“I think of myself essentially as a musician. That’s what I started as, a musician. That’s what I wanted to do, is to make a living as a musician. I was a bass player and I backed cabaret, and I played in lounges, and I worked on boats. I did every kind of musical gig. I worked in theater. I backed comedians. So I look upon myself as a musician. And I want to be surrounded by musicians. I don’t want to be surrounded by yes men. [..] I’m surrounded by people who have an amazing stature among musicians, and that pleases me immensely.”
Renowned international bass player, songwriter, and all around consummate musician Sting has won 17 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, an Academy Award, and many, many others, while selling more than 100 million records to, and performing for, audiences of all ages with the band The Police and as a solo artist.
Born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner on October 2, 1951, Sting acquired his nickname at age 17 playing with the Phoenix Jazzmen. He would wear a striped yellow and black sweater and was told by a fellow musician that he looked like a bee. He would later say, "My children call me Sting, my mother calls me Sting, who is this Gordon character?"
To interviewer Bianca Jagger, he further elaborated, “Well, if you define what a sting is, the name suits me. A sting is a little bit of pain, it’s a con trick, it’s the back end of the wasp.”
“King of Pain” is a single from the fifth studio album of the band The Police entitled, “Synchronicity.” Sting described the lyrics as a collection of painful symbols that reflected his difficult breakup with his wife. Rolling Stone’s Stephen Holden describes the King of Pain depicted in the song as having seen “his abandonment as a kind of eternal damnation in which the soul becomes ‘a fossil that’s trapped in a high cliff wall … A dead salmon frozen in a waterfall.’”