Born Gordon Matthew Sumner in Wallsend, Northumberland. His mother was Audrey, and his father was Ernest. He received his name Sting from his striped sweater in which Gordon Solomon said that he looked like a bee.
Primarily a musician, he worked in the band The Police until 1984, when he went solo. Before his music career he was a ditch digger, a schoolteacher who taught English and a soccer coach. He received an honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Northumbria University in October 1992, and from Berklee College of Music in May 1994. He plays guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, piano, harmonica, saxophone and pan-flute, and he gave a name to his bass (Brian). Along with his wife Trudie Styler and a Brazilian Indian, he started the Rainforest Foundation in 1989 to help save the rainforests.
Born in Newcastle, England in 1951, the son of a milkman, Gordon Matthew Sumner, grew up in the turmoil of the ship-building industry and wanted to become a musician very early. He played cruise ships, backing strippers in cabarets, and developed a love for the bass guitar. Having played in jazz/rock bands like "Last Exit" and other various groups, including a dixieland jazz group, where he got the name "Sting" from a yellow/black striped shirt, he settled down with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers for a decade-long tenure with the smashing rock trio, The Police. He then went on to record solo albums and holds a reputation as one of the most literate songwriters and talented musicians in the world. He has also delved into acting, having starred in such films as Quadrophenia (1979), Radio On (1979), Plenty (1985), Julia and Julia (1987) (aka Julia and Julia), Dune (1984), Bring on the Night (1985) (a documentary about the formation of his Blue Turtles jazz group), most recently, Gentlemen Don't Eat Poets (1995), where he plays a bisexual, conniving butler.
Sting is married to film producer Trudie Styler, and has six children with Trudie and ex-wife, actress Frances Tomelty. Sting owns a Jacobian castle in Wiltshire, which he calls "Lake House", where he records his albums, a place in London, an apartment in New York, a place on the beach in Malibu, California, and a Renaissance Florentine Villa called "Palagio" in Figline Valdarno, Tuscany, Italy. He has been called pretentious and is accused of intellectual arrogance for stepping into territory not usually covered by "pop stars".
|Trudie Styler||(20 August 1992 - present) 4 children|
|Frances Tomelty||(1 May 1976 - 1 March 1984) (divorced) 2 children|
High-pitched raspy voice
Fender Precision bass guitar
Literary references in his songs. (Roxanne is named for the heroine of Cyrano de Bergerac. "Moon Over Bourbon Street" was inspired by Interview with the Vampire. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" references Scylla and Charibdes, two dangerous islands from The Odyssey. "Don't Stand Too Close to Me" references Lolita, "that book by Nobokov.")
Blonde spiky hair and bold blue eyes
Lived with Trudie Styler for about 10 years before marrying her.
Bass player and lead singer for influential 70s-80s new wave group The Police.
His favorite music is actually jazz.
Was a certified primary school teacher in England. He also taught English in a secondary school in Cramlington near Newcastle.
Got his nickname "Sting" from the black and gold rugby shirts he used to wear, which made him look like a hornet.
Sting appeared in Threepenny Opera in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s.
Attended Warwick University in Coventry, England but never graduated.
Son, Joseph Sumner, is a singer in a band and bears a striking resemblance to Sting. Joe's singing sounds similar to his father's as well.
Is the godfather of Madonna's new born, Rocco.
The comic book character John Constantine from DC's Hellblazer was designed to look like Sting.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Police) on 10 March 2003.
Album "Nothing Like the Sun" is dedicated to his mother, Audrey.
Children: Joseph Sumner (b. 23 November 1976) and Fuschia Sumner (b. 17 April 1982) by Frances Tomelty; Mickey Sumner (b. 19 January 1984), Jake Sumner (b. 24 May 1985), Coco Sumner (b. 30 July 1990) and Giacomo Sumner (b. 17 December 1995) by Trudie Styler.
He was a member of Band Aid (1984).
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.
Now resides in a Malibu house formerly owned by actor Larry Hagman.
Sting takes in an average of $2000.00 per day in royalties for this now 20 year old song "Every Breath You Take." The song is officially the most requested radio song of all time.
His song "Roxanne" was covered by George Michael on the album "Songs from the Last Century".
