Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on March 4, 2001

Where did rock singer Sting get that unusual name, and what is his real name?
—Jonathan T., Texas

Sting, 49, was born Gordon Sumner in Wallsend, England, and was given that name early in his musical career by a bandmate who admired his black-and-yellow striped sweater. Sting played bass for several rock and jazz bands before skyrocketing to fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the lead singer in the pop group The Police, which had hits such as Don't Stand So Close to Me and Every Breath You Take. After The Police disbanded, Sting continued as a solo artist, lending his talents to the soundtracks of several films, including Disney's recent The Emperor's New Groove.