Sting will receive “The American Music Award of Merit” during the 2016 American Music Awards telecast on November 20th at 8:00 pm ET on ABC. According to the announcement posted on Sting.com, “The iconic musician will take to the stage to perform a medley of songs, including the raucous first single, ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’ off his new rock/pop album, 57th & 9th, as well as some of his greatest hits. This will be Sting’s American Music Awards performance debut.”
Sting’s award marks the first time the American Music Award of Merit has been handed down since 2008, when his good friend Annie Lennox got then nod. Other past honorees are Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Prince, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson, Whitney Houston, Gloria Estefan, Janet Jackson, Garth Brooks, and Frank Sinatra.
We asked Sting’s former touring mate and neighbor, Paul Simon, about when he first became aware of the legendary Police frontman: “Right away, well, right — as soon as America became aware of the Police. ‘Thought the band was great, thought Sting was great — (I) didn’t realize he wrote all the songs. When he left, kinda interested to see because, that, y’know, that being part of a big hit band, or group, and then you leave and then you go out and you have a solo career — I wanted to watch it. But, what’s obvious is he’s a trained musician, he likes all kinds of music. He used too play Bach pieces when I’d come over — he’d say, ‘Well, listen to what I’m working on’ — this Bach piece that would make me, like, hang my head in shame and go back to my apartment.”
On November 11th, Sting will release his first new album in three years, called, 57th & 9th. The album got its name from the Manhattan intersection he crossed to get to the studio every day
Sting will play on December 31st at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. So far, Sting only has one other date on the books for 2016, with a November 4th show set in Honolulu, Hawaii at Neal S. Blaisdell Arena.