The musician, singer and songwriter known for the worldwide audience by the name Sting was born in 1951 as Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner in England. Despite being a common man, a son of a hairdresser and milkman, he aspired for a better life ever since he was a young boy and saw the Queen waving at him from her luxurious Rolls-Royce. He started playing on old Spanish guitar that was left in his home by a migrated friend of his father.
The origin of the stage name and early career – The Police
The name Sting first appeared when the young man who had acquired the profession of a teacher used to perform in Jazz clubs, wearing a stripy black and yellow sweater. The leader of the band thought he looked like a bee and called him “Sting”. It’s important to note that the name became the young man’s real name, and he claims that everyone he knows call him Sting, including his family, so “Who’s this Gordon character? If someone calls out this name on the street I probably won’t respond”.
He started his climb toward success in music after moving to London in 1977 and cooperating with Stewart Copeland and Henry Padovani (replaced later by Andy Summers) and together creating the band The Police. The band soon became a huge success, releasing 6 best-selling albums between 1978 and 1983, winning 6 Grammy awards and 2 Brits. The initial style of the band inclined to punk, later changing to reggae and minimalistic pop. The last album “Synchronicity” received high praising from the critics and the audience and included the signature track (written by Sting) – “Every Breath You Take”.
The decision to leave the band was sort of an instinct, according to Sting. He just felt that he needed to quit The Police, despite the voice of reason claiming that the right thing to do was to grind the teeth and make the money. The band didn’t disband officially, each one of the members began working on own solo projects and didn’t work together again, except for one tour they had back in 2007.
The first solo album by sting “The Dream of the Blue” was released in 1985 and was recorded with leading jazz musicians. It included some future hits: “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”, “Fortress Around Your Heart”, “Russians” and others. The album became Platinum 3 times in a row.
His 1987 album “… Nothing like the Sun” produced the singles “We’ll Be Together”, “Fragile”, “Englishman in New York”. The album was dedicated to his mother. The album was ranked 90 in the list of 100 influential albums of the 80’s, while his last album with The Police was ranked 17th. In 1988 he recorded another version of the album is Spanish and Portuguese.
From the 90’s and until today
The albums which were released by Sting during the 90’s brought even bigger success – the albums “The Soul Cages” (1991) and “Summoner’s Tales” (1993) were platinum three times in a year. Ever since, he continued to write, record and release countless popular albums, composing music for films and theatre and maintaining high musical and creative level. In 2016 he released his first rock album in a while – “57th & 9th” and embarking a concert tour starting of February 2017.