At 85, Tony Bennett released an album that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart this week. Sting, who turns 60 on Sunday, is hoping he will still be going strong at 85, too.
"Hopefully the next 25 years will be the same if I have it," the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said of his own success. "I couldn't live without music. I'd rather play music or die."
Sting is celebrating 25 years as solo artist; in the late 1970s he debuted as the leader of The Police, scoring massive hits with songs like "Every Breath You Take" and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." As a solo singer, he went on to sell multiple multiplatinum albums — and overall, he is the owner of 16 Grammy Awards.
This week he released "Sting: 25 Years," his 3-disc greatest hits set. On Oct. 18, he will release "Sting: The Best of 25 Years," which features 12 remastered tracks from his solo career.
Sting says he has no plans to release a new album, though he says he is a writing a musical-play "based on my hometown in the north of England. It's about shipbuilding." It will be directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey.
Sting will also launch his "Back to Bass Tour" on Oct. 21 in Boston.
He's playing the bass with a small band on the tour.
"I just did the 200-date tour with this symphony orchestra, so I just wanted to throw a curve at that and do something like I used to," he said.
Sting says though he is a veteran, he's still learning as a musician.
"It doesn't end," he said. "There's no way you can say, 'Oh, I finished learning.' You do that when you die."
Sting and country singer Vince Gill recently recorded a concert for the CMT series "Crossroads." The special, which features the two singing each others' hits, airs on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving.
Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://twitter.com/musicmesfin