Star with a Sting: Chief of The Police turns 70

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He was the Englishman in New York, the Policeman with the blonde hair, the man from "Dune" and the tantra master: Gordon Matthew Sumner, former singer of The Police, is 70. years old today - and still one of the creativst rock stars worldwide.

The tight negligee must have been left behind during the filming of ''Dune'' in the mid-'80s. At that time, Gordon Matthew Sumner, known as Sting, was already on his way to new shores, away from the three-man island The Police, with whom he had written a handful of hits and a chapter of rock history in just five years. But the shirt still fits him like a glove a quarter of a century later. Sting, who turns 70 today, last wore it for the comeback of the joint combo with guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Steward Copeland, combined with imposing steel muscles and a picturesque three-day beard. Later he weared it while his last solo tour just before corona.

The man of many reinventions

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Back with The Police the trio played 'Message in the Bottle' and The Police's other global hits once again to sold-out crowds, there were new drum rhythms the old three men on a black-lined stage and Sting's still-impeccable falsetto. One of the many reinventions of Gordon Matthew Summers, who in his long career has made movies like "Quadrophenia," played medieval music, rocked with Police and played jazz with his own band.

The Police released five groundbreaking albums between 1979 and 1983, which for a short time made them the most important rock band ever. Then the musical resources were exhausted, the players bored with each other. Sting turned to more complicated musical structures and more profoundly intended messages. Today, the solo catalog of the proven yoga and tantra specialist is thicker than that of his regular band - and far more diverse. Sting also had hits like the Police songs 'Walking On The Moon', 'Can't Stand Losing You' and 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' - his tunes "Fields of Gold" and "Fragile" are now evergreens that everyone knows.

A wide color palette

The differences are in the details. If Police music originally consisted of a quasi-patented combination of straight reggae rhythms, an acid-sharp guitar and Sting's siren vocals, Sting later expanded his color palette to include whatever struck his fancy. A guitar solo here, a glockenspiel interlude there, acoustic, electric, often pregnant with meaning and embellished with obscure interludes.

Sting ever was the center of his own show. What he sings still grabs crowds, as Sting proved just two years ago on his last tour. "If I ever lose my faith in you" and "Englishman in New York" had the audience singing along at the top of their voices.

"Ohooo I'm an alien," cheered tens of thousands and entire halls chanted ''ihh-ohh, ihh-ohh, ijohooo.'' Sting grinned at his backup singers and played "Waiting For The Break Of Day," which he had released in cooperation with reggae star Shaggy. The old Englishman, still modern and at the top of his game. Congratulations, Gordon Matthew Sumner!

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