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Sting hates home town.

Byline: By Sarah Knapton

Rock star Sting has admitted he hated growing up in the region and spent his youth `plotting to escape'.

The Wallsend-born singer said he loathed the town and did not get on well with his family.

He told American TV station CBS: "I was one of those kids that thought `I actually don't belong here, either in this family or on this street or in this town'.

"I thought I was an orphan that had been, you know, sort of misplaced. I was kind of in the wrong environment.

"I just felt this wasn't for me and I was plotting to escape from a very early age."

Sting, who was 52 yesterday, was originally christened Gordon Sumner.

His first job was a ditch digger but after a spell at Warwick University, he became a teacher. He gave it up for music and started playing on cruise ships and in cabarets.

Sting formed The Police in the mid-70s with drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers and they quickly became one of the world's most successful rock bands.

Since going solo, Sting has also had hit solo albums and singles and appeared in movies, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Stormy Monday

He latest album, Sacred Love, which was released in September, is currently at number three in the charts.

In 2002 he received a Grammy, a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy, three BMI Awards, the Ivor Novello award for international achievement, the 2002 Brit Award for outstanding contribution to British music and was inducted into the songwriter's hall of fame.

Eighth in the Sunday Times music millionaires' league for 2003, Sting makes around pounds 1,000 a day in royalties from Every Breath You Take alone. He owns eight houses across the world.

In June he was made a CBE in the Queen's Birthday honours and dedicated it to his parents.

"I like having a place in society," he added. "I'm Sting, you know, and I just got made Commander of the British Empire. I mean there is not much of the British empire left. But I am one of its commanders."

Speaking about his early gigs after leaving Newcastle, he said: "After moving down to London the first band fell apart because of all kinds of personal reasons. My first marriage fell apart.

"It's a bit of a rock and roll cliche, isn't it? You become successful and then you're the biggest thing since sliced bread. And then you become a dissolute wreck.

"We've all tried it out for size. I mean, largely because I need to be in some kind of crisis, some kind of mental trouble to create good songs."

He married Trudie Styler after splitting from his first wife and the couple have six children between them.

Sting said: "I've been a serial monogamist in my life. I love the woman I'm with dearly. And I want to spend the rest of my life with her.

"I want to die with her still loving me. I think that's an important ambition that I have."
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 4, 2003
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