Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (born October 2, 1951), better known as Sting, is an English singer and musician. He first became famous as a member of the band, The Police.
Sting was born in Newcastle, England in 1951 where he attended St. Cuthbert’s Catholic High School. His father was a milkman in an area dominated by the ship building industry. From an early age, Sting displayed an aptitude and love for music, in particular the bass guitar. He sought to pursue a career in music, and took part in a variety of local gigs and gained some employment on cruises.
His early groups included a mixture of jazz and rock groups such as “Last Exit”
He received his name Sting from a black and gold striped rugby sweater he used to often wear when performing in a Dixieland jazz band, in which people said he looked like a bee.
His big break through came with the rock band Police. In 1978, he moved to London where, with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers, they formed a group ‘The Police’. They went onto sell many best-selling albums and won six Grammy awards. The song ‘Every Breath You Take’ from their last album ‘Synchronicity’ is one of the most played songs on the radio of all time.
In 1985, he released his first solo ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’. This led on to a very successful solo career. The group Police have only sporadically re-united to play charity gigs and the odd tour (2007).
Sting has experimented with a variety of music from classical to rock and jazz. To Sting music doesn’t have to fit into neat boundaries.
“There’s this whole universe of music that is simply limitless. When you think you know everything about music, you discover you can’t get to the end. I’m on this lifelong journey, and orchestral music is where it’s now taken me.”
He also talks of how music is important for expressing his feelings.
I’m so glad I have this way of expressing, in a veiled and artistic way, my most intimate feelings. A lot of people have the same feelings, but in others it must get bottled up. I’m proud of my being able to make it into artifacts that some people find beautiful or engaging.
He recorded albums dedicated to both his parents after they past away. The 1991 album The Soul Cages (to father), and Nothing Like the Sun in 1987 (to his mother).
His first wife was Frances Tomelty. They were married on 1 May 1976; together they had two children, before divorcing in 1984. He married Trudie Styler in 1992, with Trudie, he has had another 4 children.
As well as music he has acted in films such as Quadrophenia (1979), Radio On (1980), Plenty (1985), , Dune (1984), Bring on the Night (1985) and most recently, The Grotesque (1995)
Sting Activism and Charity
His first solo performance came in 1981, when he performed in the fourth Amnesty International gala The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball. He was a member of Band Aid (1984). In 1988, he founded the Rainforest foundation with his second wife Trudie Styler and Raoni Metuktire, a Kayapó Indian leader in Brazil. He is a member of Amnesty International, writing:
“I don’t belong to a church or political party or a group of any kind. I feel that Amnesty International is the most civilized organization in history. Its currency is the written word. Its weapon is the letter; that’s why I am a member. I believe in its non-violence; I believe in its effectiveness. Its dignity and its sense of commitment. Its focus on individuals and the concentration and tenacity with which they defend those imprisoned for their ideas has earned it the cautious respect of repressive governments throughout the world.”
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to Music.
Sting makes average of $2000.00 per day in royalties for the 30 year old song “Every Breath You Take.” The song is officially the most requested radio song of all time.
Famous English people – Famous English men and women. From Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth I to Henry VIII and Winston Churchill. Includes the great poets – William Shakespeare, William Blake and William Wordsworth.
The Best of Sting 1984-1994