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Sunday, September 19, 1999 Published at 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK


Sting hits millennium high note

Sting: Reacting against the "doom-and-gloom merchants"

Singer and songwriter Sting, a vocal supporter of human rights and the environment, is adopting a less sombre stance as the millennium looms.

Sting: " People should be optimistic for the millennium "
The multi-millionaire pop star has played many concerts in aid of Amnesty International, set up charities to save the rainforests and has campaigned for years on environmental issues.

He has also lent his support to the families of people who went missing in Chile under the dictatorship of General Pinochet.

His song They Dance Alone was performed around the world with the relatives live on stage with him.

But the former lead singer of The Police says it is important take a positive approach as 2000 approaches.

"That's my reaction against the doom-and-gloom merchants of Armageddon and Y2K," he said on BBC One's Breakfast With Frost.

[ image: Sting with wife Trudy Styler:
Sting with wife Trudy Styler: "Without her I've no idea where I'd be"
"My strategy in life is always to be optimistic, as sometimes it pays off."

The singer is still using his celebrity to support good causes. He is currently involved in NetAid, which aims to use the Internet to promote development and alleviate extreme world poverty.

But the father-of-six added: "I'm not terribly good on a soap box. I'm an entertainer first."

His optimism waned slightly when he spoke of politics, and said: "I'm not a politician. I have a very low expectancy for politics being able to solve our major problems.

"I think politics is good for running the business of the country.

He said the best solution to major problems was for "everyone to fix their own lives".

"I'm working on fixing my life," he said.

Sting, who was brought up in a working-class Roman Catholic family in Newcastle, said he grew up in a stimulating environment for an artist.

'Less ambitious'

Describing himself as a daydreamer, he said he had been influenced by The Beatles' success.

"I suppose with them coming from a similar background to my own, I thought maybe I could down this avenue.

"I had no idea whether there would be anything at the end of that tunnel. But there was."

The former football coach, Inland Revenue employee, teacher and bricklayer said he was now less driven to be ambitious.

"My main ambitions are to be happy. I was very focused and driven, but now I value myself not by how many Grammy nominations I have, but by relationships with my family, my friends and my colleagues."

Sting said his attitude was reflected in his new single, which is about optimism and romance.

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