Sting dropped in on the weekly gathering of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir before inviting them to take part in a unique performance of his musical The Last Ship

By Phil Boucher
June 30, 2020 05:55 PM
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Sting has returned to his roots in the best way possible.

The 17-time Grammy winner recently surprised members of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir in London by joining their online rehearsals.

On Monday the songwriter, 68, went one better and organized an exclusive performance of "Hymn" from his musical, The Last Ship, with the part-time singers, alongside professional members of the show's cast.

"Battersea was the first place I lived when I moved to London in the 1970s," Sting told the Community Choir about his reasons for joining their weekly online get-together. "So, I've come full circle now that I'm back to Battersea."

"The Power Station is an iconic building that reminds me of my hometown when I lived next to the shipyard," Sting added, with reference to impact the icon of the London skyline had on him following his move south from Newcastle upon Tyne in the northeast of England.

"It looks like a giant ship, with those chimneys going into the river,” he continued, before going on to praise the choir for helping to bring people together during the coronavirus lockdown.

“We all need our community now more than ever," Sting said. "Thank you to the Battersea Power Station Community Choir for the opportunity to connect by singing together."

The Last Ship is inspired by Sting’s childhood experiences in the industrial north of England and the devastating toll that the decline of the region's once-thriving shipyards had on his friends, family, and neighbors during the 1980s.

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"It's the story of my community and what happened to it when the shipyard closed and the community went very much downhill," he told the Choir before leading the singing of Hymn.

"As we are a community choir not everyone is a confident singer," added choir director Sam Evans about the unexpected opportunity. "The end result is something we are all incredibly proud of and an experience that none of us will ever forget."

Sting's online choir practice comes on the heels of the musician's appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he performed a remote remix of The Police's 1980 hit "Don't Stand So Close to Me" alongside Jimmy Fallon and his house band, The Roots — playing at-home instruments ranging from guitars to scissors, sneakers, silverware, and even a well-timed game of Connect Four.

The Grammy-winning song, which Sting is credited with writing the music and lyrics for, has become an anthem in the age of social distancing amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

More recently, Sting was also able to make the dying wish of a late New York police officer come true by posing with one of his portraits of the singer, even imitating the painting in real-life.

"During his final days, we were going through his possessions, one by one," the late officer's step-daughter told popular blog Humans of New York.

"He was telling me who to give them to. I pulled the Sting painting out of an old box, and asked, 'What should I do with this?' " she recalled to the outlet. "His response was immediate ... He looked right at me, and said, 'Give it to Sting.' So I guess that's my final assignment."

"THE EAGLE HAS LANDED," the blog later posted, adding thanks to Sting's daughter Mickey Sumner for making the whole thing possible.