Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (born 2 October 1951), known as Sting, is an English musician and actor. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band the Police from 1977 to 1984, and launched a solo career in 1985. He has included elements of rock, jazz, reggae, classical new-age and worldbeat in his music.
With the Police, Sting became one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Solo and with the Police combined, he has sold over 100 million records. In 2006, Paste ranked him 62nd of the 100 best living songwriters. He was 63rd of VH1’s 100 greatest artists of rock, and 80th of Q magazine’s 100 greatest musical stars of the 20th century.
In 1978, the Police published their debut album, Outlandos d’Amour. The album reached No’ 6 in the UK Albums Chart, elevated by it’s lead single “Roxanne”.
Their second album Reggatta de Blanc (1979), became the first of four consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the UK and Australia with its lead single, “Message in a bottle”. “Message in a bottle” was their first UK number one.
Their next two albums, Zenyatta Mondatta (1980) and Ghost in the Machine (1981), featuring “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “Every Little thing She Does Is Magic”, both UK number one singles, saw further critical and commercial success.
Their final studio album, Synchronicity (1983), was No. 1 in both the UK and the US, selling over 8 million copies in the US alone. Its lead single, “Every Breath You take”, became their fifth UK number one, and first in the US. In May 2019, “Every Breath You Take” was recognized by BMI as being the most played song in radio history.
The Police have sold over 75 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. They were the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, due to their reunion tour.
Sting’s first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985), featured jazz musicians including Kenny Kirkland, Darryl Jones, Omar Hakim and Branford Marsalis.
Within a year, the album reached Triple Platinum. The album received Grammy nominations for Album of the year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, and Best Engineered Recording.
Sting had a lot of criticism in his songs. The song “Russians” is a commentary and plea that criticizes the then-dominant Cold War foreign policy and doctrine of mutual assured destruction by the United States and the Soviet Union.
In 1987 Sting published his second solo album, Nothing Like the Sun. the album was ranked No. 90 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Best Albums of the Eighties.
His 1991 album,The Soul Cages, was dedicated to his father, who had died.
His album Ten Summoner’s Tales peaked at two in the UK and US album charts in 1993, and went triple platinum in just over a year. The album was recorded at his Elizabethan country home, Lake House in Wiltshire. Ten Summoner’s Tales was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1993 and for the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1994. The title is a wordplay on his surname, Sumner, and “The Summoner’s Tale”, one of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
The song “Shape of my Heart”, one of sting’s most popular songs and my favorite, was used for the end credits of the film Léon starring Jean Reno and Natalie Portman, and within the 1993 film Three of Hearts.
The Police reunited in 2007 and toured for a year. On 18 July 2016, Sting’s first rock album in many years was announced. 57th & 9th was released on 11 November 2016. The title is a reference to the New York City intersection he crossed every day to get to the studio where much of the album was recorded.