Belfast Telegraph

Sting to be honoured by president

Sting is to receive an accolade from US President Barack Obama.

He is among five artists receiving this year's Kennedy Centre Honours, the national awards for influencing American culture through the arts.

Tom Hanks, Al Green, Lily Tomlin and ballerina Patricia McBride will also receive the honour.

They will be saluted by top entertainers in a performance on December 7 and a reception at the White House.

Sting, 62, is one of the few Britons to receive the honour, and that is a badge of pride for the singer.

He said: "The music that awakened me as a child, that inspired me to become a musician, that spoke to me, was essentially American music.

"So, to make that journey from my home town in the north east of England and then be welcomed by America and then given this award in Washington DC, with the president present, is an extraordinary thing."

It was his mother's record collection that first turned Sting on to music. She had albums from Elvis Presley, Rodgers and Hammerstein show tunes and rock n' roll.

Now Sting is working on a Broadway show, The Last Ship, about the shipyard home town of his youth. It opened in Chicago in June and will transfer to Broadway in October.

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