Happy Birthday Sting! Sting celebrated his 60th Birthday with an all-star concert event at New York’s Beacon Theatre on October 1, 2011
You could say, “it was a pretty good crowd for a Saturday,” as Billy Joel, Lady Gaga,
Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Will.i.am, Mary J. Blige, Rufus Wainwright, and bass-baritone opera singer Bryn Terfel, performed covers of Sting’s classic song book and a few songs by The Police. Robert Downey Jr. was the charming and often hilarious MC of the night, which was broken into 2 sets with a brief intermission. Tickets were not available to the general public, however, $3.7 million was raised from tickets sold to celebrities, friends and family, all going to the Robin Hood Foundation, reported John Sykes, who spearheads the organization which fights poverty in New York City.
Sting started the celebration with Branford Marsalis and a version of “Englishman In New York.” Looking more like a virile 40-something rock star, than a sexagenarian, Sting said, “Sixty feels comfortable – I’ve always felt sort of old.”
Billy joined the bash at the top of the second set, just after Bryn Terfel’s powerful rendition of “Roxanne.” Sauntering to the grand piano, dressed in a dark gray pin-stripped jacket and black jeans, Billy launched into “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” and “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” with Sting on bass. It would be Billy’s third appearance in the New York area, since the conclusion of the The Face2Face Tour in March 2010, which was deeply appreciated with a standing ovation.
Other amazing moments included Lady Gaga’s piano version of “King Of Pain” which she altered to “The Queen Of Pain,” Will.i.am reinterpreting “Walking On The Moon,” Springsteen’s haunting version of “I Hung My Head” and his solo take on “Fields Of Gold.” Sting joined Springsteen for the set-closer “Can’t Stand Losing You” with the entire cast circling back for an encore performance of “Every Breath You Take,” followed by Sting’s solo acoustic “Message In A Bottle.” The show was filmed and is expected to be released as a free app later this year.
Sting was born on October 2, 1951 in Wallsend, England, and he turned 60 at the event’s after-party on Sunday morning at the Lambs Club on West 44th Street in New York City. Billy first met Sting when The Police played Nassau Coliseum in the late seventies, and they’ve been pals ever since. Saturday night is proof enough that Sting’s female fans are guaranteed to “leave the red light on” for many years to come. Happy birthday Sting.
Special thanks to Kevin Mazur for these photos. Click to view each at full size: