Composer, singer, actor, activist. Sting has won universal acclaim in all these roles, but he defies any easy labeling. He is best described as an adventurer, a risk-taker. As he himself said, "I love to put myself in new situations. Im not afraid to be a beginner." Husband and father of six, masterful guitarist and bassist, a devoted Yoga practitioner, and now a writer who'll publish his memoirs in 2004, he's 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 performance with renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics echoed the excitement at last year's 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 That I Wrote," directed by Kenneth Brannagh, reminds us of Sting's history of theatrical risk-taking, from his scene-stealing debut in "Quadrophenia" to his performance in the Broadway stage revival of Brecht/Weills "The Threepenny Opera" to his audacious work in "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels". The movies, have also spotlighted his composing skills, with "Kate and Leopold" featuring his Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated ballad "Until", an elegant success<ç 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. Last year he received the Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award from the Arab-American Institute Foundation for his "efforts to promote cross-cultural understanding," particularly through his duet "Desert Rose" with Algerian superstar Cheb Mami.
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, he formed the Police in his twenties and soon led them to a position of global preeminence in the 1970s and 80s. "Outlandos D'Amour", "Regatta De Blanc", "Zenyatta Mondatta", "Ghost in the Machine", "Synchronicity" and the trio's live work and best-of compilations forecast the astonishing inventiveness and range of influences that Sting would realize fully in his solo career. "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 him 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, he 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. He has also been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Leiber and Stoller, and Bruce Springsteen. Add to those honors the 16 Grammy Awards he's won and a career full of staggering statistics, including the fact that his song "Every Breath You Take" has been played on American radio nearly seven million times!
Sting has recently been spending time at home enjoying the company of family, but as he has never been one to remain idle for long, fans can expect a new album in the not too distant future.