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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » POP SUPERSTAR STING, IS READY TO ROCK “SHAGGY & FRIENDS” CHARITY CONCERT THIS SATURDAY IN KINGSTON!

POP SUPERSTAR STING, IS READY TO ROCK “SHAGGY & FRIENDS” CHARITY CONCERT THIS SATURDAY IN KINGSTON!

BY VERNON DAVIDSON
Executive editor — publications—-

British singer and songwriter Sting (left) and Jamaican recording artiste Shaggy greet each other warmly at the Ian Fleming International Airport in St Mary yesterday. (Photo: Joseph Wellington) —-

World-famous singer, songwriter and humanitarian Sting arrived in Jamaica yesterday eager to perform at tomorrow night’s Shaggy and Friends charity concert — his first ever live performance in Jamaica which he promised will be historic.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime concert. It’s going to be something very special and memorable, historic I would say, and hysterical probably,” the multiple Grammy Award-winning British artiste told the Jamaica Observer after his arrival at the Ian Fleming International Airport in St Mary where he was met by Shaggy.

The comment triggered uncontrollable laughter between the two musicians, who acknowledged that they share a passion for music and the environment.

“I haven’t been here for a long, long time, so it’s a great way to come home; it always feels like home to me. To come as Shaggy’s guest is very important to me,” added Sting, who said he hasn’t been back in Jamaica since the 1980’s when he did some work with Sly and Robbie.

“Jamaican music, Jamaican culture has always been a major influence on my life, my music; so to come back and play a concert here for the first time and also help with the Bustamante Children’s Hospital… I’m happy,” he explained.

He praised Shaggy (real name Orville Burrell) for staging the biennial charity concert which, since its first staging in 2009, has generated more than $255 million for the hospital.

Proceeds from this year’s show, which will feature a slew of international and local stars, will go toward the hospital’s intensive care unit.

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“I so admire this man’s work. I know how much he puts into it, and I know how important it is,” said Sting, whose given name is Gordon Summer.

The Gulfstream IV (G450) jet carrying the former member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band The Police; his wife, Trudie Styler; and their friends touched down at the airport just before 5:00 pm.

After clearing Immigration and Customs, the singer, who has sold near 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo act, greeted his host with a hearty hug and broad smile before sitting down with local media houses, one by one, for interviews organised by his publicist Tracy Bufferd.

Asked what patrons at tomorrow night’s show can expect from him, Sting — whose vast catalog of hits include Every Breath You Take, Englishman In New York, Roxanne, and If I Ever Lose My Faith In You — said, “I’m gonna play hits, because I got to compete with Shaggy and he’s gonna do the same; we’re gonna have a clash.”

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Again, the comment resulted in laughter between both men who recently completed a collaboration single, Don’t Make Me Wait.

The British artiste, who is also an actor and author, told the Observer that Shaggy, who co-wrote the song, played it for him about a year ago in Los Angeles and asked him to sing it.

“It’s a really great song. I sang a verse and it was a really interesting collaboration because I realize how much I have in common with this guy. I love his energy, I love his intelligence, I love his passion, and our voices somehow seem to blend together. You know, it’s not every singer that you can say that about. He complements what I do, and I hope I do the same for him. We’re having a good time,” Sting said.

He reiterated the importance of tomorrow night’s show and the influence Jamaican culture has had on his career.

“It’s hugely important. I’ve never played here before, as I’ve said. I owe a lot to the island’s culture, so it’s a way of paying back, I hope, and we’re going to raise some funds for a very good cause… and it’s about time I played in Jamaica. I wish I had played [here] before,” he said.

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