Performed for the BBC's annual Children in Need charity event. [21 November 2003]
Is a big fan of "Richard Laymer, the Copy Guy," a popular character created by Rob Schneider for "Saturday Night Live" (1975). Sting was the first SNL host/musical guest to appear in a "Copy Guy" sketch; he later wrote the cast and crew a letter from "Sting. The Stingster. Der Stinglehoffer. Sting-a-ling-a-ding-dong. Sting-o. The Stingman."
The Police were voted the 70th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artists of all time by Rolling Stone.
The comic book character of John Constantine (Hellblazer), eventually featured in the Keanu Reeves movie, was designed to look like Sting, and, in fact, was created solely for the purpose of including a character who looks like Sting in the Swamp Thing comic. In one Swamp Thing issue, there's a boat called the USS Gordon Sumner.
Wrote "Every Breath You Take" after waking up in the middle of the night from a dream.
The Police ended their last tour in early 1984 and only regrouped to play a few benefit dates in 1986. Their last performance to date was March 10, 2003 at their Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction. They have never announced an official breakup.
His song "Roxanne" is one of the top 50 bar/jukebox songs of all time, according to VH-1.
Former son-in-law of actor-writer Joseph Tomelty
He is an avid Newcastle United supporter.
Attended St. Cuthbert's Catholic High School in Newcastle although, at the time he went, it was a Catholic grammar school. Other students have included TV presenter Declan Donnelly, Pet Shop Boys lead singer Neil Tennant, British Prisoner-of-War and journalist John Nichol as well as renowned architect Terry Farrell who designed the MI6 building overlooking the River Thames in London.
One of his children suffers from dyspraxia - a developmental disorder of the brain in childhood affecting movement and coordination
Winner of several Grammy Awards beginning with: "Reggatta De Blanc" (Best Rock Instrumental Performance / The Police) (1980); "Behind My Camel" (Best Rock Instrumental Performance / The Police) (1981); "Don't Stand So Close to Me" (Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal / The Police) (1981); "Brimstone and Treacle" (Best Rock Instrumental Performance / solo) (1983); "Synchronicity" (Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal / The Police) (1983); "Every Breath You Take" (Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal / Song of the Year / The Police) (1983); "Bring On the Night" (Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male / solo) (1987); "Soul Cages" (Best Rock Song / solo) (1991); "Ten Summoner's Tales" (Best Music Video-Long Form / solo) (1993); "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" (Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male / solo) (1993); "Brand New Day" (Best Pop Album / Best Male Pop Vocal Performance / solo) (1999); "She Walks This Earth (Soberana Rosa)" (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance / solo) (2000); "Whenever I Say Your Name" (Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals / with Mary J. Blige) (2003)
His eldest daughter is actress Fuschia Sumner.
He is a vegetarian.
The Police won the British Phonographic Industry Award for Outstanding Contribution in 1985.
His album "Nothing Like The Sun" won the British Phonographic Industry Award for British Album in 1988.
Winner of the 2002 Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement.
Winner of the 1994 Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.
The 2005 winning horse of the Kentucky Derby, Giacomo, is named after Sting and Trudie's son of the same name. The owner of the horse, Jerry Moss, is good friends with Sting and recorded him on A&M Records.
Reunited with his former band-mates and performed at the 2007 Grammy Awards. The next day, The Police announced a worldwide tour in 2007, the first tour since 1986.
Ranked #9 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
Ranked #63 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, founded the Rainforest Foundation in 1988.
Former bus conductor and tax officer.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
The 2009 Sunday Times List estimated his net worth at $295 million.
Lives in London (UK), Lake Wilshire, Malibu (California) and Figline Valdarno (Tuscany, Italy).
Ex-brother-in-law of Roma Tomelty.
Attended Princess Diana's funeral.
My job is being a musician [...] I just make films for fun, really.
I'm bored with music between 1955 and 1980. I'm completely bored. I can't listen to a rock and roll record. I can't do it. I would rather listen to hogs screwing.
It was quite something. My wife saw it, too. At first I thought it was her with one of the kids until I reached over and I realised that she was still in bed with me" - on seeing the ghosts of a woman and a child in his bedroom
The geniuses of music, like Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach) and Miles Davis, used silence beautifully; they were not about using as many notes as possible. They knew that playing almost nothing can be the most elegant and eloquent thing to do.
