David Shankbone / Wikicommons_
  • Faith: Christian - Catholic
  • Career: Musician
  • Birthday:  October 21, 1951

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, known professionally as Sting, is an activist, musician, and actor. He was the songwriter, frontman, and bassist for the Police from 1977 until their breakup in 1986. In 1985, he launched a solo career and has included elements of jazz, rock, reggae, new-age, classical, and worldbeat in his music. As a member of the Police and a solo musician, Sting has received 17 Grammys. He won Song of the Year for “Every Breath You Take,” three Brit Awards, including Best British Male Artist in 1994 and Outstanding Contribution in 2002, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and four nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In 2019, he received a BMI Award for “Every Breath You Take,” which became the most-played song in radio history. In 2002, Sting received the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Police in 2003. That same year, he received a CBE from Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for services to music. In 2000, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording. He was made a Kennedy Center Honoree at the White House in 2014 and was awarded the Polar Music Prize in 2017. He was made an Ivor Novello Fellow in May 2023.

With the Police, Sting became one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Solo and with the Police combined, he’s sold over 100 million records. In 2006, Paste ranked him 62nd of the 100 best living songwriters, and he was 63rd of VH1’s 100 greatest artists of rock and 80th of Q’s 100 greatest musical stars of the 20th century. He’s collaborated with other musicians on songs like “Money for Nothing” with Dire Straits, “Rise & Fall” with Craig David, “All for Love” with Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams, “You Will Be My Ain True Love” with Alison Krauss and introduced the North African music genre rai to Western audiences through the hit song “Desert Rose” with Cheb Mami. In 2018, he released the album “44/876,” a collaboration with Jamaican musician Shaggy, which won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2019.

Sting was born in Wallsend, Northumberland, England, in 1951, the eldest of four children of Audrey and Ernest Matthew Sumner. He grew up near Wallsend’s shipyards, which made an impression on him. As a child, he was inspired by the Queen Mother waving at him from a Rolls-Royce to divert from the shipyard prospect towards a more glamorous life. He helped his father deliver milk and, by 10 years old, was “obsessed” with an old Spanish guitar left by an emigrating friend of his father.

What religion is Sting?

Sting identifies with the Catholic faith. In one interview, he said, “I was an altar boy, and I learned the Latin Mass but I loved plainsong, I loved Gregorian chant, the Sung Mass. I still think I carry some of those cadences in my composition when I compose. So I’m grateful for that. [The Dies Irae] is normally done in a very minor key, a very doom-laden key, and I lifted it to a major key so it would be hopeful.”

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