Born in Newcastle, England in 1951, the son of a milkman, Gordon Matthew Sumner, grew up in the turmoil of the ship-building industry and wanted to become a musician very early. He played cruise ships, backing strippers in cabarets, and developed a love for the bass guitar. Having played in jazz/rock bands like "Last Exit" and other various groups, including a Dixieland jazz group, where he got the name "Sting" from a yellow/black striped shirt, he settled down with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers for a decade-long tenure with the smashing rock trio, "The Police". He then went on to record solo albums and holds a reputation as one of the most literate songwriters and talented musicians in the world. He has also delved into acting, having starred in such films as Quadrophenia (1979), Radio On (1980), Plenty (1985), Giulia e Giulia (1987) (aka Julia and Julia), Dune (1984), Bring on the Night (1985) (a documentary about the formation of his Blue Turtles jazz group) and most recently, The Grotesque (1995), where he plays a bisexual, conniving butler.
Sting is married to film producer Trudie Styler and has six children with Trudie and ex-wife, actress Frances Tomelty. Sting owns a Jacobian castle in Wiltshire, which he calls "Lake House", where he records his albums, a place in London, an apartment in New York, a place on the beach in Malibu, California, and a Renaissance Florentine Villa called "Palagio" in Figline Valdarno, Tuscany, Italy. He has been called pretentious and is accused of intellectual arrogance for stepping into territory not usually covered by "pop stars".
Sting's Charity work includes: 1. He co-founded The Rainforest Foundation with his wife Trudie, to help save rainforests in South America. An annual benefit concert is held for the Foundation and the singer had a species of Colombian tree frog, Dendropsophus stingi, named after him in recognition of his “commitment and efforts to save the rain forest”. 2. Sting sang on “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – the hit single from “Band Aid” which eventually led to the Live Aid Concert in July 1985, in which Sting also took part. 3. He was inspired to start working for humanitarian causes through concerts after seeing the “Secret Policeman’s Ball” – Amnesty International's famous benefit concert – in 1979. Following this, he took part in the Secret Policeman’s Other Ball in 1981. 4. He then headlined Amnesty’s Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986. 5. He joined the six-week world Human Rights Now! tour for Amnesty in 1988, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 6. His 1988 single “They Dance Alone” chronicled the plight of the mothers, wives and daughters of the “disappeared”, the innocent victims of the Pinochet regime in Chile. 7. Sting has performed at a plethora of benefit shows, including Don Henley's Concert for Walden Woods and "Live 8". 8.Sting performed with Sheryl Crow in 2009 at Toronto’s One Night Live fund raiser to support Sunnybrook Foundation's expanding High Risk Mothers and Babies centre at Sunnybrook Hospital.