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.
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.
If anyone described me as a genius I would laugh. I have my moments - I just have to join them together.
You can't get better than Otis Redding.
You can scratch the surface of my songs pretty lightly and you'll find someone who wanted to be James Taylor at the age of 14. He's also a brilliant and ridiculously underrated guitar player and blessed with a voice that could melt ice caps.
One of my favorite songs that I never wrote was "Tempted" and I did actually cover it. It's a great song, and Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook are great songwriters. Squeeze were always a great band, and it was nice to cover it.
I loved the band Traffic for their way of creating a musical universe without these boundaries, because whether it's country, pop, gospel, heavy metal or classical music, it's all a single language, a code.
I first met Youssou (Youssou N'Dour) with Peter (Peter Gabriel) several years ago when we worked together on an Amnesty tour. Both of them have such extraordinary voices and Peter has done a lot to promote world music in general and that should be acknowledged as it's been a one man crusade on his part.
The great thing about Bruce is that he's exactly as he seems. A great man. (On Bruce Springsteen)
He's a great artist and he really inspired me. (On Bob Dylan)
For me they are pop songs. Beautiful melodies, fantastic lyrics, great accompaniments. I feel that my job as a pop artist is to develop as a musician, and to bring into my sphere elements that aren't necessarily pop, more complex intervals, complex time signatures. (On performing the music of John Dowland on his album "Songs From The Labyrinth")
[on his being made a CBE] Being a Commander of the British Empire isn't really what it's cracked up to be, since I can't command anybody. Everyone always ignores me.
Everybody in the business knows in his heart of hearts what it takes to be successful. Whether you've got the guts to go through with that or not is another matter.
I watched it the other night for the first time, I've never seen it before. I was appalled. I wouldn't get on "The X Factor" (2004) because I don't sound like anyone they're after, I sound like myself. I think they are basically aping pre-existing stereotypes of what singers should do and they're not being themselves. There's no X Factor there. The music industry is a multi-million dollar business and the shop floor is not "The X Factor" (2004). It's pubs and clubs up and down the country or you get in your van and you go up and down the M1 and you build an audience that way. That's how you build a backbone.
I've lived in Europe for about 15 years, I live in Italy. So I feel very European. I think it's an inevitable thing that our future in the British Isles will be with Europe. We'll be part of Europe, we'll be better for it. (On the Lisbon Treaty in 2009)
I am sorry but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly. How appalling for a young person to feel that rejection. It is a soap opera which has nothing to do with music. In fact, it has put music back decades. Television is very cynical. They are either Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston or Boyzone and are not encouraged to create any real unique signature or fingerprint. That cannot come from TV. "The X Factor" (2004) is a preposterous show and you have judges who have no recognisable talent apart from self-promotion, advising them what to wear and how to look. It is appalling. The real shop floor for musical talent is pubs and clubs, that is where the original work is. But they are being closed down on a daily basis. It is impossible to put an act on in a pub. The music industry has been hugely important to England, bringing in millions. If anyone thinks "The X Factor" (2004) is going to do that, they are wrong.
There's no pussyfooting in our group. We don't skirt around each other; we go straight for the jugular. We know each other very well, and we know where it hurts. [Rolling Stone, February 19, 1981 issue]
I think what we provide is functional entertainment. It has a use. I just try to write as good a song as possible; it's a craft. [Rolling Stone, February 1981]
I am a gambler and I think I've always been rewarded for my risk-taking. My ambition is to be allowed to do anything that I want to do again, and to reach a standard where people will at least say: 'That was OK.' I think the whole idea of being 'successful' in music is to have a unique signature or sonic fingerprint, and - no matter what context you sing in - people recognize it as you. Whether they like it is another matter.
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.
We [wife Trudie Styler and himself] keep getting begged for our "secret" - why ours has lasted so much longer than most Hollywood marriages put together. More than anything else, the same ounce-of-prevention that works against sibling rivalry also works against separation and divorce: Trudie and I not only love but actually like each other.
(February 2007) Reuniting with his former band mates of The Police and embarking on a worldwide tour.
(September 2007) Amstel Hotel - Amsterdam - The Netherlands for two shows in the Amsterdam Arena.
(October 2007) Release of his book, "Lyrics".
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