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Sting

Singer

Born: 2 October 1951
Birthplace: Wallsend, Northumberland, England
Best known as: Former frontman for the band The Police

Name at birth: Gordon Matthew Sumner

Sting played bass and sang lead for the 1970's rock trio The Police. The group broke up in 1984 and Sting quickly became a superstar in his own right, famed for his angular good looks and jazz-tinged pop hits. His first post-Police album, 1985's The Dream of the Blue Turtles, featured Branford Marsalis and other jazz stars. Sting's later albums explored various sub-genres of pop and rock. He became associated with activist groups like Amnesty International, helped to found the Rainforest Foundation, and performed in Bob Geldof's 1985 Live Aid charity megaconcert. Sting also took up acting, appearing in movies including Dune (1984), Plenty (1985, with Tracey Ullman) and Stormy Monday (1988, with Melanie Griffith). He has written soundtrack tunes for many movies, most famously Leaving Las Vegas (1996).

Extra credit: Though stories vary, Sting reportedly got his nickname when a former bandmate spotted him in a bee-like yellow-and-black striped sweater... The other members of The Police were Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums).

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