a selection of five songs from Sun sung (by Sting himself) in Spanish and Portuguese. He was also involved in two other recordings in the late 1980s, the first in 1987 with jazz arranger Gil Evans, who placed Sting in a big band setting for a live album of Sting's songs (the CD was not released in the U.S.), and the second on Frank Zappa's 1988 Broadway the Hard Way album, where Sting performs an unusual arrangement of "Murder By Numbers", set to the tune "Stolen Moments" by jazz composer Oliver Nelson, and "dedicated" to fundamentalist evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. October 1988 saw the release of Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale with the London Sinfonietta conducted by Kent Nagano. It featured Vanessa Redgrave, Sir Ian McKellen and Sting in the role of the soldier.

His 1991 album The Soul Cages was dedicated to his recently deceased father and included the Top 10 song "All This Time", which reached #5 on the U.S. Pop chart, and the Grammy-winning "The Soul Cages". The album eventually went Platinum. The following year, he married Trudie Styler and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in music from Northumbria University. In 1991, Sting appeared onTwo Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin, an album dedicated to the singer/songwriter duo. Sting performed "Come Down in Time", for the album which also features other popular artists and their renditions of John/Taupin Songs. The album was released on 22 October 1991 by Polydor.

His 1996 album, Mercury Falling debuted strongly with the single "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot", but it dropped quickly on the charts. He reached the Top 40 with two singles the same year with "You Still Touch Me" (June) and "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying" (December) (which became a country music hit the next year in a version recorded with American country singer Toby Keith). During this period, Sting was also recording music for the upcoming Disney film Kingdom of the Sun, which went on to be reworked into The Emperor's New Groove. The film went through drastic overhauls and plot changes, many of which were documented by Sting's wife, Trudie Styler. She captured the moment he was called by Disney who then informed him that his songs would not be used in the final film. The story was put into a final product: The Sweatbox, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Disney currently holds the rights to the film and will not grant its release. That same year Sting also released a little-known CD-ROM called All This Time, which provided music, commentary and custom computer features describing Sting and his music from his perspective.
The Emperor's New Groove soundtrack was released with complete songs from the previous version of the film, which included Rascal Flatts and Shawn Colvin. The final single used to promote the film was "My Funny Friend and Me". Sting's September 1999 album Brand New Day included the Top 40 hits "Brand New Day" and "Desert Rose". The album went Triple Platinum by January 2001.
In 2000, he won Grammy Awards for Brand New Day and the song of the same name. At the awards ceremony, he performed "Desert Rose" with his collaborator on the album version, Cheb Mami. For his performance, the Arab-American Institute Foundation gave him the Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award. However, Sting was criticized for appearing in a Jaguar advertisement using "Desert Rose" as its backing track, particularly as he was a notable environmentalist.

In February 2001 he won another Grammy Award for his rendition of "She Walks This Earth (Soberana Rosa)" on A Love Affair: The Music Of Ivan Lins. His song "After The Rain Has Fallen" made it into the Top 40. His next project was to record a live album at his Tuscan villa, which was to be released as a CD and DVD, as well as being simulcast in its entirety on the internet. The CD and DVD were to be entitled On such a night and was intended to feature re-workings of Sting favourites such as "Roxanne" and "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free." The concert, scheduled for 11 September 2001, was altered in various ways due to the terrorist attacks in America that day. The webcast was shut down after one song (a reworked version of "Fragile"), after which Sting let it be up to the audience whether or not to continue with the show. Eventually they decided to go through with the concert, and the resultant album and DVD was released in November under a different title, ...All This Time. Both are dedicated "to all those who lost their lives on that day". He performed a special arrangement of "Fragile" with Yo-Yo Ma and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In 2002 he won a Golden Globe Award for the song "Until..." from the film Kate and Leopold. Written and performed by him, "Until..." was also nominated for Academy Award for Best Song. In June he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In the summer, Sting was awarded the British honour of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 2003 he released Sacred Love, a studio album featuring collaborations with hip-hop artist Mary J. Blige and sitar performer Anoushka Shankar. He and Blige won a Grammy for their duet, "Whenever I Say Your Name". The song is based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Praeambulum 1 C-Major (BWV 924) from the Klavierbuechlein fuer Wilhelm Friedemann Bach though Sting gave little comment on this adaptation. The album did not have the hit singles like his previous releases. The first single, "Send Your Love" reached only #30 and reviews were mixed. However, the album did reach platinum status by January 2004.

