- His music often defies stylist labels, borrowing from jazz, rock, reggae, folk, soul, electronic, and world music. He has even produced a few country songs, though the country stars that cover them often chart higher than he does (though I like Sting's versions).
- His songs frequently expressively deviate from standard forms (try mapping out the form of "Every Breath You Take" sometime), and he's not afraid to employ (my favorite) asymmetrical meters.
- His lyrics subvert popular conventions and challenge listeners with political commentary and literary references.
Weird video, though. My favorite part is the little person saying "Mr. Sting, Mr. Sting!" Sting is not known for his good music videos as much as his B-movie acting, but the following video is weird and also very entertaining. It features a mermaid, several knights in armor, and Sting getting turned into a pig.
Seeing Sting perform this song, "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You," was definitely one of the best live music experiences I've had. And now I can consider myself an expert—I wrote the entry on Sting for the forthcoming second edition of Grove’s Dictionary of American Music from Oxford University Press.
What do you think of Sting? Are there artists whose birthdays you personally celebrate?