Earlier this week, Sting appeared with Shaggy on an installment of Rolling Stone’s In My Room IGTV series, and now, the artist and former Police frontman is back with his own video, where he called in from his home in Wiltshire, England.
“I’m lucky enough to have a recording studio here, where I can work everyday,” he says. “I’m very fortunate; I’m very grateful. I’m also grateful for our healthcare workers, who are doing an extraordinary job, risking their lives everyday on the front line. The best thing that we can do is to help them, and not to get sick, and not to add to their workload, because we are all in this together.”
Sting then dove into a rendition of the Police’s signature song, “Message in a Bottle,” playing guitar and singing live alongside a percussive and backing vocal track. He followed it up with “Fragile,” from his 1988 sophomore solo album …Nothing Like the Sun. The song pays tribute to the American civil engineer Ben Linder, who was killed by Contra operatives in Nicaragua in 1987, but the tune’s refrain — “For all those born beneath an angry star/Lest we forget how fragile we are” — takes on a new meaning in this uncertain time.
“Some of my favorite cities in the world have been hit by this virus,” Sting said afterwards, introducing the next song, “not least New York City, my adopted home. So this is a song about New York in better times that will return.” That song, of course, is “Englishman in New York.”
Sting’s session follows performances by Joan Jett, Fuerza Regida, Lauv, Waxahatchee, Lucinda Williams, James Bay, Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff, Steve Earle, Graham Nash, Yola, John Fogerty, Grace Potter, and more. To support musicians undergoing financial hardship, please consider giving to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund or MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund — to which TikTok pledged $2 million.