Sting grew up in a lower-class family in Northern England. Passionate about music from an early age, he immersed himself in learning to play the guitar and upright bass. After several years playing in jazz bands, Sting moved to London, where his musical career began to take flight. In 1977, he became one of the founding members of the band The Police, a band that would conquer the airwaves of the late 1970s and early 80s with its blend of New Wave, punk, reggae, and pop. His songwriting has always exhibited a blend of social awareness and catchy pop sensibility – songs such as “Russians” and “They Dance Alone” attacked the issues of The Cold War and The Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina, yet still remain part of the musical mainstream even more than three decades later. With the songs like “Fields of Gold” and “Desert Rose,” Sting’s lush, genre-defiant solo work has expanded the boundaries of pop, R&B, jazz, and folk. Although he his often considered as a polarizing force, his sixteen Grammy Awards, Golden Globe, Emmy, Oscar nominations, and entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show a universal acclaim that is impossible to argue with.
Even with all of his career accolades, it has become evident that Sting’s dedicated offstage efforts to social and environmental causes are his true calling in life. His is a passion with roots much deeper and more sincere than a spoiled, out of touch celebrity proselytizing about saving the rainforest. Sting has performed on the stages of Band Aid, Live Aid, Live 8, and the Human Rights Now Tour, in which he joined forces with Bruce Springsteen and fellow Yoga Revolution contributor, Peter Gabriel. He has donated music to benefit AIDS foundations, survivors of the Haiti earthquake, freedom in Tibet, and youth music and arts organizations. And yes, he’s also looking out for the rainforests and the indigenous tribes inhabiting them with the Rainforest Foundation Fund, which he founded with his wife.
With his soft-spoken yet unflinchingly public endorsement of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, spirituality through yoga and interpersonal relationships, and the genuine power each of us has to make a difference by looking out for each other and future generations, Sting has offered a constant source of hope to all of those who would listen. Thankfully, this is no small number.