Prolific, acclaimed songwriter and composer blends rock, jazz, reggae, classical, new-age and worldbeat
Sixteen Grammys and over 100 million records sold as member of Police and solo
Composer, singer, actor, activist Sting has won universal acclaim in all these roles, but he defies any easy labeling. He’s best described as an adventurer, a risk-taker. As he himself said, "I love to put myself in new situations. I’m not afraid to be a beginner." Husband and father of six, masterful guitarist and bassist, a devoted Yoga practitioner, and now a writer who is publish his memoirs in 2004, Sting has made a career, in fact, of new beginnings.
His latest CD, All This Time, recorded near his home in Tuscany and the first live album Sting has released in 15 years, marked yet another beginning. Transforming classics from his solo and Police careers, as well as highlights from his most recent album Brand New Day, the 2.5 million-selling masterwork finds Sting rediscovering his own music, the songs that form part of the soundtrack of our lives. In addition to this stunning live recording, Sting has put in other landmark concert appearances of late. His performing with renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics echoed the excitement at last years Super Bowl half-time show and his Central Park concert in New York City the year before. His surprise appearance in the London smash The Play What I Wrote, directed by Kenneth Brannagh, reminds us of Stings history of theatrical risk-taking, from his scene-stealing debut in Quadrophenia to his performance in the Broadway stage revival of the Brecht/Weill musical The Threepenny Opera to his audacious work in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. The movies, also, have spotlighted his composing skills, with Kate and Leopold featuring his Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated ballad, "Until," an elegant successor to his Oscar-nominated "My Funny Friend and Me" from The Emperors New Groove.
Sting’s support for human rights organizations like Amnesty International and The Rainforest Foundation mirrors his art in its universal outreach. In 2001, from the Arab-American Institute Foundation he received the Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award for his "efforts to promote cross-cultural understanding," particularly through his duet with Algerian superstar Cheb Mami, "Desert Rose."
Crossing cultural lines, cutting through the barriers between "high" and "pop" art, has been a Sting hallmark ever since his own beginnings. A milkman’s son from Newcastle, England, Sting was a teacher, soccer coach and ditch digger before turning to music. Inspired equally by jazz and the Beatles’ eclectic tastes that would prove prophetic, he formed The Police in his twenties and soon led them to a position of global preeminence in the 1970’s and 80’s. The albums The Dream of the Blue Turtles, Bring on the Night, Nothing Like the Sun, The Soul Cages, Ten Summoners Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day, and All this Time found Sting evolving into one of the most distinctive and highly respected performers of the 20th century.
Whether collaborating with James Taylor or Stevie Wonder, Gil Evans or Branford Marsalis, to list just a few of the stellar musicians his solo albums feature, Sting has forged a wholly original synthesis from an entire world of musical strains and styles. Classical, country, Celtic and folk, jazz, R&B, reggae and rock are all part of his musical language, a language he crafts like a poet.
In recognition of the lasting impact of that music Sting, has received the 2002 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. Add to those honors the 16 Grammy Awards he’s won in a career full of staggering statistics.