His autobiography Broken Music was published in October. He embarked on a Sacred Love tour in 2004 with performances by Annie Lennox. Sting went on the Broken Music tour, touring smaller venues, with a four piece band starting in Los Angeles on 28 March 2005 and ending this "College Tour" on 14 May 2005.

In October 2006, he released an album, to mixed reviews, entitled Songs from the Labyrinth featuring the music of John Dowland (an Elizabethan-era composer) and accompaniment from Bosnian lute player Edin Karamazov. Sting’s musical interpretation of this English Renaissance composer and his cooperation with Edin Karamazov brought him significant recognition in classical music circles. As a part of the promotion of this album, he appeared on the fifth episode of Studio 60 during which he performed a segment of Dowland's "Come Again" as well as his own "Fields of Gold" in the arrangement for voice and two archlutes. Reports surfaced in early 2007 that Sting would reunite with his former Police band mates for a 30th anniversary tour.

On 11 February 2007, he reunited with the other members of the Police as the introductory act for the 2007 Grammy Awards, singing "Roxanne", and subsequently announced The Police Reunion Tour, the first concert of which was held in Vancouver on 28 May 2007 for 22,000 fans at one of two nearly sold-out concerts. The Police toured for more than a year, beginning with North America and eventually crossing over to Europe, South America, Australia & New Zealand and Japan.
"Brand New Day" was the final song of the night for the Neighborhood Ball, one of ten inaugural balls honouring President Barack Obama on Inauguration Day, 20 January 2009. Sting was joined by Stevie Wonder on harmonica.

In October 2009, Sting played a concert in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for an arts and cultural festival. Despite claiming he thought the concert was sponsored by UNICEF, he faced criticism in the press for receiving a payment of between one and two million pounds from Uzbek president, Islam Karimov, for the performance. Karimov is accused by the UN and Amnesty of human rights abuses and UNICEF stated they had no connection with the event.

He has recorded a song called "Power's Out" with Nicole Scherzinger (lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls). The song, originally recorded in 2007, was to have been included on Scherzinger's shelved album Her Name Is Nicole. The song was released on Scherzinger's 2011 debut album Killer Love.

Sting married actress Frances Tomelty from Northern Ireland, on 1 May 1976. Before they divorced in 1984, the couple had two children: Joseph (born 23 November 1976) and Fuchsia Catherine (a.k.a. "Kate", born 17 April 1982).
Joe Sumner is a member of the band Fiction Plane. The song "Every Breath You Take" was inspired by the divorce. In 1980 Sting became a tax exile and moved to Galway in Ireland. In 1982, shortly after the birth of his second child, Sting separated from Tomelty and began living with actress (and later film producer) Trudie Styler. The couple eventually married on 20 August 1992. Sting and Styler have four children: Bridget Michael (a.k.a. "Mickey", born 19 January 1984), Jake (born 24 May 1985), Eliot Pauline (nicknamed "Coco", born 30 July 1990), and Giacomo Luke (born 17 December 1995).
Coco is the current singer and founder of the London based group I Blame Coco. Sting was estimated to have a fortune of £180 million in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2011, making him one of the 10 richest people in the British music industry.

Sting's first involvement in the human rights cause came in September 1981 when he was invited by producer Martin Lewis to participate in the fourth Amnesty International gala The Secret Policeman's Other Ball following the example set at the 1979 show by Pete Townshend.
Sting performed two of his Police compositions as a soloist – "Roxanne" and "Message in a Bottle"' – appearing on all four nights of the show at the Theatre Royal in London. Sting also led an impromptu super-group of other musicians (dubbed The Secret Police) performing at the show including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Donovan, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in the show's grand finale – Sting's own reggae-tinged arrangement of Bob Dylan's I Shall Be Released.
The event was the first time that Sting had worked with Geldof, Collins and Ure – an association that developed further with 1984's Band Aid and 1985's Live Aid. Sting's performance at the Secret Policeman's Other Ball – his first live appearances as a solo performer – was prominently featured on the album of the show (being its lead tracks) and in the feature film of the show.
In 2011, Sting was among more than 30 signatories to an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron calling for the "immediate decriminalisation of drug possession" if a policy review shows it has failed. Sting was quoted: "Giving young people criminal records for minor drug possession serves little purpose - it is time to think of more imaginative ways of addressing drug use in our society."



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