September 19th, 2011
01:25 PM ET
If anyone knows how to throw a party, it’s Sting. And the musician has good reason to pull out all the stops for his upcoming birthday – he’s turning 60.
(We know what you're thinking, because we thought it too: "Wha…?! Sting is 60? How did this happen?!")
“I don't feel 60,” Sting tells CNN. “I feel like I'm 14-and-a-half in many respects.”
Nevertheless, the celebration planned for October 1 (his actual birthday is the 2nd) is definitely more suited to a veteran rock star than a pimply teenager. Pals Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Will.i.am and Vince Gill are among those who will join him on stage at New York’s Beacon Theatre for a charity concert.
“And the only stipulation is that they come and sing my songs,” Sting says with a laugh. “They're allowed to roast me, they're allowed to sing the songs in any way they choose. I’ll probably play bass and sing backup and sing a couple of songs on my own, but…I'm there to be entertained. It's my idea of a good party.”
All proceeds from ticket sales for the event will go to the Robin Hood Foundation, which seeks to fight poverty in New York City.
For Sting, birthdays and performance go hand in hand.
“I wasn't given a lot of attention as a child,” he said lightheartedly. “That's why I became a rock star. So having a birthday party and being on stage is fantastic. I don't like cakes and candles very much but I like singing on my birthday.”
The former Police front man is also commemorating 25 years as a solo musician with a box set, “Sting: 25 Years,” out September 27. It features re-mastered versions of tracks dating back to his first solo album, “The Dream of The Blue Turtles” (which actually came out 26 years ago in 1985).
And not one to sit still, Sting will soon hit the road on the “Back to Bass” tour, promising stripped down theater concerts across North America. The tour kicks off in Boston on October 21 with Sting backed by a five piece band comprising “two guitars, two violins, a bass and drums.”
“I have no idea what that's going to sound like,” says Sting. “But I like throwing the cards up in the air and seeing where they land. It may be a complete failure but I'm not afraid of that. I like to take a chance. I think surprise is everything in music.”
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