Name at birth: Gordon Matthew Sumner
Sting is one of the longest-lasting alpha males in rock and roll, and one of the rare bassists to lead a band. He played bass and sang lead for the 1970's rock-ska trio The Police, which produced hits like "Roxanne" and "Message in a Bottle." 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, as he morphed from skinny young rebel into a muscular middle age. 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). He wrote his first musical, The Last Ship, in the early 2010s, based on his own childhood experiences and the decline of the shipbuilding industry in England. The Last Ship was released as an album in 2013 and was produced on Broadway in 2014, with Sting taking a role mid-run to help boost ticket sales. He was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2014, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 as a member of The Police.
Sting has been married twice. He was married to Frances Tomelty from 1976 until their divorce in 1984, and he married his longtime companion Trudie Styler in 1992. He has two children with Tomelty and four with Styler… 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).