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Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, 2 October 1951, Wallsend, Northumberland, England. Sting’s solo career began in 1982, two years before the break-up of the Police, for whom he was lead singer and bass player. In that year he starred in the film Brimstone And Treacle and from it released a version of the 30s ballad, ‘Spread A Little Happiness’, composed by Vivian Ellis. Its novel character and Sting’s own popularity ensured Top 20 status in Britain. While continuing to tour and record with the Police, he also co-wrote and appeared on the Dire Straits hit ‘Money For Nothing’ and sang harmonies on Phil Collins’ No Jacket Required.

By 1985, the other members of the Police were pursuing solo interests and Sting formed a touring band, the Blue Turtles. It included leading New York jazz figures such as Branford Marsalis (alto saxophone), Kenny Kirkland (keyboards) and Omar Hakim (drums). The group recorded his first...

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